Pieve del Vescovo 2003 “Lucciaio” IGT, Umbria

Those of you who have consistantly read reviews of Italian wines on this site are aware of a bias toward traditional wines that do not cater to notions of standardization. That doesn’t mean that a “modern” styled offering can’t be warmly received.

Lucciaio is the actual name of this Umbrian estate, and here we have a well crafted blend of Merlot (45%), Cab (40%), and native son Sangiovese (15%). The result is a wine of almost opaque density with aromas of sour cherry and tar over layers of darker, woodsy fruits. On the palate you experience a lively, savory intrerplay of sweet and sour, underripe cherries laced with peppery spices and a vaguely fennel-like element.

The finish is full bore and dry, displaying undertones of earth and mild vegetal qualities, possibly the green herbaciousness that sometimes comes from a dose of Cab  All in all, surprising – it’s non-traditional yet still unmistakeably Italian. Who said modern has to mean vapid?