Today’s post is about the wines I tasted from the Consorzio Vini Cortona this past February during the Anteprime Toscane week. I visited Cortona during the summer of 2016 when staying in Montepulciano at my friend, Susanna Crociani’s agriturimo, Il Cantastorie. The town was incredibly interesting on very steep hills with an amazing Etruscan museum that I loved and which had a remarkable chandelier I will never forgot from Etruscan times 8th to 3rd century B.C., pre-Roman peoples in Central Italy. My Mom studied Etruscan history in graduate school and it all is quite familiar to me from childhood.
Cortona is very well known to many people as the home of the author of “Under the Tuscan Sun” and to me and many of his fans, as the home of Jovanotti or Lorenzo as he sometimes likes to be called. All that said, Cortona is a very old city and was very important during the Etruscan age. It sits on a hill of 585 meters and overlooks the Valdichiana.
Many producers planted Syrah years ago thanks to the microclimate and the soils and it has really become the signature grape of this corner of Tuscany. The Cortona DOC which encompasses about 300 hectares is mainly planted with Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese.
I have had a number of wines made in the area, specifically from Baracchi. They own a beautiful winebar on the corner of the main street in Cortona and the name Baracchi is hard to ignore in this beautiful city. I tried their Smeriglio made with Syrah and really enjoyed it.
During the Anteprime, I had the occasion to try wines from some other producers, such as the Klanis 2012 Syrah DOC from Dal Cero. It was richly layered and complex, a big wine, I was ready for a steak followed by a nap after tasting these wines. The Dal Cero family had three wineries in Italy, two in the Veneto and Tenuta Montecchiesi in Tuscany which they purchased in 1980. The third generation is currently running the winery. Klanis is their flagship wine made with Syrah grown on bush vines on clay soils. The area has great thermal excursion and the vines achieve optimum phenolic ripeness.
I also tried a couple of the wines from the Antinori property, La Braccesca, in this area. La Braccesca has a total of 508 hectares. About 103 hectares are planted to grapes that are used in the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG and another 237 hectares are planted to Syrah grapes, near the town of Cortona.
I like Bramasole 2012 Cortona Syrah DOC with its cooked fruit and spicy notes as well as a hint of tobacco and cedar. I also really enjoyed the Achelo 2016 Cortona Syrah DOC with its soft, pepper nose and layered, accessible palate.
All in all I really liked the wines from this DOC, particular and requiring food, I think they might be a nice pairing for a Christmas roast.