Monday, November 26, 2012

Updated Review: *** $ Vitiano Cabernet Sauvignon - Sangiovese - Merlot, Umbria, Italy, 2007 = BEST VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts: Umbria, just east of Tuscany and a land-locked region of Italy's "boot", generates some intriguing, and often value-priced, red varietals. 

Original tasting and review, August, 2011: This is Vitiano Cabernet Sauvignon - Sangiovese - Merlot, Umbria, Italy, 2007, finished at 13.5% alcohol.  It is a highly-rated bargain wine which has been cellared to a point four years from its vintage date. 

In the glass: Vitiano is deep velvet burgundy, almost opaque in the middle.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows deep, rich plums with a hint of cocoa.  From the aroma, seems like this will be soft and easy-going.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact balanced, bright red and black fruits in the mid-palate, with an interesting wrapper of gently "popping" acids - almost effervescent - and just enough tannin grit to lend real substance.  Ripe plums with a tiny streak of charcoal run into the sides of your mouth, and settle for the modest finish, which is completely clean.

In summary: Overall, rates a full three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a best value at its very modest price. Following long decant, full day in partially filled bottle at room temperature:  A little grittier now on the nose.  Still very solid and consistent on the palate. 

Stephen Tanzer rated this an impressively high 91 points, saying, "Ridiculously dark black-ruby color. Pretty aromas of cassis, black plum and earth, with a pronounced vanilla presence that does not overpower the fruit. Rich and densely packed, with distinctly ripe flavors of black fruits, raisin and chocolate lifted by an intriguing balsamic vinegar note. This finishes lighter than it starts, with welcome acidity nicely delineating the borderline-overripe fruit. Finishes creamy and long. This is a lot of wine for the money."

Updated review, well over a year later,  November, 2012:  Consistent color.  Deep, rich plum and chocolate aroma.  Soft and mellow red and black fruits in the mid-palate.  Still bright fragrant aromatics.  Rock solid three stars, includes significant pleasantness, even after five full years of age.  I just purchased a younger vintage of Vitiano Umbria and will look forward to making the comparative tasting soon.

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