Earlier this year we re-tasted Luce della Vite 2010 and were blown away, the wine is special; combining ultra-ripe fruit, with high notes of menthol, eucalyptus and violets. The palate is meaty; bresaola-like smoked and cured meat, along with porcini mushrooms. It also displays tobacco, vanilla and delightful sweet spices, such a cinnamon and nutmeg, all combined in a harmonious and balanced wine capable of ageing for decades. It is a knock out, reinforced by James Suckling who awarded it 98 points, calling it ‘’The greatest Luce ever.’ It is drinking beautifully now and we have the cases immediately available, it will also age and improve for a decade and more.
We have been trying to source a parcel of Luce 2010 cases since the beginning of the year and we are now pleased to offer these at £330 per case of six. At £55 per bottle, the wine is underrated against equivalent scoring 2010s and against its own vintages. The 97 scoring 2013 already trades for £400 a case, the 95 scoring 2009 and 2008 both at £420. We are offering it today at a discount to market and we expect the price to re-adjust to £400 quickly. Moreover, a Price Over Points (POP) score of 37 is extremely low for a wine over £300, cases of this are rare indeed.
Luce della Vite is a remarkable wine, the progeny of two of the leading wine families in the world: The Marchesi de Frescobaldi family of Florence and the Mondavi family of Napa Valley. Luce was born out of a unique idea, the first wine ever to be made in Montalcino that blends Sangiovese and Merlot grapes; Merlot was only introduced to Montalcino in 1976. The project began with its first vintage in 1994 and now includes two other wines, a Brunello di Montalcino called Luce Brunello and a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend called Luce Lucente, these two have achieved incredible acclaim in their own right. Today it is the son of Vittorio Frescobaldi and the son of Robert Mondavi who made their fathers’ vision a reality.
The 192-hectare Estate is located southwest of Montalcino, and is one of the highest estates in the region with elevations ranging from 350 to 420 metres. The Sangiovese thrives on the higher grounds whereby the galestro rich and well drained soils provide the ideal growing conditions. At the lower altitudes, the soils are richer in clay, perfect for the Merlot. As a result of the south facing exposure and characteristically long, sunny and dry summer seasons of the region, the grapes experience a slow and thorough ripening period allowing for greater concentration and power. Yields are kept very low in order to enhance the character of the varieties and to capture the essence of the terroir. Each of the grapes are harvested separately and undergo alcoholic fermentation and extensive maceration together in November.
The bottle design is as striking as the wine, based on a sacred image displayed on the main alter of the Santo Spirito church in Florence. A radiant sun with twelve flames now graces Luce’s bottle, making Luce instantly recognisable even before it is opened. Once it is opened, it is hard to forget. We expect this to sell out quickly, it is perfect for Christmas!
Luce Della Vite Luce Toscana 2010, 6×75, £330 IB – 98 points, James Suckling
This is clearly the greatest Luce ever. A wine with currants, blueberries and hints of flowers and spices. A full-bodied red with with lots of chocolate, berry and vanilla character. Chewy. Juicy. Better in 2015 after it has softened and come together. Fabulous.
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