Tenuta Luce, Toscana IGT (Tuscany, Italy) “Luce” 2019

($121): Tenuta Luce, originally a joint venture between wine icons Robert Mondavi and Vittorio Frescobaldi, is now solely owned by the Frescobaldi family.  Located in Montalcino and though it does make a Brunello, Tenuta Luce is distinct from Castelgiocondo, another Frescobaldi estate.  Ironically, Tenuta Luce’s flagship, Luce, is not a Brunello, but rather an IGT Toscana, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot.  Umberto Frescobaldi, the current head of the family, once told me that the Merlot added weight to the Sangiovese.  A broad, big-boned wine, the captivating 2019 Luce displays a seemingly contradictory balance of charm and flamboyance, which actually makes it approachable now.  Chocolatey notes emerge and then disappear into a sea of black fruit and youthful tannins.  Tuscan acidity keeps it fresh and prevents it from being heavy, despite its size.  From my experience with Luce, it takes a decade of bottle age to show its stuff.  But its flamboyance makes it fun to drink now as well.
94 Michael Apstein Jan 23, 2024