Wine Last Sold on: January 9, 2010
2004 Nectar Dei Maremma Toscana IGT
|Vineyard:||Maremma Toscana IGT|
|Total Allocation:||Operative's Choice: Top Italian Selection|
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The Winery Says:
Awards & Accolades:
Five Stars – Decanter Magazine – “Big, sweet and tarry with quality oak. Modern, concentrated fruit with good acidity and tannins. Drink up to 2012”
Wine Spectator – “Round, with lots of berry and vanilla character. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a fruity finish. A little short. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese. Drink now. 700 cases made. –JS”
About This Wine:
From a document dating to 1182 we find out that in those days Nittardi was called Nectar Dei, a name that was transformed over the centuries into Nittardi. The owner’s house with its turret was originally a fortified tower on the boundary between the provinces of Siena and Florence.
This ancient document mentions not only the Villa Nectar Dei but also the vineyard and the stream that still flows unchanged today down the eastern valley of the property. So without going in search of new names, and in memory of an ancient territory, we gave the name Nectar Dei to our top Maremma wine: a blend of grapes planted in 1999 – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese – of which we are particularly proud. A wine that contains history, but also the power of innovation, created in a privileged natural environment overlooking Mount Argentario.
What lies behind Nectar Dei IGT Maremma is the enthusiasm of enologist Carlo Ferrini and the passion of agronomist Antonio Spurio who masterfully planted the first 14 hectares of vineyard. And the tradition continues: the first bottles of Nectar Dei were delivered to Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, just as Michelangelo six centuries earlier had sent “the genuine wine of Nittardi” as a tribute to Julius II. Wine Spectator, the Gambero Rosso and Vini d’Italia dell’Espresso have repeatedly praised the qualities of Nectar Dei, its intense perfumes and varied aromas. Nectar Dei is the prince of Nittardi wines in the Maremma.
About The Winery:
Situated in the heart of Tuscany – the Chianti Classico area between Florence and Siena – the Nittardi estate with its 12 hectares of vineyards, 4 of olive groves and 120 of protected woods can boast a centuries-old tradition. The nearest village, Castellina in Chianti, is 8 kilometres away. The Nittardi vineyards stand at an altitude of 450 metres on the south-facing slopes of this unspoilt countryside, well protected by abundant woods.
We are dedicated to tending our land with passion and great respect, investing knowledge, technique and skill in our vineyards for the production of typical wines of an authentic Tuscan character.
The Nittardi Estate, on the boundary between the provinces of Siena and Florence, was originally a defensive tower, known as early as the 12th century by the name of “Nectar Dei”. In the 16th century the vast property surrounded by oak woods amid the hills of San Donato, Castellina in Chianti and Panzano, belonged to Michelangelo who in 1549 wrote to his nephew Lionardo: “I’d prefer two casks of wine rather than eight shirts,” and on that occasion sent the Nittardi wine to Rome as a “genuine gift to the Pope “.
Over the centuries the property changed hands often until it was taken over in 1982 by Frankfurt publisher and art gallery owner Peter Femfert and his wife Stefania, a historian from Venice.
Stefania and Peter reconstructed Nittardi step by step. The vineyards were replanted and in 1992 the ancient vat-room was replaced by a modern cellar. A competent team of enthusiasts was set up, consisting of agronomist Giorgio Conte, consultant enologist Carlo Ferrini and Antonio Spurio who is in charge of the new Mongibello delle Mandorlaie estate in Maremma. In 1999, to meet the increased demand for Nittardi wines, a splendid 37 hectare estate was purchased not far from Scansano, with a view of Mount Argentario. Nittardi today includes 120 hectares of protected woodland, 12 hectares of Chianti Classico vineyards and 4 hectares of olive groves. Plus the new Maremma vineyard, Mongibello delle Mandorlaie, where 17 hectares have already been vinified to date. This is where our IGT wines come from which have already won several awards: Nectar Dei and Ad Astra.
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The Wine Spies Say:
Operative’s Choice: Top Italian Selection
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
We always feature exceptional wine, but we issue these special alerts when we bring you one that really stands out. This is one of Agent Blush’s most favorite Italians that we have tasted all year!
