There are many reasons why I enjoy my job. At the top of the list is having lunch with an Italian wine maker and friend whilst tasting his portfolio of wines, again. That was my simple pleasure yesterday lunchtime. Giancarlo Guarnieri, the owner and winemaker of Azienda Lanciola was in New York for the day. Lunch was at Osteria del Principe, a favorite hangout of wine aficionados and restaurateurs. During our lunch people would simply appear. Everyone wanted to chat, eat some prosciutto, drink some wine, no one cared about the parking ticket commandant and nether a word about Trump was uttered. It was a great lunch.
Food and friendship aside, one of the wines we revisited was Lanciola’s stunning Super Tuscan. We all know what that term means, but over the years the word has been bastardized to include almost any wine, irrespective of cost, that blends Sangiovese – the key ingredient in Chianti, with a host of other red wines, either indigenous or not. Terricci is Lanciola’s ode to real Super Tuscan. It’s a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It has, IMHO, few peers and trust me, I’ve drunk and tasted a good many Super Tuscans that merit little of the Super and more of the second-rate. I do enjoy good Super Tuscans and I enjoy having them in my cellar because they last. Well beyond the sell-by-date, and my one regret with Lanciola is that I didn’t buy more of his 2001s that are just now coming to the fore.
The Terricci that we opened yesterday was the 2009. A babe in cotton swathing. So many more years to go. I had a quick glance through some critics’ tasting notes on the wine (interestingly in Robert Parker, Galloni called the 1999 “brooding and masculine” and 12 years later Monica Larner called the 2011 “brooding and masculine” – smacks of Melania Trump no? Just further bullshit from the Parker files), and what came through the most was the wines simple complexity. Nice terminology I think. The wine is complex but the clarity of the wine is very simple – it’s a pure, unadulterated fusion of grapes and oak and time that delivers up a wonderful bouquet of pure Tuscany.
Delving into more wine and more prosciutto (have you ever tasted the difference between a 12-month prosciutto and a 24-month prosciutto? OMG – so much umami!) I discovered that Filippo Pistone, Lanciola’s importer to the US, had three vintages of Terricci tucked in the warehouse. Lunch was getting better and better.
I now have the pleasure of offering 3 vintages of the Terricci Super Tuscan. 1999, 2000 and 2009. I want my customers to have the ability to try all three of them. Invite some friends over and open each vintage. Taste test them for yourselves. Buy some more and leave them to age, gracefully, in the cellar until you decide to invite the friends back again! So, here’s the deal:
3 Pack. I bottle each vintage: $60 per - $180 per pack
6 Pack. 2 bottles each vintage: $55 per - $330 per pack
9 Pack. 3 bottles each vintage: $50 per - $450 per pack
12 pack. 4 bottles each vintage: $45 per - $540 per pack
That’s an amazing deal. Let me know what you would like – I’ll collate the orders and have the wines here by early next week. As an aside – I have been selling Giancarlo’s wines at Wine at Five for almost 10 years. His base-line Chianti is our 2nd highest selling wine in the store and every time I receive my allocation of Terricci it is generally sold out before it hits the shelves. This was an opportunity humbly received and accepted during the course of a very simple pleasure. Great food, great wine, great friends.