2015 Monte Bernardi Tzingarella (IGT) Tuscany Italy
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc
The Monte Bernardi estate extends over 53 hectares (130 acres), of which 9.5 hectares (23.5 acres) are planted to vineyards with an average age of over 40 years. The vineyards are situated in the hilly, southern-most region of Panzano, an area acknowledged as one of the Grand Cru’s of Chianti Classico.
Over 90% of the vineyard is planted to Sangiovese with the balance planted to Bordeaux varietals which go into this Tzingarella. The estate took a new lease of life in 2003, when Michael Schmelzer, an American, moved to Italy with his family and purchased the estate. He has spent considerable time and money converting the estate to biodynamic practices and they have never looked back.
This is a beautiful Cabernet blend that drinks well above its price. It is distinctly European or Tuscany in taste, but it is obviously made in a new world style with the power and flavour required. Thankfully they have avoided a heavy handed oak treatment, which is a common complaint of other Super Tuscans.
Natural Yeasts and very minimal winemaking practices were used, consistent with the Biodynamic policies of the estate. The wine spent 18 months in oak and then another 12 months in bottle before release to the market. Only 500 cases are made of this wine.
This medium-bodied wine is packed with fruit that is richly complex and smooth. Its tannins, acidity and cherry soul are unmistakably Tuscan with the added characters of fresh cassis, blackberries and minerality which are typical characters of Bordeaux.
Decant this wine for 30 minutes before drinking and it can be safely cellared for the next 7-8 years
Like with Cabernet or Bordeaux, rich protein dishes like steak and beef would be ideal. The tannins and rich flavours will cut through the strong flavours of these red meats. You could also match with Roast turkey and ham or even slow corked Pork belly.