Wherever there are aristocrats, there are those who would like a share of the spoils and, whilst many of the contenders in our second case are not so young, they are pretenders to the crown of Tuscan wine.
Just as with the aristocrats, our pretenders are varied both in the grapes that they employ and in their wine-making styles.
2015 Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore
Guado al Tasso Superiore is a classic Medoc grape blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a little Petit Verdot) from the Antinori stable and is an excellently made wine. 100% new oak is used in every vintage.
The warm 2015 summer produced very ripe fruit, and this is perhaps the most opulent of the Bolgheri wines in this vintage, which drew a correspondingly high 97 points from Mr Parker.
We would expect this wine to improve over the next 10-20 years.
2015 Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore
Argentiera is another Bordeaux blend from Bolgheri, with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. 50% new oak is used.
This independent vineyard is still part owned by the wine-making family but has recently received significant investment from an Austrian industrialist.
The 2015 is another rich wine, in the mould of the Guado Al Tasso, but is a little more baked and has less finesse. It is still a good wine, or we wouldn’t be adding it to one of our mixed cases, but there was a little surprise at Nemo HQ that it received a near-perfect 99 point score from one well-known critic. But perhaps our palettes missed something that your palette won’t.
It is perhaps best drunk in the next 2-3 years.
2015 Grattamacco Bolgheri Superiore
Grattamacco blends traditional Sangiovese into the Bordeaux grape mix but still uses 50% new oak. It is part of ColleMassari Wine Estates, who also have estates in Brunello and Montalcino.
As with all the 2015 Bolgheris, there is very evident fruit but this time the fruit is slightly softer (everything is relative) than some of its neighbours.
We would expect this to be fine for another 5-8 years.
2015 Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT
We are now heading inland to the hills of central Tuscany, and abandoning Bordeaux grapes for a 100% traditional Tuscan Sangiovese.
Now you may well ask how does a Sangiovese wine get to be a Super Tuscan, and the answer is that it, like all the others, broke the appellation rules and so therefore could not be called Chianti. It broke the rules in entirely the opposite direction by using 100%, un-blended Sangiovese.
Isole e Olena do make traditional Chianti Classico and, in fact, Chianti might well have settled into wine tourism obscurity had it not been for their improvisation and focus on quality over the last 50 years.
2015 was perhaps an even better vintage in the hills than on the coast and this wine may well have a lot more to give and a lifespan of 15-20 years.
2015 Duemani Duemani Costa Toscana IGT
Sticking to single grape varieties now, this is 100% Cabernet Franc and therefore the Tuscan Coast approach to Saint Emilion wine.
Duemani are two hands, or two people: Elena Celli and Luca D’Attoma, and therefore the polar opposites of some of the bigger producers listed here.
The 2015 Duemani Cabernet Franc is perhaps the easiest wine to like from this case but, we believe, may well develop into the most refined over the next 10-15 years.
2015 Donna Olimpia Orizzonte Toscana
We’re continuing with single grape varieties but this time a more obscure one: a 100% Petit Verdot, and continuing in the Super Tuscan tradition of breaking rules, this one is breaking even the now broad rules of the Bolgheri DOC. So this could potentially be considered to be a Super Super Tuscan.
2015 was the first vintage of this immense wine, which is produced in extremely small quantities by the Donna Olimpia estate, which is surrounded by the Ornellaia, Sassicaia, and Guado al Tasso vineyards in the centre of the Bolgheri basin.
Petit Verdot is a difficult grape to make varietal wine from, and other examples we have tried from around the world have not been that successful, but this is a well-balanced wine for all its intensity and we look forward to learning more about what an exceptional wine we believe it will become over the next 10-20 years.