I cannot believe this, but I am just about caught up with all of my #WineStudio posts. During the holidays, I was opening up bottles left and right, but it was hard to find the time to write about them. After bubbles upon bubbles, we shifted into a #WineStudio that was all about Italian reds with Terlato Wines and Ca’Marcanda. This was a session that highlighted wine at every price point and wine for every type of drinker. That element is one of my favorite parts of #WineStudio because it means that everyone from my friends about to start up graduate school like me to some of my more established coworkers are able to find something in their budget. Another element of these wines and this winery we learned about was how Angelo Gaja spent a lot of time negotiating for the land that now produces the Ca’Marcanda wines, and that dedication finds its way into every glass now, another selling point for these impressive options.
The 2015 Promis by Ca’Marcanda was the first bottle we opened, and it was certainly the most approachable. Made up of 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, and 10% Sangiovese, the intense wine was full of dark berries, herbs, smoke, and some mocha on the nose. Despite these dark notes, it was smooth and juicy on the palate with plum and blackberry coming through on each sip. It was the easiest wine to appreciate with a deep energy that was enticing. With the $48 price point, that makes it the best option for someone who is new to Tuscan wines and wants to experience quality without dropping part of a paycheck on a bottle. If you are like me, recently out of college, working a job that may not pay the big bucks, but interested in the world of wine, I recommend this bottle as a small splurge for a day off. Spend some time thinking about the bottle, the wine, and the area it came from. Grab a friend or two to join in. Give it an hour or so to really open up. It’s the best way to engage with this one. You could age it for another 5 to 10 years maybe, but it’s good enough now where you certainly don’t have to.
After the approachable Promis, we stepped it up with the second bottle, the 2015 Magari. Apparently Magari means ‘if only it were true,’ which was the perfect name for this deeper, darker, slightly more broody wine. Made up of totally different grapes than the first bottle, this one contained 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. All of these grapes can be beasts, which means that the bottle I received was a strong, confident wine that poured a deep royal purple in the glass. Unlike the earthy and fruity qualities of the Promis, this one was more spicy and floral on the nose. There was even a touch of lavender, which I often find with any bottle containing Petit Verdot. On the palate, this wine was full of dark cherry, a little cinnamon, and even a bite of ginger. With an SRP of $65, this bottle is an elegant yet feisty wine to add to your collection. If you’re feeling really adventurous and Italian, pair it with a pigeon risotto, which we learned is a Bolgheri speciality. If you do that, please let me know how that tastes, it’s on my to-try list!
Even though we started with some solid options, each week of #WineStudio built up to the flagship wine, the 2013 Camarcanda. This was a wine with definite aging potential that Tina from #WineStudio even said held up for two weeks after opening. Containing 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc, this had many layers and a complexity that I do not think everyone would appreciate. When I handed a glass to my sister’s boyfriend and explained the wine to him, his response was: “So I should chug this?” He didn’t mean it, but it does highlight the way in which most of my twentysomething friends would approach this bottle. They might be surprised by the price point and think the wine tastes fine, but they wouldn’t get it. It’s not a bottle for most of my friends, and that is fine. The SRP is $145 and it is only produced in the best growing years, highlighting how this bottle is meant for real enthusiasts who are hunting down the best quality wines in Tuscany. If that sounds like you, buy as many bottles as you can and taste it over the next 15 to 20 years, I think it will be worth it.
If you want an entry level wine that prompts you to explore what the Tuscan region has to offer, the Promis may be for you. If you’ve been discovering everything you could about Italian wine since the word Super Tuscan took the word by storm, you may be ready for the signature Camarcanda. The point of this #WineStudio wasn’t just to teach us about Italian wines and the passion behind what Ca’Marcanda is doing, but also to show us how this winery has a bottle for any red wine lover. I think that’s the real value of Ca’Marcanda. They’re not trying to appeal to one specific drinker, but to reach out beyond the borders of Italy and entice wine drinkers from the ages of 21 (or younger in Europe) to 91. I respect that and can’t wait to try another bottle soon! Have you had anything from this winery? What was your experience?
These wines were kindly provided to me by the wineries/importers listed above, but all opinions are my own.