Montepeloso A Quo 2013
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"The quality of the primary fruit is succulent, plump and rich. So are the background aromas..." ~ Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine AdvocateFrom our wanna-live-there home of Tuscany, we have the Montepeloso A Quo Rosso. It's a delicious Cabernet blend which is hearty and lush and delivers gentle earthiness, lithe tannins, a hint of baking spices and a finish for days. Try your first glass without food so you can feel the that glorious region's ocean breeze and taste the unmatchable terroir. Try venison cheeks braised in Cabernet or a Cab blend like the A Quo. Serve them with roasted potatoes and baby carrots. Bring out the gentle oakiness and the toasted nuts of the wine with slow-cooked lamb accompanied by a dense cilantro sauce. If you're feeling indulgent, make it barbecued brisket with creamy slaw, pickled spring veggies and a decadent mac and cheese. It may be the happiest pairing you've ever had. Prego.
Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advocate: "A little oaky on first nose, the 2013 A Quo is a robust red blend based primarily on Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. The quality of the primary fruit is succulent, plump and rich. So are the background aromas of cinnamon, vanilla bean and toasted almond. This was a good vintage across Tuscany. The finish is exceedingly rich and supple with firmly yielding tannins. Give this wine a year or two to find greater harmony in the bottle. Those oak notes still need to integrate. Drink late 2017-2026.
Montepeloso demonstrates special skill when it comes to blending. The various wines reviewed here are linked by a profound sense of balance and seamlessness." Jan 2017
James Suckling: "Lots of chocolate and berry character with hints of vanilla and cherry character. Medium to full body, soft tannins and a long finish. Drink now." Nov 2016
Trade Notes: "Quietly over the past decade, Montepeloso’s Fabio Chiarelotto has emerged as one of the towering winemakers of the Tuscan coast. His windy site sits above the famed Tua Rita estate in Suvereto, producing red wines that are among the region’s most refined. When he purchased Montepeloso in 1998, it was already well on its way to international stardom. Chiarelotto could have rested on that reputation, but he felt that as the vines had been planted and trained, the site would never reach its full potential. And so he spent years reshaping the vineyards. Looking back, he made the right decision, as today Montepeloso has few rivals on the Tuscan coast for producing wines of riveting complexity and great elegance.
For eight long years, Chiarelotto painstakingly reshaped the estate’s vineyards. With each vintage, he experimented with blends and techniques that would harness the latent power provided by the terroir, but temper it so that the terroir could fully express itself. The terroir itself is extraordinary: hillsides around the town of Suvereto. The zone’s petrified clay soils, and its proximity to the sea, give a startling intensity of flavor to wines. It’s little wonder that a half dozen estates have sprung up over the past 20 years though, by contrast, most are planted in the heavier clays of the valley floor. His obsession is such that we find few others with which to compare him. But he perhaps most reminds us of the great Montalcino iconoclast Gianfranco Soldera. Like Soldera, Chiarelotto remains driven by his own philosophies, possessing an obsessive commitment to quality, with an apparent disinterest in what others think of him or his wines."
Farming: Biodynamic Varietal: 40-45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Montepulciano, and the balance Sangiovese, Marselan and Alicante Bouschet
Aging: 4 months in 2nd use barriques
Production: Limited at 2,500 dozen