The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Grattamacco and…Grattamacco!

Posted on | August 5, 2015 | Written by David Gwo | No Comments

David Gwo 12.8.14One of the most well-known categories of wine to come out of Tuscany are known as the “Super Tuscans.” These wines are often Bordeaux-style blends that consist of international varietals, often in combination with Tuscany’s famous red grape Sangiovese. At the time when this category was beginning to emerge, Bordeaux was considered the pinnacle of collectible and age-worthy wine. The Super Tuscan was Italy’s answer to Bordeaux, it said “Hey, we can do Cabernet Sauvignon based wines just as well as Bordeaux!”

My selections today feature a Super Tuscan called Grattamacco from two different vintages. Grattamacco is one of the originals, joining names like Tenuta San Guido’s Sassicaia and Antinori’s Tignanello. However, unlike those wines, Grattamacco lies “under the radar.” Made by ColleMassari, who also produces the awe-inspiring Poggio di Sotto Brunello, Grattamacco’s Bolgheri Rosso Supierore is a wine I’m very fond of. Stylistically, Grattamacco is similar to Tignanello because it incorporates Sangiovese as part of its blend. If we’re going to talk about exclusivity though, production of Tignanello can reach 10,000+ cases in a good vintage. By comparison, Grattamacco rarely exceeds 4,000 cases.

Of the two vintages, the 2008 is just now entering a window of drinkability, while the 2011 will require a few more years in the cellar. I own the 2008 myself; it’s a beautiful wine, and you can be sure the 2011 will be entering my collection for down the road!

Grattamacco 2008 Bolgheri Rosso Superiore $89.00

The 2008 is really beginning to show its stuff. A couple of years ago when I first tasted this wine it was firmly structured, but possessed a dimension of elegance and balance, that was backed by good concentration and depth of flavor. Today, all of those components are rounding into form, resulting in a wine that is enjoyable now, but can be held for years to come.

Grattamacco 2011 Bolgheri Rosso Superiore $89.99

I first tasted this vintage late last year and it was a powerhouse. The tannins and oak were at the forefront, but if you searched past that initial punch, all the characteristics needed for positive development were there. The flavors of dark cherry and berry fruit were complimented by notes of licorice, balsam, and spice. Once all of the components begin to integrate, this will undoubtedly be another successful vintage of this “in-the-know” Super Tuscan!


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