Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Falesco Vitiano 2007 - Umbria

I have to say that I tasted the Falesco Vitiano 2007 with some rather high expectation for a bottle that retails for around $9. The very stingy critic Stephen Tanzer gave this wine a glowing review with a 91 point rating which is just about unheard of for something in this price range. After tasting it, I am not completely in agreement with Mr. Tanzer, but I do think that this wine is a decent value.

This Umbrian Rosso is made from 34% Sangiovese and 33% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In your glass you get intensely dark purple color. The bouquet is dominated by blackberry and cassis with a little bit of leather to it. On the palate you get blackfruit flavors which are primarily cassis with some black cherry, and there is also some earthiness that I found to be just a little bit off . The Sangiovese did contribute some pleasant acidity to the blend. The other flaw I found with this wine was the tannins. They were too chalky and bitter for my taste. I'm a guy that generally likes strong tannins, but in this case they put the wine out of balance, especially on the finish. This Rosso had a finish with some nice length to it, but the chalky, almost astringent tannins overpowered the other flavors which were present but very subtle.

Overall, the Falesco Vitiano is still a good value when you consider the $9 price tag, but it is nowhere near the 91 point score that Stephen Tanzer gave it - probably more in the 85 to 87 range if I had to put a score to it. My recommendation is to really let this decant a long time, at least 3 hours, to let those tannins mellow out a little bit.

As far as food goes, this would pair best with aged Italian cheese like a Parmigiano Reggiano or a Pecorino.

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