2009 Tenuta di Montecucco ‘Canaiolo’ Maremma Toscana IGT

Mission Codename: Etruscan Influences

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Secure an example of the Tuscan varietal Canaiolo for our operatives.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Tenuta di Montecucco

Wine Subject: 2009 ‘Canaiolo’ Maremma Toscana IGT

Backgrounder:

There is no arguing the Italy’s Goria Law is complex, but the system does give us a clue on some of the finer DOCG selections. In between the DOCG and their vini da tavola category sits the classification of Indicazioni Geographiche Tipiche or IGT. These wines are reflect the character of a specific region without the constraints of of the strict DOC or DOCG requirements thus giving the winemaker tremendous flexibility to produce wines with both indigenous and non indigenous grapes. These blends created an entirely new category of wine including the much loved Super Tuscan. Like many exceptional Tuscans, this 100% Canaiolo doesn’t qualify for DOC status but is every bit as good.

If you are unfamiliar with the Canaiolo grape, you are not alone. It used to be much more prevalent when it was widely used as a blending grape with Sangiovese to make Chianti but since the blending requirements have changed, this grape has nearly gone extinct. A native grape of Italy, with cultivation records dating back to the 14th century and references back to the Etruscan period.

The Maremma region is located on the west-central coast of Italy half way between Rome and Florance and immediately south of the village of Grosseto.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark and deep ruby red with a dense but clear ruby core. Along the edges, the color is a more pale ruby and when swirled, this wine settles quickly and leaves clusters of fast thin legs with notably fatter heads.

Smell – Aromatic ripe flavors of red fruit including red cherry and hints of strawberry are framed with floral and earthy undergrowth and mushroom tones. Hints of soft smoke, green herbs and mocha also emerge.

Feel – Smooth and warm, this full-bodied dry wine has sweet youthful tannins and vibrant acidity with a touch of spice and minerality that dries the palate.

Taste – Ripe and fresh flavors of earthy and spiced red and black cherry with a touch of strawberry and plum also. Savory flavors with smoked herbs, mocha and a little undergrowth linger into the finish.

Finish – Clean and medium in length, this wine’s fresh and ripe red fruit fades leaving behind its spice along with a lingering tartness that dries the palate inviting another sip.

Conclusion – The unique 2009 Tenuta di Montecucco ‘Canaiolo’ Maremma Toscana IGT is a fresh and inviting wine that is both easy to drink alone but with sufficent acidity to pair with food. A pleasant departure from the typical Italian rosso enjoy this wine with anti-pasto, charcuterie or aged cheeses. Enjoy this wine now or cellar for the next few years.

Mission Report:

We are actively working to secure an interview with the winemaker – once we have it in hand we will post it here.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of Tenuta di Montecucco about 15 miles northeast of Grosseto can be seen in this satellite photo.

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