Other wines tasted: 2004 Piano del Cipresso Toscana Rosso, 2004 Il Tesoro Merlot Toscana Rosso. (Empson U.S.A., Alexandria, VA)
Other recommended wines: 2005 Scassino Chianti Classico (86).
($29; 97% sangiovese with 3% canaiolo nero) Medium ruby-red. Extremely ripe and sweet aromas of black cherry, mocha and blackberry syrup. A modern-style wine that leads with its fruit, coating the palate with fleshy, ripe cherry, plum, chocolate and spice flavors. This is very appealing and deceptively long, though almost too obviously sweet and round. But as lush as it is, there's plenty of inner-mouth energy thanks to bright acidity that nicely frames the fruit, and suave tannins.
($40; a blend of 70% sangiovese and 30% cabernet sauvignon) Saturated dark ruby with blackish highlights. Pungent aromas of black fruits, black pepper and licorice are complicated by a distinctly menthol edge. Broad and uncompromisingly dry in the mouth, with flavors of spice, licorice and iodine-rich herbs. A hint of drying tannins gives this moderately long wine a slightly austere quality.
($67; 90% cabernet sauvignon with 10% merlot) Slightly roasted aromas of dark raspberry, black cherry, sandalwood and graphite, plus a whiff of coffee liqueur. Made in a soft and supple style with broad international appeal, this is sweet on entry, then turns a bit muscular in the middle, with only modest persistence to its cherry, coffee and prune flavors.
($68) Bright medium ruby. Pungent but rather elegant aromas of fresh raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and dark plum are nicely lifted by an enticing menthol note. On the palate this is juicy yet firm, with good precision to its dark berry and herbal flavors. Though the aromas and flavors run deep, there is none of the in-your-face sweetness exhibited by the 2004 Campaccio or Ceppate, as this shows very good restraint and verve. The moderately persistent finish features fine-grained, building tannins.