Ampeleia Ampeleia Maremma IGT 2010


A pretty but dense expression of Cab Franc. Nice understate structure and well balanced. Terrific pricing for the quality.

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Predominantly Cabernet Franc (60%) with 25% Sangiovese, 15% Alicante Nero/Carignano/Mourvedre/Alicante Bouschet. This is a pretty wine, fragrant, stony, dark fruited and inviting. The palate is juicy and light but with serious flavours going on. It evolves with time open and is a fun wine to sit with over a meal. I’d be drinking this from now until 2030 and pairing it with Rabbit or something gamey.

Located in the sunny Maremma region of Tuscany is a 150 hectare estate that sits looking over the sea. Producing a range of reds from distinctly French varieties but with such quality and class that it is hard to fault them. Grenache, known as Alicante here, Cabernet Franc, Carignan, Merlot plus Sangiovese and a handful of native varieties sit 200-600 metres above sea level over 40 hectare. They are lovingly grown organically with biodynamic conversion currently taking place. The wines are an extension of the care shown to the growing process. The grapes are handled as little as possible with little to no additions. Old oak or cement tanks are used extensively and so the product in the bottle shows the purity and freshness of the land.

Central Italy – When most people think of Central Italy they think of Tuscany. Not surprisingly because Chianti is an ocean of vineyards within the winegrowing region of Central Tuscany. Chianti produces more than 750000 hectolitres of wine each year. Tuscany’s wine history starts somewhere in the 8th-5th Century BCE when it was part of Etruria. Vernaccia from San Gimignano and reds from Montepulciano were known and loved before the Renaissance. The Tuscany we know now started in 19th Century with Chianti gaining the ascendancy. Brunello di Montalcino debuted in 1888 and the Super Tuscans took shape in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Sangiovese – Widely cultivated across Italy from Emilia-Romagna to Campania and producing as much wine as Barbera. A wide range of clones and hugely diverse growing conditions sees the variety represent easy drinking ‘quaffers’, all the way to benchmarks such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Sangiovese di Romagna and Morellino di Scansano.

Cabernet Franc – Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!).  It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.

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