2013 Colle Santa Mustiola (Fabio Cenni), IGT Sangiovese Toscana "Vigna Flavia"
2013 Colle Santa Mustiola (Fabio Cenni), IGT Sangiovese Toscana "Vigna Flavia"

2013 Colle Santa Mustiola (Fabio Cenni), IGT Sangiovese Toscana "Vigna Flavia"

Tuscany, Italy 2013 (750mL)
Regular price$55.00

2013 Colle Santa Mustiola (Fabio Cenni), IGT Sangiovese Toscana "Vigna Flavia"

 No, folks, the price for this 2013 is not a misprint. And yes, folks, the wine is in pristine, direct-from-the-winery condition. And finally, although Colle Santa Mustiola may be headquartered in the relatively out-of-the-way Valdichiana, this isn’t some unknown, upstart Tuscan winery: The estate’s “top” wine, Poggio ai Chiari, has been a benchmark expression of Sangiovese since it was first introduced in the 1990s. Sitting alongside Poggio ai Chiari in the concise Santa Mustiola lineup is today’s wine, “Vigna Flavia,” a profound Sangiovese in its own right from a tiny single vineyard. This is Sangiovese with a capital “S,” from a vintner, Fabio Cenni, who has been quite single-minded in his focus on the variety. At 10+ years of age the wine is singing a dramatic aria, and it’s well-structured enough to keep holding that note for many years to come. The bottom line is this: It comes to us direct from the winery and it’s an unparalleled value. At this price, we can all afford to call ourselves “wine collectors.” Don’t delay!

Sometimes, the importers we work with make it so easy for us: Sure, we would have loved to travel to Tuscany to taste the wine in the cellar firsthand, but instead, someone else did that—then walked a bottle right through our front door in Sonoma, California. In this case, it was a 100% Sangiovese wine sourced from a vineyard in the village of Chiusi, a town in the southern part of Tuscany hard by the regional border with Umbria. Chiusi is one of the key towns in the Valdichiana, a part of Tuscany that was once an ancient seabed. Today, the area includes a network of lakes, including Lake Chiusi and Lake Trasimeno, and the soils are a little richer than those found further north in the assorted “Chianti” appellations. Cenni’s vineyards in Chiusi do reach some decent altitudes (about 300 meters), with soils composed of clay, sand, and pebbly limestone gravel. The two-hectare site that produces “Vigna Flavia” has a northeasterly aspect, which helps to preserve a more balanced ripeness of the fruit.

Cenni’s winery and cellar is housed in a beautiful, ancient cave that is thought to be of Etruscan origin, and everything at Colle Santa Mustiola is done on an artisanal scale (he only farms about five hectares of vineyards in total). For Vigna Flavia, Cenni takes a very long, slow approach: fermentation is initiated spontaneously, with ambient yeasts, and the wine is aged nearly five years in Slavonian oak casks—then another two years in bottle!—before its release.

Sangiovese lovers will note that this wine is structured like a Brunello di Montalcino—it has plenty of muscle and depth, but also lots of nice high notes to the aromatics. The wine fairly screams “Sangiovese”: It displays a still-youthful garnet color with only slight bricking at the rim, with a textbook array of sweet/savory sensations: deep black cherry, blood orange peel, bay leaf, leather, underbrush, and crushed rock. It is medium-plus in body and responds well to a brief decant (watching for slight sediment) before service. For this one, keep the pairing simple and classic: it is crying out for a well-charred steak. Sip slowly and enjoy this Sangiovese Master Class. You won’t soon forget it!

2013 Colle Santa Mustiola (Fabio Cenni), IGT Sangiovese Toscana "Vigna Flavia"

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