Wine: Rocca delle Macie Campo Maccione
Grapes: Sangiovese grosso (90 percent), merlot (5 percent), cabernet sauvignon (5 percent)
Region: Morellino di Scansano, Tuscany, Italy
Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors
In the glass: Campo Maccione wine is a deep garnet-red color with a dense core going out into a fine light garnet to slight tinted antique rose rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: There is powerful mature black fruit, dominated by wild black cherries, loganberries, crushed sloe fruit and even anise and earthy mineral notes right off the bat, then underlying and quite supple hints of spice, aged wood and freshly tilled earth.
On the palate: The wine is progressive in its black fruit flavors, dominated by crushed wild cherries and plums, but retains the typical Tuscan rounded, yet rustic cherry character without losing suppleness or balance. The small merlot component helps keep the rustic tannins in check and embellishes the crushed aged cherry fruit. The wine finishes deliciously with slight clove spice, general smoothness and well-integrated character. This wine is medium-bodied in character and ready to drink now.
Odds and ends: This wine is fairly mature for its relative youth, being from the 2008 vintage. I think that sangiovese-based wines will always be a little more rustic in character, but that makes them charming in their drinkability and distinctively Italian. Sergio Zingarelli, the owner of this famous Tuscan estate, Rocca delle Macie, is an old hand at producing delicious and early drinkable classic Italian wines. His father, Italo, having made his money in the entertainment industry with films featuring spaghetti Western heroes Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill, started this operation on prime land in the heart of Tuscany in 1973. That is not very old for an Italian winery producing wines of such high quality. But Rocca delle Macie (meaning pile of rocks) nevertheless hit the right formula from the outset, helped by some skilled winemaking talent and his son Sergio. It quickly became one of Italy’s most sold Chianti Classico wines. Try it with a Bistecca Fiorentina accompanied by a Tuscan white bean stew. Drink it now through 2016.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at email@example.com.