I find that the most precise wines conjure up images of a landscape with each sip. It is as like I can see the soil, the rivers, and the slope of the land in the regions where the vineyards are located as the wine in my glass unfurls. Maybe I just have a vivid imagination, but it happens every time – and it happened when I tasted the Orena Toscana 2010 vintage from Italian winery Tenuta Sette Ponte as well.
A blend of fruity Merlot (50%), acidic, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), and floral Petit Verdot (10%), this smooth and sumptuous Super Tuscan brought to mind the sunny, gentle, vineyard-threaded hills of Tuscany and lines of elegant Cypress trees. Orena Toscana comes under the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designation which means there is a broad scope for creativity in wine production, but standards are high, and quality is central. Vines are planted at high density which results in the best, most intensely flavored fruit.
This blend has fans in high places; acclaimed wine critic James Suckling gave it an outstanding 96 points and Wine Spectator awarded it 94. It is one of the finest Super Tuscans I have tasted.
Here is a fun fact for you; the winery is named after the seven bridges between the Tuscan cities of Florence and Arezzo. One of these, Buriano is next to the estate of Tenuta Sette Ponti. If you want to see it, you only have to take a look at Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”. This famed bridge lies just above her left shoulder.
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Deep ruby red with fast- and slow-moving legs.
On the nose, I could already detect the full and complex character of the wine. Heady dark fruit and truffle notes are laced with violet.
Utterly enchanting, Oreno Toscana sweeps in on the palate with the panache and decision typical of the best Super Tuscans. Black fruit bursts in a big, silky mouth in a masterfully structured wine with grippy, velvety tannins all encased in liquid chocolate tones. Aging in French oak for 18 months adds spicy nuances while at least 12 months of bottle aging enhance the proud and powerful personality of this Italian red even more. Everything is brought seamlessly together in a refined and deliciously never-ending finish. Full-bodied with 14% ABV.
Oreno Toscana matches richly-flavored meat and game dishes plus roasted lamb and poultry. It also pairs beautifully with a cured meat platter. That being said, you can always enjoy a glass of this rich red by itself or with strong cheeses. There is more than enough in there to savor and admire.
Orena Toscana 2010 has enough racy freshness for drinking now but has the tannic structure and flavor profile to enable further bottle aging.