Sunday, June 24, 2018

Re: Young Tuscan Reds: Another "New Discovery".


On Thursday, the 7th June 2018, I was back for dinner at Cibrèo, this time, instead of their more formal ristorante, at their more casually chic caffè across the street (Caffè Cibrèo) because this is the only Cibrèo establishment that serves their (deservedly) highly recommended bistecca alla Fiorentina (melt-in-your-mouth, moist, served off the bone, with butter involved, etc.). It shares a kitchen with the ristorante, by the way.

Almost immediately after I was seated (with Catha, as Apple Lazaro-Villadolid and Bernadette Ofiana-Davis caught up after a few minutes), the ristorante's sommelier passed by, recognized me from the other night, and stopped to say "hello". We chatted briefly and I asked her what wine on the caffè's list would go best with the steak. She responded by saying that she'd bring me the ristorante's wine list from across the street. After a few minutes, list in hand, I glanced at it for a couple of minutes and said: "Please choose our red for us, and a starter white as well; after your great recommendation the other night (see: 2014 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve immediately below), I'm happy to go with whatever you decide."


After a vividly crisp, refreshing, zippy, appetizingly dry 2016 Fattoria Naní Origini Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore to go with our many starting dishes...


...with the steak, we had the 2015 Il Tagliato Balze d'Istrice. This is a Tuscan IGT (80% sangiovese, 20% merlot, production typically only 1000 bottles per year) from producer-owned vineyard high in the hills of Greve in the Chianti Classico region. The producer's name, "Il Tagliato", means "The Blended"; and the bottling's name, "Balze d'Istrice", means "Cliff of the Porcupine" (hence, the drawing of the porcupine on the label). Big, full-bodied, notably/lushly ripe and generous. Rich dark red fruit, plum, cherry, cola, chocolate, vanilla (must see some new oak in the barrels), quite concentrated and dense; but, with decent freshness, adequate lift, it somehow, remains in balance. Comes off quite modern. That all said, it was more than a decent pairing for our indulgent steak main course.

If one somehow comes across this wine (may be tough if one is not in Florence or elsewhere nearby in the Tuscan region given the small production), it's definitely worth a try as it is moderately priced (around 65€ on the wine list). Well worth a go, in my book.

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