Enrico Santini 2005 “Poggio Al Moro”, Bolgheri DOC, Toscana

See if this sounds familiar. Someone touts or perhaps even gives you a high priced Super Tuscan, maybe a bottle with a recognizable name. Or you’re at a big time tasting, stop at the table of one of those iconic producers for a sample, smile politely while looking for a place to spit, and walk away wondering why there was such buzz about that wine. Disappointment in a bottle…and at a hefty price for your dissatisfaction. Less than super wines at increasingly super dollars.

If you’re a fan of blends of Italian and international grapes there’s no need to cash in the Roth IRA to find quality wines. Maybe they don’t have the notoriety or “pedigree” (read that $$$), but they deliver a solid product at an excellent quality-price ratio.

Bolgheri has become Tuscany’s viticultural laboratory and along with the Maremma area is turning out estimable wines that are a change of pace from the traditional regional fare while at the same time retaining a sense of place. Wines that are obviously and joyously Italian.

Santini’s offering is equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot with a dash of Syrah. While the finished product is seamless there are discernable varietal traits throughout. Cherry and spice scents followed by red berries and foresty smells. Highly concentrated fruits in a savory, earthy package that picks up elements of tar and pine. A marriage of acidity and fine tannins that allows the juice to come to the forefront. This wine is still young but already showing a depth and balance that auger well for its ability to develop even further with some bottle age.

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