Our tasting exhibition, devoted to the wines in the Tenute d’Italia catalogue, opens this year, 2021, with what is undoubtedly one of the most well known and valued wines of our production: Sangiovese Rubicone I.G.P. “Il Sapiente” of the Conte Zardi line.
Although it started life as a commercial project specifically designed for the North European market, Il Sapiente soon managed to expand the boundaries of its admirers, establishing itself as a truly winning product on the entire national and international scene. Thanks to its special characteristics, this Sangiovese Rubicone I.G.P. manages to masterfully reconcile the vigorous body of the sturdy romagna vine with a precious tertiary contribution of clear international inspiration, to compose a product able to amaze both the overseas public and Italian wine lovers.
Read also: The First Wines of the Year: "Il Sapiente" & "Caveja"
As mentioned in our introductory article, the first factor contributing to the particularity of Il Sapiente is the blend: as consented by the production disciplinary to which it refers - the "Rubicone" Protected Geographical Indication - the oenologists of Tenute d'Italia have fully exploited the possibility of integrating the main variety (the one mentioned on the label, in this case Sangiovese, for which a minimum contribution of 85% is expected) with a second type of grape for the remaining 15%.
Following numerous studies, the choice (happily) fell on Syrah, a variety with a full, decisive character, perfect for refining the organoleptic profile of Sangiovese with its own unmistakable notes. A happy marriage whose light shines with every approach to the glass.
The colour of Il Sapiente, an intense ruby red embellished with brilliant purple reflections, immediately reveals the magic that comes from the encounter between Sangiovese and Syrah, but the movement in the glass does not enchant only for the bewitching play of colours and reflections: the taster's gaze is captive by the exemplary texture shown to the rotation in the glass, made even more enchanting by the perfect geometries of the arches. A first look that suggests a substantial body, alive and full, as fresh as the first bite of a freshly picked, perfectly ripe plum.
More than to the eye, though, it is on the nose that the contribution of Syrah manifests all its genuineness, with the unmistakable aromatic notes of this special variety that do much more than complement the typical Sangiovese bouquet. The profound sense of the relationship that binds the two vines that make up the blend of Il Sapiente can indeed go far beyond the simple sum of sensations, to pursue rather the search for an interaction capable of creating a unique, unprecedented profile.
In this sense there are at least three important elements in which we can recognize the pillars of the olfactory profile of Il Sapiente.
The first could be named after the assonances, that is, those notes typical of the aromatic profiles of both vines, such as black cherry, plum and juicy blueberries. The use of these two types of grape allows these characteristics to unfold from a double perspective, acquiring as a whole a greater depth and complexity.
Secondly, on the opposite front, we find the game of combinations between the notes specific to each grape, the Sangiovese and the Syrah. As already mentioned, the goal pursued by our team of oenologists was not limited to the simple sum of the different aromas, but rather, they sought a true integration in search of new impressions. Exemplary in this sense is the encounter of the typical floral component of Sangiovese (rose and violet) with the tantalizing spicy notes of black pepper and chocolate brought by Syrah.
Finally, the last (but not least) distinctive element of Il Sapiente intervenes to support this process of creating an absolutely original bouquet: following a vinification process carried out entirely in steel, the production process of this Sangiovese Rubicone IGP ends with a period of ageing from 4 to 6 months in French oak tonneaux (large barrels). This choice, in addition to giving further vivacity to its spicy component, gives Il Sapiente that perfect roundness that embraces and harmonizes the entire spectrum of aromas, a precious seal on a wine that can well be said to be truly accomplished.
The grandiose expectations raised by the olfactory analysis are finally fully confirmed at the tasting: the palate is pervaded by the softness of Il Sapiente - conferred by the significant sugar residue and the robust alcoholic shoulder, expertly harmonized by the ageing in wood - which are immediately appended by the fresher, keener components, a contrast which gives the structure a solid - and very pleasant - balance.
In this case too, it is evident how the complete picture of the taste profile of Il Sapiente is traced by the deep interconnection between its different components, which support each other within a structure in which each element plays an essential role: exemplary in this sense the skilful interplay between the acid component (freshness) and the complex set of spicy sensations, but also the perfect balance between the sweet fleshiness of the body and the sophisticated tannin.
A complex, three-dimensional wine: Il Sapiente is a wine that opens up multiple perspectives not only in the glass, but also on our table.
The strongly international declination conferred on the robust vigour of Sangiovese make Il Sapiente an excellent accompaniment for different expressions of cuisine, from the more traditional ones that refer to the typically Italian culture of homemade pasta to the most diverse variations from beyond our borders: stews or meatballs served in rich sauce, roasted meat with bittersweet garnishes (blueberry duck) and spicy fish soups.
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