Now this isn’t a perfect wine. But it’s a very good one, it’s interesting, it’s edgy, and it tastes like the essence of Tuscan Sangiovese.
Sangiovese is not an easy grape. It doesn’t make accessible, fruity wines. It can be difficult, and it has a tendency to err in the direction of drying tannins and away from sweet fruit.
It is perhaps for these reasons that it took me a while to make my mind up about this wine, a 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard on the Panzano property of Frank Grace. After two nights, I have decided that it’s quite serious, but it has edges, and needs food.
Il Molino di Grace Gratius 2006 IGT Toscana, Italy
13.5% alcohol. A really savoury, structured Tuscan Sangiovese. It has a sweetly aromatic, balsamic, tarry edge to the firm black cherry and berry fruits. The palate is dense, grainy and tannic with firm structure and a drying finish, as well as some sleek plum and cherry fruit. In terms of style, this is austere in the same way that a top Barolo would be. Distinctly Italian, distinctly Tuscany and quite individual. 91/100
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3 thoughts on “Serious Sangiovese, Il Molino di Grace Gratius 2006”
Well, Sangiovese does also make those fruity, accessible wines (Maremma, anyone?). It’s just that they usually suck big time.
This is the vineyard’s flagship wine. It’s an IGT but as you correctly point out Jamie, it is distinctly of its place. The winemaker, Giovanni Napolitano, could have used a dollop of Cab Sav or Merlot to round out the edges but I believe it is somewhat better (truer?) without it. The yields per hectare for this wine are tiny, < 20hl and come from 50 year old vines. It gets all the bells and whistles in the maturation phase and the result is a poised and polished example of all that is good about Sangiovese from Tuscany. The rest of the range also excels, with a pronounced familial association. It definitely flys the flag for Chianti and showcases what deep pockets, allied to a sensitive interpretation of grapes; soil; climate and people can achieve.
My favourite from this winery: Il Margone!