A Review of the Le Velette Reds, Continued
This article continues the review of Le Velette’s reds, focusing on their premium products Gaudio and Calanco.
What Makes a Premium Wine ‘Premium’?
Well, price is part of it.
A small part.
What differentiates Gaudio and Calanco from Rosso di Spicca and Accordo is the fact that these are a strong and powerful response to the growing demand for ‘Super Tuscan’ wines made from international varieties. Both wines are produced from hand-picked grapes as opposed to machine harvesting and they spend more time in oak, allowing them to develop much more complex flavours.
So … What’s A Super Tuscan?
For the record, we’re not allowed to call either product a Super Tuscan simply because neither are from Tuscany.
However, to understand the quality of these products, it’s important to know how they came about.
In Italy, there are many different kinds of legal classifications that define specific rules and regulations concerning grapes you can use, growing methods and even how you produce your wine.
Starting in the 1970s, many Italian producers in Tuscany resisted these requirements and began using international grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The first producers to gain international acclaim was Tignanello, produced by Antinori and Sassicaia, produced by Tenuta San Guido. Others followed and the entire are of Bolgheri focused on the production of such blends.
Le Velette follows in these impressive footsteps and manages to impress reviewers and collectors alike with their product.
Gaudio is made from 100% Merlot.
The appearance of Gaudio is an intense ruby red fading to a pale ruby rim. There is a hint of sediment.
On the nose, Gaudio shows significant qualities related to classic Merlot aromas, including prune and stewed fruit, combined with a more subtle array of tobacco, spicy clove, heather and fresh cut wood. Fruit aromas include cherry to blackberry on top of cocoa and leather. There is even a touch of mint.
On the palate, a lot of the nose characteristics carry through with the taste, including vanillas, dark fruits and a moderate finish. The body and alcohol are both on the medium side, and the wine offers a moderate finish.
This is a quality wine that can be cellared for years as there is sufficient fruit and tannin to build even more structure over time. People seeking a ‘classic’ Merlot might be thrown a touch off by the subtle nose and taste of mint, but as this wine ages, we’re confident that it will be a perfect wine for almost any food, especially structured Italian meat and antipasto dishes.
The best dishes for this wine, however are roast beef or lamb.
Calanco is a blend of Sangiovese (60%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (40%). While it’s not the ex-act blend as a ‘classic’ Super Tuscan, the product pushes the envelope in terms of what we can expect for the future unique wine products coming from this region.
The appearance of Calanco is a deep ruby with light purple tints.
On the nose, we get what you should expect from a blend of oaked Sangiovese and Cab Sauv: smoky aromas, tea leaves, chocolate, blackberry, spice, tomato vine and what seems like a hint of candy cane (largely from the combo of classic mint from the Cab Sauv and sweet red fruit of the Sangiovese).
On the palate, we get a wonderful mouth-feel. It’s a well-structured and integrated product that’s got sufficient tannins and fruit to age well, but not so much tannin that it causes your mouth to pucker like a Barolo. On the finish, we get a silky full fruit and vanilla profile that lasts a LONG time.
This wine is designed for drinking with braised meats or hard cheeses. Of course, it’s fine on its own and you might even want to share it with a friend.
Both of these wines are built to last. At $28.95 as a suggested retail price, most consumers will enjoy the aging potential of both Gaudio and Calanco and will also be able to share with friends if they can’t wait and decide to open it now.
To order either product, please contact Bill Wittur at bill AT noteworthywines DOT ca or call 519-914-1204.