Daily Wine Review: A Frescobaldi power-packed red Tuscan

To my readers: The Wine of the Day feature in my virtual wine cellar has fallen prey to hackers and for now must be displayed in the regular blog space.

Wine of the Day:

Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Tenuta Frescobaldi Castiglioni Toscana IGT 2010, $25

Frescobaldi is a magic name in Tuscan wine production. This special bottling from Castiglioni is a blend of 50 percent Caberent Sauvignon and 30 percent Merlot, filled out with Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. It’s a brooding, power-packed, earthy blend woven with spicy oak. Think intense cherry, dark currant, dark plum, cranberry and brown cooking spices. It’s made off the family’s oldest wine estate southwest of Florence, where wines were produced as early as 1300. It carries the government designation “IGT” (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), which indicates the wine is of very high quality from a very specific region but does not meet the requirements of the stricter DOC or DOCG designations that protect the formulations of classic wines like Chianti or Barolo. Previously, these IGT wines were called “Super Tuscan.”

Thinking Easter wines?

Easy drinking, food-friendly “Red Blend” wines are on fire in the marketplace and not just in the U.S. but the whole world.

Most are reasonably priced, often exude a bit more sweetness (or the impression of it) and give winemakers greater flexibility in coming up with enticing new tastes.

Cabernet Sauvignon used to be the lead grape in red blends, but today’s new wines might be led by Sangiovese, Syrah, or Merlot.

Most recently I reviewed the Red Wine Blend from Gascon in Argentina.

Not to be outdone, Bella Sera — the value-priced line from Italy — has one too, for about $7.99. I predict its bold, rich flavors will make it a hit.

The new wine is rolling out nationwide now.

Bella Sera Red Blend Italy: It’s dark as midnight, with aromas of crushed blueberries, dark plums, cocoa. Flavors are robust and mouth-filling; the style is soft and easy drinking with supple tannins. It’s a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Bonarda, Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Montepulciano and other grapes. It even packs some heft at 13.5 percent. It’s a crowd-pleasing style of red wine.

(Courtesy E.and J. Gallo)

(Courtesy E.and J. Gallo)