These are remarkable wines that are very hard to pigeonhole. On paper, they aren’t really my thing: we are looking at Bordeaux grape varieties, grown in Tuscany, and weighing in at 15.5 and 16% alcohol. And they cost a LOT of money. But they are compelling wines, even though the price tags are hefty indeed.
Andrea Franchetti first planted vines here in the Orica valley in 1992, at altitude. He takes miserly yields from his vines, and his emphasis is on Cabernet Franc and Merlot at the expense of Cabernet Sauvignon. I would love to put the boot into high alcohol Bordeaux variety wines like these, but I can’t, because they are really, really good.
Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi 2010 IGT Toscana, Italy
100% Merlot, 15.5% alcohol, 18 hl/ha, 21 year old vines. Beautifully aromatic with fine, sweet cherry fruit, with a warm herb and wax edge, as well as some liqueur-like qualities. Ripe, smooth, elegant palate is warm and finely spiced with smooth liqueur-like red fruits. Such elegance despite the alcohol. 94/100 (£142 Corney & Barrow)
Tenuta di Trinoro 2010 IGT Toscana, Italy
16% alcohol. 60% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot. This blend changes with vintage, and 2010 was quite cool, so it’s higher in Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Smooth, ripe, pure red cherry and plum nose. Very ripe. The palate is concentrated and mineral with pure, fine-grained, textured red fruits. Warm but fine and elegant. 96/100 (£162 Corney & Barrow)