Rich, unusually dense, and compact for an under-$20 IGT, filled with black- and red-fruit preserves, it finishes with sturdy backbone and classic Tuscan “dusty” tannins.
Wine Spectator’s 2016 36th Annual Wine Experience, held last October in NYC was outrageous. There’s really no other word to describe the gathering of Baron Eric de Rothschild, Piero Antinori, Philippe Melka, Tim Mondavi, Philippe Guigal, Nicolas Morlet, Bill Harlan, and countless other wine superstars — no, DEITIES — under one roof. Wine Spectator brought out the best of the best to share their gifts with the world, and we had a front row seat.
The star-studded event featured a six-vintage vertical tasting of the Baron’s Château Lafite Rothschild, a showcase of the top 10 on Spectator’s “100 Best” of 2015 list, and an ensemble of world-class Brunellos from Italy’s 98-point 2010 vintage. But if we had to choose one moment that topped them all? You can call us biased — chess games with a 16-time Grammy winner tend to have that effect — but really, there’s no question.
First, Trudie Styler came to the podium to introduce Il Palagio, the Tuscan estate she purchased with her rock star husband in 1997. The crowd was all ears as she told the story of the negotiation for the 18th century, 350-hectare estate. As the story goes, the Duke who sold them the property brought a bottle from the cellar to share during the negotiation. Knowing little about wine, and less about speaking Italian, the couple assumed the bottle was a product of the estate. In reality, it was a Bordeaux. When the couple’s first vintage tasted nothing like the bottle from the Duke’s cellar they realized the work that lay ahead of them. A partnership with renowned biodynamic consultant Alan York ensued, and slowly but surely, Trudie and her husband turned the estate around. Twenty years later, they were here, on the wine world’s biggest stage, presenting their offerings alongside Pierre Lurton and Philippe Melka.
After hearing Trudie’s story, the audience was already warm. Then she introduced her husband — Sting. The rock legend took the stage armed only with an acoustic guitar. At home under the bright lights, he greeted the crowd and launched into a spine-tingling version of his classic, “Message in a Bottle.” By the time he was finished, the entire audience was on its feet. It was a moment we won’t soon forget.
Sting and Trudie named today’s 2013 after that timeless song, and the message is clear: This is no celebrity pet project, but a serious winemaking endeavor. James Suckling confirmed as much, rating the 2013 “Message in a Bottle” 91 points, noting, “The palate has a richness of fruit but one that is balanced both by careful use of oak and a refreshing acidity.”
Comprised largely of ripe Sangiovese, assembled with equal additions of plump Syrah and Merlot, the 2013 “Message in a Bottle” is deep ruby in color. The nose is infused with tantalizing aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, and smoky graphite. Rich, unusually dense, and compact for an under-$20 IGT, filled with black- and red-fruit preserves, it finishes with sturdy backbone and classic Tuscan “dusty” tannins. Serve at 62 degrees. Drink now-2020.
$25 on release. Just $15.99 today on WineAccess as Sting and Trudie steal the show from the big boys on the world stage. 80 cases won’t last long.
Very nice wine that reflects the craftsmanship that went into the making of the wine. This wine is magnificent. It certainly fulfills the promise of "Message in a Bottle" and that message is "Good wines and good times"!
Excellent wine. This was a fruity red that my wife liked and she isn't all the fond of reds. Paired nicely with a NY Strip Steak. I intend to follow this wine in the coming years.
Really enjoyable. exceeded expectations. full & round.
The first two bottles were damaged, but the third showed why James Suckling was so positive. Still an odd combination of rich fruit and sangiovese astringence, but a decent value.
After two bottles still very close-in nose, even after decanting. Pleasant enough tastebut very abrupt finish. Seems too young; hope it develops.
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