All Merlot, the 2010 Giorgio Bartholomaus is a wine of soaring aspirations. Many producers have recently joined the race to create the definitive Merlot from coastal Tuscany that may, or may not, one day knock Masseto off its pedestal. This wine makes a concerted effort. It opens with dark, impenetrable density and thickly extracted tones of dark plum, cherry, clove and dark vanilla bean. The mouthfeel is chewy and syrupy: The texture is so thick and prominent, this wine leaves very little to the imagination. It just puts it all out there in one massive serving. A little cellar time should help it settle into more complexity and nuanced layering. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2026.Â
Tenuta Argentiera is a fascinating property that is only at the beginning of what I hope will be a long and successful road ahead. Founded in 1999 in partnership with Piero Antinori, the 72 hectares of vines are just entering their prime production years. As a result, the property has started to release some ambitious new mono-varietal wines. A pure expression of Merlot, the first vintage of Giorgio Bartholomaus was released in 2009 in honor of proprietor Corrado Fratiniâ€™s grandchild. A second wine, the 100% 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Opheliah Maria (dedicated to Corradoâ€™s latest grandchild) will see its debut later in the year.
A polished, opulent red, boasting notes of black cherry, toasty oak, spices and chocolate. Balanced yet firm, with a long finish. This international style won't appeal to everyone, but this is enticing nonetheless. Merlot. Best from 2015 through 2025. 75 cases imported. â€“BS