Monday, March 20, 2006


I love California wines and nothing garners more attention than California Cabernet. Some people rave and gravitate toward single vineyard, while others argue that red blends are superior. I am more of a fan of red blends or meritages, a mix of different varietals that creates beautiful synergy in a glass.

However, when it comes to California Cabernet based Meritages there aren't too many available to the average consumer. What you will find is high quality, but very expensive wine. So here's an alternative, Luce Lucente 2001. But that's an Italian wine, you say? Indeed, but it comes from a joint venture of famous Napa family Robert Mondavi and the Marchesi de' Frescobaldi family of Tuscany, Italy. Best of all, is that this wine is readily available. You can find it pretty much everywhere.


The Lucente is 45% Sangiovese but this ain't no wicker basket Chianti. This is an absolutely ENORMOUS wine. The 45% Merlot and 10% Cabernet round this one off giving it a deep black color, a rich cherry taste, some nice oak and sweet berry flavors and the ability to stain your teeth. It will benefit from a little cellaring, but it is ready to drink now. It is an incredibly smooth Tuscan delight. It reminded me of the ST. SUPERY MERITAGE

which is a Cab-Merlot-Petite Verdot-Cab Franc blend out of California that sells for $35 - $40. The Lucente can be found for around $22, although I've seen it on sale for less.


92 PTS
Buy 2 bottles of this one. You'll want to enjoy one now and then have one in your cellar to pull out and impress your friends. Who knew Sangiovese could be so impressive?


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