Here’s what Snooth editor-in-chief Gregory Dal Piaz had to say yesterday about Il Poggione where the Merlot and Sangiovese for Mazzoni Rosso Toscana are grown side-by-side. Gregory has named Il Poggione one of Snooth’s “Top Ten Sangiovese Producer”. (Snooth is the leading English-language fine wine resource in the world today.)
Il Poggione pumps out predictably reliable wines in rather formidable quantities, ensuring that the wines are both available and affordable. These are rather classic wines, rich yet elegant with lovely fruit and earth tones.
Their line-up includes:
Rosso di Montalcino – Not as easy to find as the Brunello, this is a great introduction to the house style, open and rather silky.
Brunello di Montalcino – Pretty classically styled, this exemplifies what Brunello can be. Softened with oak ageing, yet without any marks of new oak, it’s a wine of lovely fruit and complexity.
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli – A single vineyard wine produced only in the best vintages. This really ratchets up the power and depth from their classic Brunello but is cut from the same cloth.
You don’t need to understand Italian to appreciate this sumptuous, gorgeous video of the Val d’Orcia where Mazzoni Toscana Rosso is grown and vinified.
What is a Super Tuscan?
The term Super Tuscan is believed to have been coined in the 1980s by English-language wine writers.
At that time, the Italian appellation system lacked proper verbiage to classify the many great Cabernets and Merlots that were produced using French techniques in Tuscany. As a result, some of Italy’s most famous wines were labeled as “vino da tavola” or mere “table wine.”
In order to rectify this travesty, writers begin to call these wines “Super Tuscans,” in other words, Tuscans that went above and beyond the call of duty for table wines.
As for its predecessors, Mazzoni cannot be classified as a DOC or DOCG wine in Italy merely because there exists no appellation for it.
It’s a question of semantics: does a rose by any other name smell the same?
In the case of Mazzoni, the answer is YES!
This blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is made from grapes grown in the town of Montalcino, where one of Tuscany’s most famous wines is made, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
Appellation regulations require that Brunello be made from 100% Sangiovese. So, when the winemakers at Mazzoni add some noble Merlot grapes to the blend, they are forced NOT to label their wine as Brunello DOCG.
The grapes for Mazzoni are grown in some of the most famous vineyards in the region. Look for notes of ripe fruit and tobacco and cedar flavor.
No matter what you call it, Mazzoni is Italy’s best-dressed Super Tuscan!