Lionello Marchesi Toscano Rosso 'Insieme' 2015
One wine-selling point that I don't deploy nearly enough is how much my wife loves something. I mean, typically I agree with her tastes (though she may not always agree with mine...more Pineau d'Aunis for me!), but when we're this much on the same page about a wine, something needs to be said about it.
As I mentioned above, the only reason I really know about this wine is that Steph came home from Whole Foods one day carrying a gift. An old friend of ours who has been repping great wines for ages wanted us to try something special, and this is definitely a special wine. I've been wanting to bring this to the Guild's attention for months, but the previous vintage disappeared out from under us. The 2015, though, has stepped up its game, and there's a handful of cases for us as long as we move fast.
As noted above (and as you can see from the colorful label), this is a Sangiovese-based "Super-Tuscan" red blend, coming from Maremma - namely, the hamlets of Magliano and Sestano. In addition to the Sangiovese, there's Syrah, Cab Sauv, Merlot, and Alicante. The result is, as with most great super-Tuscans, a perfect marriage of old- and new-world. This tends more old-world, as the oak is perfectly integrated rather than taking a more assertive role; this is more Brunello than Napa.
The nose is full-fleshed: sage-y garrigues, brandied cherries, red baked earth, brambly wild berries, fresh firewood. It evolves as it warms up and oxygenates, exposing undercurrents of raisins and dark chocolate and raspberry jam. There's so much substance here, and you really notice it. On the palate, it has exquisite balance and poise - bright acidity without being overly tart, a touch of tannic tautness without being grippy. The mid-palate is spicy and complicated, while the finish is substantive and straightforwardly pleasurable.
The best way I can describe this wine is a baby Brunello without as much barrel, and it's also more approachable due to the Syrah, Merlot, and Cab Sauv. This does see some wood - 15 months in big oak casks - but it's more of a structural move than it is a flavor addition. This is more straightforward, and less of a commitment on a weeknight, than Brunello, and it comes in at a very meagre $18 price tag (good luck finding worthy Brunello at twice that price). Oh, and my lovely wife won't shut up about it. Maybe she's onto something? Heck, maybe it's serendipity that we're even talking about this wine...either way, what a steal!