Stephen's Wine of The Year: Montesecondo Rosso

Posted by CrushWine

I knew Silvio Messana痴 2004 Montesecondo would be my "Wine of the Year" the first time I had it.

A Tuscan red with supercharged fruit, fresh acidity and a thrilling vibrancy, it痴 one of the greatest food wines I致e tasted in 2006. It is honest and unpretentious, a wine that doesn稚 overpower a meal, but perfectly complements it.

Just as the initial producers of the Super Tuscans challenged Italian wine law and suffered the
consequences (their bottles initially could only be sold under the lowliest classification: 天ino da Tavola� - see sidebar), Silvio has followed his own path.

The fact is that the wine was judged too light in color to be awarded the revered Chianti Classico DOC, which it might lay claim to since the fruit for this wine (Sangiovese & Canaiolo) was harvested from the historic zone and it was made largely in the traditional manner.

Instead of adding artificial coloring to get the Chianti Classico designation � a practice that is strangely permitted by Tuscan wine law � Silvio stayed true to his vision and 鍍raditionalist� sensibilities.

So his wine is labeled 的GT� (just one step above the lowliest "Vino da Tavola") with the simple descriptor 典oscano Rosso� � meaning 途ed wine from Tuscany.�

While the fact that the wine is not aged in wood at all could be seen as radical, historically Chianti was aged in large wooden casks, and the effect of the wood was much less intense than the small oak barrels commonly used today.

The 100% stainless steel treatment does, however, mean that the fruit is front-and-center, unflinchingly crisp and pure. (Like eating a raspberry you致e just picked, the sensation is vibrant, a bit sharp and completely satisfying.)

It would be hyperbole to say the wine is "profound" or "spine-tingling." Adjectives like these miss the point of this wine. The staggering quality is the bottle's honesty. It is humble, charming and pure, showcasing pure fruit and sizzling energy with that classic Chianti wild streak.

We have been fans of this wine for a long time and have done everything we could to get as much as possible. When Silvio was in the store this fall, we made arrangements for the final stockpile of this wine - at $14.99, this is one of the best values going.

The 2004 Montesecondo is a clear example of brave winemaking. It's also the perfect wine for any dinner that痴 about good company, not fancy labels and hype.

If you are interested in trying this rebellious red from Tuscany, please respond to this email or call 212.980.9463 as soon as possible.

Drink great wine; support great winemaking!

Stephen Bitterolf
Crush Wine & Spirits


2004 Montesecondo
Toscano Rosso
Crush List Price: $19.99

Crush Wine of the Year Sale Price: $14.99/btl
(net / no further discounts)