IGT Lazio rosso, Villa Caviciana, 2013
The marriage of Bordeaux grapes in Lazio is rather uncommon. The result is not for the faint hearted. Even the aficionados of very powerful wines are advised to decant this wine at least for an hour before tasting. Full-bodied, it fills the palate intensively with powerful tannins; the juiciness is assured by its acidity. One encounters in the mouth the same aromas already felt in the nose (among others dried pear, fig, dates, pepper, cloves, laurel, roasted almonds and cacao). In conclusion, it’s a very complex wine, with a rather rustic character but well worth discovering.
|Origin:||Italien / Lazio|
|Site / vineyard:||Gradoli|
|Grape variety:||Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot|
|Ripening potential:||3 to 10 years|
|Serving temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Brasato di manzo al Barolo, Châteaubriand, Filet Wellington, Roasted lamb gigot, Beef Stroganoff, Bistecca fiorentina, T-Bone steak, Hearty stew with pulses|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank|
|Maturation:||in partly new and used barriques/ Pièces, some months bottle storage before sale|
|Maturation duration:||30 months|
Italy – Where wine is a way of life
The Italian wine regions are extremely diverse, and this is made clear in their wines. Established varieties such as Merlot, Syrah, and Sauvignon can be found on just 15 percent of the total vine growing area. The remaining 85 percent is reserved for autochthonous, indigenous varieties. More than 2,000 different grape varieties are grown under diverse conditions and pressed with various techniques into wines that reach the top tier of the international wine market.
When, in the early morning, the sun slowly rises over the glittering mirror-smooth water of the Bolsena Lake, and the first blaring of the sheep, the quiet meowing of the domestic cat and the cheerful chirping of birds break the peaceful silence, then one understands that some people have found here their paradise on earth. Away from the big mass tourism of the coast, only an hour's drive away, in still largely intact nature, the lake spreads out in the charming hilly landscape, sometimes calm, sometimes foaming up, wild like the sea.
Before the Romans, Lazio was the land of the Etruscans. Time and again one comes across contemporary witnesses of that culture. The name Caviciana is derived from the ancient Etruscan name of the area where the vines grow today. The sphinx that adorns the name is a delicate Etruscan sculpture found in the surrounding caves. It stands for immortality.
Merlot is the most charming member of the Bordeaux family. It shines with rich colour, fragrant fullness, velvety tannins and sweet, plummy fruit. It even makes itself easy for the vintner, as it matures without issue in cool years as well. This is in contrast to the stricter Cabernet Sauvignon, which it complements as a blending partner. Its good qualities have made the Merlot famous worldwide. At over 100,000 hectares, it is the most-planted grape in France. It also covers large areas in California, Italy, Australia and recently in Eastern Europe. The only catch is that pure Merlot varieties rarely turn out well. Its charm is often associated with a lack of substance. Only the best specimens improve with maturity. They then develop complex notes of leather and truffles. This succeeds in the top wines from the Bordeaux appellation of Pomerol and those from Ticino, among others.
The backbone of Bordeaux
The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the Bordeaux its backbone, yielding deep violet wines with powerful tannins and endless ripening potential. It is the top dog in Médoc, and is placed in all five premier crus of Bordelais. When young, it often appears strict and unapproachable, but with advancing years, its tannins round off. It is wonderfully velvety, and yet always maintains its freshness. Typical flavours include cassis, graphite and cedar. Wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is found, Merlot is not far away. It complements the robust structure of Cabernet with softness, fruit and richness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-exported vine in the world. It delivers persuasive qualities in Italy as an ingredient of the Super Tuscan, or as the flagship variety from California. There, it is lovingly titled “Cab Sauv”. Meat fans should be aware that it fantastically accompanies a grilled entrecôte. The family tree of Cabernet Sauvignon is surprising: its parents are Cabernet Franc and the white Sauvignon blanc.
Forefather of the Bordeaux varieties
The Cabernet Franc is one of the oldest varieties of Bordelais and a parent of three other red grapes in the Bordeaux assortment: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. It is distinguished by its complex, flavourful bouquet of raspberry, graphite, violet, liquorice and white pepper. In addition, it presents round, crisp tannins which turn out less strongly than those of Cabernet Sauvignon. While the Cabernet Franc always appears as part of a blend in Bordeaux, it is pressed alone on the Loire. The most renowned appellations are Chinon and Bourgueil. Incidentally, the Cabernet originates not in Bordeaux but in the Spanish Basque Country. Cabernet owes its name to the Latin “carbon”, meaning black.