Tag Archives: Toscana

All About Aragone

ImageLa MozzaΒ was founded in 2000 after our esteemed consultant and agronomist, Maurizio Castelli was informed by his talented winemaker son Simone (owner and winemaker at Podere 414) that there was a lovely vineyard for sale just over the hill from his own…Image

Morellino di Scansano was the first logical step, but a flagship wine was in order. The idea of a “Super-Tuscan” was obvious, but the approach needed to be different.

The area of the Maremma is much hotter and drier than the central part of Tuscany where haunting mists cling to the vineyards in the mornings. Maremma has a more Mediterranean climate, so rather than fall into the usual “Sangiovese + (Bordeaux) = SuperTuscan” formula, Maurizio looked at grape varieties that thrive in hot, dry climates. Maurizio explained that the culture of winemaking had disappeared in this area after the Etruscans disappeared, until the Spanish revived it there 400 years ago. So the idea of a “Super-Mediterranean” was born: 40% Sangiovese holds down the fort for Tuscany, with 25% of Syrah representing southern France, 25% of Alicante connecting with Spain, and a dash of 10% Carignan to represent Sardinia.

The result is a ripe red with body and structure that doesn’t come off jammy or cloying… Spicy and earthy and brooding… Velvety tannins, supple acidity and plenty of complexity that never tires out the palate.

And the goodness doesn’t stop there… Just last week we had the biggest Aragone competitive tasting EVER here at the winery in Friuli..

Image(L toΒ R:Β Gabriele Gadenz, Winemaker La Mozza – Emilio Del Medico, winemaker Bastianich – Maurizio Castelli, superconsultant)

We BLIND-TASTED 2 vintages of Aragone against some of the heaviest hitters in all of Tuscany (Tignanello, Paleo, Ca’ Marcanda (Gaja), Grattamacco, Saffredi to name just a few!) and we noticed a couple of things:

–We could have stayed there tasting for hours. Maurizio commented that for these wines at this level and seeing how the wines developed in the glass over time, we SHOULD have spent another THREE HOURS examining these wines.

–All of these wines were very good. The general level of quality was quite high and the difference between the best and the worst was not very large.

–The key to success in this category is over-delivering on price… And for that, Aragone won hands down.

Everyone’s notes rated Aragone 2007 or 2008 in the top 4 or 5 wines. But then factor in price and we could only conclude that in terms of absolute quality, the ROI on spending 2 or 3 or 5 TIMES the money for one of those big names just isn’t worth it. Aragone was the best way to get a great “Super-Tuscan experience” without spending tons of $$$.

We liked that.