Not Boaring

Dark garnet, staining brick on all surfaces. Massive bottle-funk on opening, took hours to open up and still going. Settles down to a smooth mascarpone chocolate edged on all sides with woody barrel goodness and dank spice. Fruit dusky and dense, the whole package so rustic but still clean. Dried spit and antique shelving, crushed velvet on theatre seats and dirty wool carpet. I guessed zero Sangiovese and the label agrees.

In the mouth, dirty fruit, concentrated and grainy, an old-world cellar-floor acidity and vivre exclaim a patina shockingly older than the less-than-decade age on the bottle. For a 90% cab, I’m kinda surprised at the tertiary, dusty rose and natal plum, thick black walnut hulls and vanilla play games of destruction against each other over the middle. The brash tannins win, and go off singularly into the finish–bitter and strong–trailing thin fruit behind.

It’s a beautiful wine, quite un-California of course, and not even a Super-Tuscan designed for the New World palate. While it is arguabley lush and ripe, there is no overt characteristics arguing in this direction. Easily one of the most rustic Italian Cabernets I have experienced, it balances old- and new-world in appropriate fashion–with the added nuance of age.

2009 CASTELLO DI QUERCETO ‘Cignale’ Colli Della Toscana Centrale Cab/ME 90/10 Toscano Italy 13.5

castellodiquerceto.it
empson.com/cignale

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