2016 Campo Al Mare Bolgheri Rosso “Super Tuscan”
As early as the 1940s, in the small town of Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast, a quiet, but profound revolution was taking place. This was a revolution of using Bordeaux – French – grape varietals on Tuscan soils. At the time, this practice was not only illegal, but wildly exotic, bordering on a complete waste of time. Indeed. Of the first producers, including the Wine Spectator’s No. 1 Wine of 2018 – Sassicaia, these wines were relegated to the lowly denomination of common “table wine.”
This small village has come a long, long way. Now it is home to some of the absolute top estates in all of Italy, if not the world, including the aforementioned Sassicaia, as well as Ornellaia and Masseto, among many other nobles of the Italian wine world. I’d like to take this email to introduce you to one more that I think competes with those noble wines, yet at a price that can’t be beat – Campo al Mare’s Bolgheri Rosso:
The 2016 vintage opens with a considerable display of black and brambly fruits, grilled herbs, a touch of red licorice and new leather. This wine’s pedigree of being from one of the most famous places to grown Bordeaux varietals – Cabernet, Merlot, etc. – is simply impossible to miss. The palate is loaded with blackberries, cassis, violets and minerals, finishing on a note of intensity and length. In blind tastings, it compares favorably with wines at ten to thirty times its price tag. Youthful now, it’s still exceptionally drinkable, but will be a sleeping treasure three to ten years from now.
Campo al Mare is a relatively new estate (15 vintages old) to the Bolgheri region, but it doesn’t lack for pedigree. Founded by the Folonari family of over 700 years of Chianti Classico winemaking fame, this is a wine that takes their rich history and classic know-how to a new level, using Bordeaux’s ancestral grapes. It remains inherently Italian and also unmistakably delicious for the Bordeaux connoisseur or Napa Cabernet lover. It’s stacked and back and I really don’t believe you can get more money out of a bottle of any other Super Tuscan wine than this. Cheers and happy holidays!
“A juicy and flavorful red with lots of berry and cherry character. Full body and soft and round tannins, not to mention an abundance of ripe fruit. Wait and see. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.”