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November 30, 2012

Fattoria del Cerro's best effort yet with this series

Although people express themselves in different ways, one of the most common requests that we get here at WineX is a recommendation to go with Italian food. Unless they specify, however, we usually direct them to something user-friendly and not too expensive (it would be nice if it had a good review as well). Nothing goes better with Italian food than Italian reds. The bright flavors and slightly lifted styles are a near perfect match for the sauces, meats, pastas, and salumis of the genre. Given all that people expect from a simple wine purchase, there are only a few wines (such as a good vintage of Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile) that are slam-dunks for all of the criteria. Fleshy and accessible (yet very 'Italian') with plenty of flavor interest for a modest fare. This wine pushes all of the buttons.

Fattoria del Cerro is the largest private estate to produce Vino Nobile with 230-acres of its land dedicated to this specific wine out of its large estate (almost 1,500 acres). The vineyards sit at around 1,200-feet in elevation and provides the perfect environment for the local clone of Sangiovese (called Prugnolo Gentile) to thrive. The grape varietal makes up 90% of the blend along with Colorino and Mammolo.

Fattoria del Cerro has been a hit here on several occasions in the past. It looks a little different since it used to be gray, but the winery has kicked-up the color and livened up the package. However, inside is the same 'Cerro,' which has hit 90 or more in Wine Advocate in five of the last seven vintages with this one receiving the highest mark. A core of dark fruits, fresh, wild herbs, leather, and earth entice both the nose and the palate. Although the wine could possibly use a few more years in the cellar, the tannins are already polished thanks to the ripe vintage and it's ready for consumption now. With an Advocate 92, a Suckling 91, and a sub-$15 price tag, this is definitely something you can have with your weeknight pizzas and pastas without breaking the bank, but it is also good enough to play on the weekends.


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