2019 Piaggia Pietranera

92
AG
As low as $17.99
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Product ID
2019-piaggia-pietranera

Wine Critic Reviews for 2019 Piaggia Pietranera

The 2019 Pietranera is a terrific introduction to these wines. Ample, fruity and so alluring, the 2019 offers tons of immediacy and sheer charm. Juicy dark cherry, mocha, licorice and leather are all kicked up in this bold, juicy red.

Antonio Galloni | 92 AG

Wine Details on 2019 Piaggia Pietranera

More Information
Producer Piaggia
Region Tuscany: Italian culture worships the concept of a shared meal, and their wines scream for a chance to be uncorked with your friends and family. The region's Mediterranean climate and hilly landscape combine to create a beautiful viticultural environment, where every chosen grape is brought to its full potential and transmuted into drinks worthy of gods. The vineyards are planted along the higher reaches of the hill slopes, creating a gorgeous view of the Italian landscape.

Once your lips kiss the wine, you're sent spiraling down a veritable whirlpool of pure flavor, touching upon notes of sensuous cherry, nuts, floral hints and undertones of honey and minerals. The wines can be as sweet as a fresh summer romance, and carry an air of dignity and elegance about them that can stimulate your intellect for months as you contemplate the seemingly infinite intricacies and details in the texture. Tuscany is an important part of Italian viticulture, and sampling their wines is the closest you can get to visiting this heavenly region and experiencing the culture.
Country Italy: What are the first things that come to mind when thinking about Italy and Italian culture? There's one thing that nearly everyone tends to mention, it's the food - and where there's fine food, there is almost always fine wine. Italy is the most prolific wine region in the world, outclassing even France in terms of production quantity. Even if you're a complete wine novice, you have almost certainly heard of names such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most famous wine styles. When it comes to soil composition and other geographical characteristics, Italy offers a lot of diversity, and this never fails to show in the wines themselves.
Type of Wine Super Tuscan/IGT: Many grape varietals are planted all over the world so they're not typical for one single country anymore. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc form part of many blends coming from different countries. Super Tuscan wines are produced in this Italian region, but grape varietals used in the making are not indigenous - those are mostly Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Varietal Cabernet Franc: Much like Merlot, the Cabernet Franc grape variety has been quietly providing the backbone for some of the greatest wines in the Right Bank of Bordeaux, most notably Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Ausone. It has played the supporting role in most cases but is important to note that its role is an important one. It is one of the three major varietals used for blending Bordeaux wines (along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and has proved its importance over a very long history. Cabernet Franc parented the highly popular and most planted varietal in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the Bordeaux varietals of Merlot and Carmenere.

It is speculated that the Basque Country, in the western Pyrenees, is the birthplace of Cabernet Franc. This area straddles the border of France and Spain and is one of Europe’s oldest and strongest cultures. The varietal has greatly influenced winemaking in both countries, used in blending as well as single-varietal bottlings. The soil in this region is considered poor with high clay content, which is actually good given the vines tenacity and ability to grow vigorously in many soil types in both cool and warm climates. Studies by UC Davis confirm that it is ill-advised to plant Cabernet Franc in highly fertile, deep soils.

Cabernet Franc’s true date of origin is unknown; however, it far precedes its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon, which began to appear in the 17th century. It would become popular in the 1600s in the Loire Valley France, where it is still very much used to this day. In fact it is the most important red grape variety in Loire. Cabernet Franc ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes it perfectly suited to its cooler temperatures. It would take another hundred years before its arrival to Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

France alone, is in possession of half the world’s Cabernet Franc vines. It has been a staple in Right Bank, covering massive amounts of hectares of vineyards and used in blending some of the greatest wines in the region. The tremendous vineyards of Chateau Cheval Blanc in Saint Emilion are planted to at least 55% Cabernet Franc, while Chateau Ausone is planted to over 52% of the varietal. The widely popular Pomerol, Chateau Lafleur is planted to 50% Cabernet Franc. Some of the greatest wine producers in the Right Bank rely on the Cabernet Franc growing in their vineyards for their continued success.

Though Cabernet Franc is not amongst the “sexy” category of grapes, it can be described as the feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon. As world-renowned Jancis Robinson states, “it is subtly fragrant and gently flirtatious rather than massively muscular and tough in its youth.” This thin-skinned grape produces wines of high quality with the characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon but not of high color or tannins. The varietal ages rapidly in warmer regions, which interestingly brings California into the fray. UC Davis researchers concluded in a 1963 study that California was not a suitable location for planting Cabernet Franc due to its warmer climate; nevertheless it was planted in the late 1960s in Napa Valley. Originally, the idea for blending Cabernet Franc was to allow the wine itself to age quicker, making it immediately accessible to American consumers with less patience. Over the years the varietal has been re-evaluated and has begun to take on a larger role in California winemaking. Producers such as Viader’s almost-cult bottling is around 50% Cabernet Franc.

Today, Cabernet Franc is found in terroir hotspots (figuratively) around the world in mostly cooler climates and used in both blended and single-varietal bottlings. It has been flying under the radar helping to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. It assumes the under-appreciated, rarely thought of component which has quietly changed the landscape of winemaking and growing, greatly impacting the world of wine.

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