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Tenuta Renieri Super Tuscan reigns supreme

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The excellent Tenuta Renieri Re Di Renieri IGT Super Tuscan 2009 exemplifies the art of the blend. Although the Renieri winery estate hails from Montalcino, the home of Brunello di Montalcino, and where Sangiovese is the main wine grape, this wine shuns the local grape star and becomes something different. It’s an Italian version of a Bordeaux blend, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot fleshing out the rich body, inflected with a distinctive Tuscan twist.

Typical Tuscan wines, defined by their local DOC/DOCG rules, adhere to a formula, of which Sangiovese is the primary grape. Almost forty years ago, Italian winemakers, who longed to break the rules, blended international grape varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, for example) that flourished in their vineyards, and the “Super Tuscan” wine was born. These high quality wines kick up the expression of the local terroir a notch, and can retail at higher prices than a traditional DOC quality wine.

This complex super Tuscan blend steals the show, swirling its beautiful bouquet of black fruit (blackberry, blueberry, and black cherry), cassis, licorice, leather, mocha, tobacco and spice into an impressive, ethereal nose that captivates and bewitches, a whiff of the ancient Tuscan countryside from which it was born. On the palate, this velvet elixir is intense, beautifully balanced with its depth, acidity, suppleness, and dusty tannins. This dense red wine caresses your mouth, melding the aromas and flavors of fruit, minerals, and savory notes into a nectar of the gods. The gorgeous finish seems to last for an eternity, a delicious echo that fills your senses long after the last sip. James Suckling, the former Wine Spectator editor and Italian wine authority, rated it 95 points, dubbing the Renieri Super Tuscan a “fantastic red”.

The Tenuta Renieri Re Di Renieri IGT Super Tuscan 2009 wine is a great value, drinking at twice the price point quoted by Wine Chateau, who provided the sample for my evaluation. The 2009 vintage is ready to drink when uncorked, decanting is not necessary. It pairs well with grilled and roasted meats, but for me, I enjoyed it most on its own merits, savoring the umami of the sweet intensity, a balanced beauty in a velvet cloak.