This Frescobaldi/Mondavi joint venture got it right in 2000. The wine, a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Sangiovese, is rich, forward and hedonistic, a cuvée made more for now than down the line. The nose is lovely, with floral aromas in front of baked berry pie. The palate is sweet and ripe, but balanced by spice and pepper notes.
Takes a while to rev up, but once it gets going it can’t be stopped. Beautifully ripe and defined across the palate, with rich black fruit on level one and licorice and vanilla on level two. Finishes long, smooth and spicy, with concentration throughout. Probably our favorite Luce to date.
This super Tuscan blends 50% Sangiovese with 50% Merlot for a wine that combines some of the wiry structure of Sangiovese with the plump flesh of Merlot. Filled with more opulent fruit than the ’98, this vintage may be the best yet, bursting with plum and mocha flavors that extend through the dry, toasty finish.
Luce’s second wine is violet in color, with profound cola and root beer aromas, lots of oak, and a rich personality. The flavor profile goes straight to cassis, cherry and cola, while the live-wire finish is young, fresh and clean. Arguably a bit overoaked and syrupy, but still a fun wine.
This much touted blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from Robert Mondavi and the Frescobaldi winery is expensive and uninteresting. You can tell what theyÕre striving for, a complex wine of early drinkability, but itÕs merely simple. and the best French oak doesnÕt improve it. ItÕs not bad, just dull, and it wonÕt age.