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Mission Codename: Super Italian Nectar
Operative: Agent White & Agent Baco Noir
Objective: Fine Tune our TOP SECRET Virtual reality Tasting Machine with another exceptional selection from Fattoria Nittardi
Mission Status: Ongoing…
Current Winery: Fattoria Nittardi
Wine Subject: 2004 Nectar Dei Maremma Toscana IGT
Winemaker: Carlo Ferrini
There is no arguing the Italy’s Goria Law is complex, but the system does give us a clue on some of the finer DOCG selections. In between the DOCG and their vini da tavola category sits the classification of Indicazioni Geographiche Tipiche or IGT. These wines are reflect the character of a specific region without the constraints of of the strict DOC or DOCG requirements thus giving the winemaker tremendous flexibility to produce wines with both indigenous and non indigenous grapes. These blends created an entirely new category of wine, the much loved Super Tuscan
Today’s exceptional IGT Super Tuscan selection is a proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple with crimson and ruby reflections through its dark, almost inky core. Along the edges, the color remains dense to the very edge where it lightens slightly to a deep garnet. When swirled, fast thin legs streak down the glass immediately then a second ring of slower and fatter legs cling the side of the glass.
Smell – Expansive and redolent with aromas of ripe dark cherry and other red berries, cedar and complex notes of gun-smoke, spice and dried herbs. As this wine opens and warms, notes of floral violet and lavender along with toasted vanilla, zesty tar and a meaty character emerge.
Feel – Smooth and generous on the palate this dry and full-bodied wine has superfine grained tannins with a great mineral quality. Balanced acidity and an exceptional mineral and dusty texture that lingers long through the finish.
Taste – Rich and well developed old-world dusty fruit with ripe dark cherry, tart cranberry and other dark fruit that are harmoniously layered with smoke, cedar and a zesty tar flavor. Notes of earth, a solid oak component and hint of mocha round out the complex and elegant flavors of this wine.
Finish – Medium in length with its fine grained and mineral tannins lingering long after the complex fruit fades leaving your mouth watering for yet another sip (or gulp in our case).
Conclusion – The 2004 Nittardi Nectar Dei Maremma Toscana IGT is Agent Blush’s favorite Italian wine that we have tasted all year. A wonderful nose that teases you into a deep inhale and then a long contemplative sip. Our favorite character of this wine is its structure – it just feels Italian. This is a wine of tremendous quality, elegance and finesse. Perfect with a simple extra thick grilled rib-eye steak (on the bone, of course) seasoned with garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil and sea-salt. This wine is a perfect match to the rich fat and saltiness of the meat.
Just a few weeks ago, The Wine Spies had begun testing our Virtual Reality Tasting machine. This device as unbelievable as it sounds, was yielding surprising results. One the last test I was hastily removed from the system as I was tasting a magnificent selection from Fattoria Nittardi.
I was anxious to get back on and complete the experience. Agent Baco Noir strapped me in an connected the various leads and cables. The test subject wine was the 2004 Nectar Dei Maremma Toscana IGT and that was placed into the wine-dock where a slow drip was supplied to complete the olfactory and gustatory stimulation. In addition to having wine data inputs winery and technical data were loaded into the computer to provide neural stimulation that would simulate tasting the wine in its real environment.
The last test of the simulator provided dramatic results and if the system if proven could change the way we taste wine forever.
I was strapped in, the room when dark, and Baco turned on the machine. I immediately went into a state of suspended animation. Images of hill top villages, smells of olive orchards wafted through my head, but things were still a bit fuzzy. As the wine experience began, things became a bit more interesting.
I was back in Castellina in Chianti. Sitting with me was Agent Blush. Stefania Canali opened the bottle and I was immediately hit with the bouquet of bramble fruit perfectly balanced over classic old-world aromas. Pouring a glass, giving it a brisk swirl and raising it to my lips, I just paused for a moment and took it all it. Then came the sip… Mmmm. There is something about classic Italian wine, with classic Italian food that just is simply transformational. We sat and enjoyed the late afternoon sun fade into dusk.
Snap… Crackle… Pop…
A slight electrical shock passed through my body. Something must had gone wrong, as I awoke win a cold sweat and somewhat dizzy.
”Take the leads off” I yelled.
And once disconnected, I grabbed the bottle, a couple of glasses and immediately went online to book a couple tickets to Italy. Nothing beats the real thing, but at least having the wine will make the time between now and my next trip to Italy more bearable.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Castellina in Chianti commune can be seen in this satellite photo.