Suckling’s “Polished” Italian Value Buy
When you find a plush, 94-point Tuscan red blend selling for under-$20, you pounce, because bottles boasting that kind of value don’t come around often—our last allocation of this disappeared before our eyes, and we’re back to announce we’ve secured the LAST of this astounding wine direct from the winery! After nearly 3,000 bottles sold out in a day, these 400 won’t last, so stock up while you can, and sip a little dolce vita until the next vintage arrives.
The 2015 Petra Zingari Toscana Rosso won a rave review from James Suckling who praised it as “polished and soft” with “a juicy finish.” Those are the sort of critical plaudits that Petra has been collecting for years, with Antonio Galloni declaring: “year after year the wines are reliably outstanding and fairly priced for the neighborhood.” 2015, in particular, was a near-perfect vintage for Tuscany, with some enologists in the region calling it the greatest of their careers, furnishing a class of unforgettable reds characterized by freshness and energy. Luscious, featuring chewy tannins, plus gorgeous red cherry and blueberry aromas, this full-bodied red sets the bar high for weeknight wines in 2019.
In 1997, industrialist Vittorio Moretti set out with his daughter Francesca in search of a winery. The Moretti name was already renowned in the world of Italian viticulture, responsible for the soaring success of Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi in Franciacorta. This time, Vittorio employed the services of Attilio Scienza, the legendary consultant and professor of enology, to help him locate a property of untapped potential. Scienza led him to Petra in Suvereto, located in one of the warmer parts of Tuscany’s Maremma—AKA the Wild West of Tuscany, where international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon flourish alongside classics like Sangiovese and Cannaiolo.
There, the Moretti family discovered a hidden jewel of an estate comprising 239 acres of rolling vineyards, ideally situated just inland of the Tyrrhenian Sea, where cool, saline breezes refreshed the grapes. Besotted with the terroir, Moretti acquired Petra and commissioned Swiss architect Mario Botta (designer of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art) to construct a modernist facility that would complement the region’s natural beauty.
A favorite on both sides of the Atlantic since its inception, the Petra Zingari release is made with fruit grown from the foot of the hills of Suvereto and Riotorto. Clay and sand soil make for an intensely aromatic and graceful wine, while the region’s warmth infuses the blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Petit Verdot with sun-drenched concentration. Antonio Galloni has described the winery’s style as “rich, voluptuous and built on texture” and the 2015 Zingari is true to Petra form while remaining light on its feet.
2015 was a season boasting metronome-like evenness, leading to exquisitely ripe, healthy grapes, picked by hand in the second half of August. Fermentation and aging without oak preserve the wine’s freshness and clean red fruit notes. It’s simple: Petra Zingari is a case buy and a rare bargain value from Tuscany’s greatest vintage in years.