Robert Parker 95
The Mazzei 2018 Siepi is extremely linear and focused, with a pretty mineral signature that makes a nice segue to red and purple fruit, spice and blue flower. Francesco and Filippo Mazzei tell me that they consider this one of their most “gastronomic” or food-friendly vintages of Siepi, a celebrated blend of equal parts Merlot and Sangiovese. These two grapes complement each other beautifully, with the French grape adding dimension and depth and the Italian grape showing a lifted or buoyant quality to the bouquet. This was a healthy production of an ample 38,000 bottles released. It could pair with a classic Tuscan dish of pappardelle in a slowly simmered wild boar sauce.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2038
Siepi, Fonterutoli’s Merlot/Sangiovese blend, is absolutely gorgeous in 2018. Rich, pliant and creamy, Siepi offers all of the seductiveness of Merlot with the bright acids and grip of Sangiovese. Inky blue/purplish fruit, lavender, dried herbs, spice, licorice and new leather meld together in an open-knit, inviting Tuscan red with no hard edges and tons of allure shaped by alberese soils with a good bit of clay. The 2018 is an undeniably sexy wine with so much immediacy. Siepi (the wine) is built on a core of holdings from Siepi, a historic property dating back to the 1400s, plus holdings from the broader Fonterutoli estate. Merlot and Sangiovese lots are harvested, vinified and aged separately. The 2018 saw long macerations 20 or more days, followed by 16-17 months in French oak, with a preference for 225L barrels for Merlot and larger 500L tonneaux for the Sangiovese, which also spent a bit less time in oak. The final blend was assembled and then the wine spent 5-6 months in cement, a recent change made for the first time in 2017 that really seems to let the purity of the fruit come out. The 2018 is positively stellar and also one of the very best editions in recent memory. Don’t miss it.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2043