“To serve a good friend a good wine is the ultimate compliment.”
Val di Cornia is a coastal region of Tuscany located south of the town of Livorno and Southeast of San Gimignano, one of the most picturesque and beautiful towns in all of Italy. That statement covers a lot of ground, but I can say definitively that if you ever get the chance to travel to Italy, you should see San Gimignano. Enough said about that. Tuscany is a wine producing region and some of the best wines in the world come from there. The climate, the soil all contribute to a consistently good crop of grapes and the time honored tradition of wine production is in full view here. The region was officially recognized for its quality in 1989 when it received the coveted DOC ( Denominazione di Origine Controllata) designation, which assures not only quality, but a strict adherence to local laws and restrictions of wine production.
It was in 1984 that Rita Tua and her husband Virgilio Bisti purchased 37 acres of land and planted it with Cabernet and Merlot grapes. They later purchased more for a spread of 55 acres of which 45 are planted with vines. They first released a 1992 vintage which received very high praise from wine enthusiasts worldwide, and in only five years its Merlot had achieved a cult-like status receiving accolades from critics all over the globe. Today, in Italy, these wines are among the most difficult to find and the winery has made its home town of Suvereto, otherwise a small medieval town, a major wine force in the region.
The Rosso dei Notri is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, finished with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is harvested in September so the grapes can take advantage of the worm, sunny days and cool, dry nights. After harvesting, the grapes are pressed and aged in oak barrels and stainless steel tanks for three months. The result is a marvelous blend with a hint of black fruits, licorice and cocoa. It is a deep, ruby red color, reflecting light and almost producing a rainbow effect in the glass and the decanter. With a fresh, clean aroma that can absolutely fill a room, it beckons one to just stare at its magnificence. On the palate it is silky smooth with a very slight nod to the acidic with a lasting presence.
Virgilio saw fit to name this wine after his wife, inverting her first and last names. This, in my view, is a very high honor and the product does do her justice. The land is meticulously cared for and cultivated with a balance of nature in mind. The growth of the winery has been nurtured by the passion of both Virgilio and Rita, which has since been passed down to their daughter, Simena and her husband, Stefano Frascolla, who have both seen that the growth is slow and steady, assuring the highest quality and a bow to tradition.
I have said this so many times before, but in my view, to be able to produce a product consistently, a product of which your ancestors would be proud, is the highest goal. The approval of an ancestor who is also the founder of your company is something which is constantly sought. In this case, Simena and Stefano have both met and exceeded the mark.
We paired this wine with a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes and chicken and it was an excellent accompaniment. This is a versatile wine which would go well with Sunday gravy or grilled beef any night of the week. I was very fortunate in that I found it at a small wine store near us and like so many other wines, I found the bottle to be attractive, so I bought it. I certainly will again.
Alcohol – 13.5%
Price – about $18
James Suckling – 92 points
Wine Advocate – 90 points
Galloni – 90 points