This is the time of the year that one wants to cocoon in the house with the cold and snow, but The Fine Wine Source has their monthly Club Selections and that is worth getting all bundled up and braving the elements. Joining the Club was a no brainer, there was no up-front costs, they just bill the credit card once a month and I go and collect two bottles of wine, one representing the Old World and one representing the New World.
Fattoria il Muro “Violato” Syrah Rosso di Toscana IGT 2016 represents the Old World for this club selection. The estate of “il Muro” has been in the Pancaro family for over two centuries and has always been for wine cultivation. The location is perfect as it is the heart of Tuscany with moderate temperate climate and soil of loose marl and limestone; and not far part of the Alpe of Poti, part of the classic bicycle Tour of Italy “Strade Bianchi” held every March. The estate is sixty-five-hectares of mainly vineyards and olive groves. Though they have been producing wine for over two hundred years, it was only in 2011 that they labeled their own wine. The name of the wine is for the deep purple of the Syrah wine and the label features splashes and stains of the wine. The juice was fermented in Stainless Steel and then aged for six month is large chestnut barrels. The wine is described as having notes of both red and black fruits along with black pepper and violets. On the palate it is full bodied with silky tannins and a long finish of terroir; and recommended for big, hearty meals and tomato sauce dishes.
The New World is represented by Fess Parker Frontier Red Lot 211 Central Coast NV. Now, you have to understand that when I hear Fess Parker, I immediately think of Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett and later on as Daniel Boone. He left Hollywood and went into real estate and did extremely well. In 1988 he purchased the Foxen Canyon Ranch of seven-hundred-fourteen-acres and had originally planned on running cattle and a small vineyard with a potential winery for his children. He was successful in all his endeavors and his children are both hands on with the winery. This wine is a blend of thirty-two percent Syrah, twenty-three percent Grenache, sixteen percent Sangiovese, twelve percent Zinfandel, twelve percent Merlot and five percent Alvarelhao (Alvarello). The wine carries the Central Coast AVA as the fruit is from the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, Paso Robles and Central Coast vineyards. The wine is not listed by vintage, but the Lot Number does change, I guess after each bottling, and there was just under five-thousand bottles produced of Lot No. 211. The wine is described as having big, rich fruit flavors and spice. Notes of black plum, cedar, hickory and blackberry. While on the palate flavors of red cherry, boysenberry, tobacco and grilled herbs with spicy, earthy tones. The wine was described as the perfect “Tuesday Wine.”