Our Wine Of The Week is Barone Ricasoli Casalferro 2010. Like most Wine Adventurers, I like to buy wine at the source when visiting fun tasting destinations. This 100% Merlot from the Chianti region of Tuscany was sipped in the winery’s tasting room and shipped home during a trip to Italy in 2015. This is Sangiovese country, but small patches of other grapes are often used to round out 25% or less of blends the region is most famous for. This pure Merlot comes from a single patch of rocky, chalky soil that seems well-suited for the varietal.
The 2010 vintage spent 18 months in 30% new oak barrels to produce a very smooth wine with 14.5% alcohol. Sips reveal hearty red fruits with hints of chocolate. Ratings for the vintage: James Suckling – 94; Robert Parker – 92; Wine Spectator – 91. Unlike Sangiovese-based wines produced in the area that should age 10 to 20 years before drinking, tannins in this Merlot soften to sippable after 6 or 7 years. Retail price at the tasting room was about 2/3 the price charged in U.S. wine shops, though this is one of the more affordable Italian imported wines with consistent 90+ point ratings. The 2010 is difficult to find, but 2013 is available through Wine.com at about $70 and scores are comparable to the 2010 vintage. Check out our Wine Deals page for the current price.
For more about the winery, region and wines, click here: Barone Ricasoli.
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