Readers of this column are familiar with the incessant drumbeat of praise for Falesco Vitiano IGT. (See “Another sale on this Hall of Fame value red” and “Is this Italian red the best $7 wine ever?”) It has been consistently good in every vintage since the 1990s yet still costs just $10 or less around here. (Apologies to The Wine Curmudgeon out of Dallas).
So when Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni raved in June issue about a new red blend, Falesco Assisi Rosso DOC Umbria 2009, he had us at “ciao.”
The blend is made from the same three grape types – or varietals, in winespeak – as red Vitiano, but in different proportions. Vitiano is roughly equal parts sangiovese (the grape made famous in the wines of Chianti and Tuscany), merlot and cabernet sauvignon. But Assisi Rosso is mostly sangiovese, with just 20 percent merlot and 10 percent cabernet.
[NOTE: Under Italian law, IGT is short for Indicazione Geografica Tipica, the second of four tiers of wine classification, meant to indicate high quality wine from a specific region, but not conforming to the grape restrictions and other regulations that apply to wines entitled to the DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata – designation.]
And not only has this new $16 Falesco red landed at Calvert Woodley, it’s on sale for just $12.99. (Compare prices or find this wine online or at a wine shop near you nationwide.)
“The 2009 Assisi Rosso is a new wine from Falesco,” wrote Gilloni, awarding it 90 points. “Interestingly, the Assisi Rosso shows more Sangiovese character than the estate's pure Sangiovese.
“Sweet tobacco, underbrush, licorice and cherries flow from this beautifully delineated, layered wine. This is another strong effort from Falesco.”
He called the wine, which he projects will drink well for another seven years, “a terrific value” at its release price of $16 a bottle, which also happens to be its average price on wine-searcher.com.
“Nice new wine from Falesco. Love the way Merlot performs in the Umbrian terrior and adds some body to Sangiovese,” opines a cellartracker.com user who posts tasting notes under the name, sirwine, and scores the Falesco Assisi 88 points. “I enjoyed the bottle and see it as a well-priced alternative to a lot of the Super-Tuscans.”
Indeed, the so-called Super Tuscans can be super expensive. So $13 for a brand new wine is hardly a gamble, given its distinguished value pedigree. You’re not likely to be disappointed.
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