Poggio Argentiera are fast becoming the kings of Morellino di Scansano. Poggio Argentiera are pretty new in Tuscany, the project began in 1997 with just 6 Ha of vines in Morellino di Scansano, fast forward 10 years and you have one of the best producers in the region creating exciting Morellino di Scansano as well as top quality blends. Poggio Argentiera are a media savvy outfit who take full advantage of the league of bloggers and use the online medium to its full advantage, reporting on the harvests online, keeping video diaries and giving out media packs. While the wine making is an Italian affair, Justine Keeling, an english marketeer is responsible for the companies fresh image and funky designs in the heart of this most traditional of wine making regions.
Last week I was contacted by Poggio Argentiera to taste through their latest range of wines and as a huge fan of Morellino di Scansano and having heard so much about this producer I was naturally keen. There was no obligation to write a blog entry only simply to comment to the company themselves about their wines. Upon trying the first wine I was pretty sure this would be all I could do. However the quality of the second wine, the Capatosta 2006 was incredible, in fact the highest points I've ever personally awarded to a Morellino di Scansano that I felt it was valuable to mention. Secondly, these two Morellino di Scansanos were so different that it provides an insight into just how important vintage and vinification can be to a wine.
Poggio Argentiera produce a range of wines to accompany the traditional Morellino di Scansano, four of which I will have the pleasure (hopefully pleasure) of tasting tonight and tomorrow. Starting with the two remaining reds, the "Finistere" a 50/50 Syrah/Alicante blend and the "Principio", 100 % Ciliegiolo! Thursdays blog entry will review the two whites of the pack, the "Fonte40" a 40% Ansonica, 40% Vermentino and 20% Fiano wine and the "Guazza" a 80% Ansonica and 20% Vermentino.
Poggio Argentiera produce two Morellino di Scansano wines that are as different as two MdS from the same company can be. The first wine, the Bellamarsilia 2007 is a weaker effort than the Capatosta 2006 and just goes to show what an art vinification trully is. If you ever need an example of the importance of viticulture/vinification techniques (oak, ageing, yields, age of vines) use these two wines! I tasted these wines before I read about the processes the wine goes through and the tasting notes made marry directly to the processes these wines took. It's always nice when that happens!
Bellamarsilia is made from 85% Sangiovese, 10% Ciliegiolo and 5% Alicante from newly planted vines close to the coast in Marmerra. The wine goes through 4 months maturation in stainless steel vats.
Poggio Argentiera Bellamarsilia Morellino di Scansano 2007 - PASS - €10
Very dark ruby red, purple-ish in the middle, vibrant, clear. Quickly aromatic of cherries, raspberry, mid-bodied wine, good acidity, a touch hollow but a pretty finish. 86 Points
Although this wine is bright and lively, it is not great QPR. Faced with a straight choice between the Bellamarsilia and Capatosta I would plump for the latter every time.
The Capatosta 2006 is fantastic. Morellino di Scansano wines rarely break through the 90 point barrier but in my opinion this is a definitely a worthy entry into that illustrious bracket.
The Capatosta is made up of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Alicante grapes from old vine clones with very low yields. The wine is fermented in small French barrels and aged for 12-13 months.
Poggio Argentiera Capatosta Morellino di Scansano 2006 - BUY - €21.50
Deep purple in the glass, thick, deep purples to the edges. Explosive nose, super ripe, dark cherry, plums, vanilla, oak, very "chianti" on the nose, rich and impressive the best nose on a Scansano I can remember. Full bodied, mouth filling, loads of fruit on the mid palate, great structure and balance, finishes a little hot but super impressive length. 91 Points
Where can I buy this wine?
Europeans - Italian Wine Selection - €21.50
Americans - Sand Creek Wine - $29.99
Brits - Everywine - £18
Australians - Nope, Sorreeeee
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Morellino di Scansano is the smart mans Chianti. Agree or disagree?