Ciacci Piccolomini 'Ateo' Cabernet/Merlot 2012
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Item Number: 17947
Not Vintage Specific
Item Number: 17947
Vinous Media 92
"The 2012 Ateo, Ciacci's Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, captures the essence of this warm, radiant vintage in its exuberant fruit and juicy personality. Black cherry, plum, spice and licorice flesh out in a succulent wine to drink now and over the next decade or so. The blend is 50/50, but it is the Merlot that really seems to jump from the glass today.” ~ AG
" Created as a statement against Italy’s restrictive wine making laws in 1989, the wine of the “Atheist” has remained the same even though Italy’s laws have changed! Once a vino da tavola, this wine was elevated to IGT Toscana, and then finally to Sant’Antimo rosso as Italy’s classifications evolved. Regardless, the wine has always been a blend with Cabernet and Merlot, aged in barriques for 18 months. While it first came into existence as a provocation, Ateo is now an estate classic. Today, the wine is only cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, in equal parts. It shows sweet black cherry and cassis, and has a plummy texture. Tobacco, vanilla, and baking spices intermingle the nose and palate. Less than 1000 cases are produced.
Ciacci Piccolmini is one of the most sought-after producers in all of Italy. This ancient estate has 35 hectares of superior holdings in the prized Castelnuovo dell’Abate zone, including the "Pianrosso" vineyard (from which the best grapes are selected for the Brunello di Montalcino) and the "Fonte" vineyard, which produces grapes for the Rosso di Montalcino. Plantings of Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot are to the south, where the Orcia river provides a milder microclimate. The non-traditional wines are as exciting as the Brunello and Rosso: “Ateo,” which means “atheist”, is a statement against the restrictive laws that govern winemaking in Italy; the wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and received 90 pts from Parker for the 2003 vintage. 100% Syrah “Fabius” is one of the greatest expressions of that varietal in Italy: Parker once called it "the finest Italian Syrah I have tasted,” and has given it 92 pts for the 2001 vintage and 91 points for the 2003! The estate is a member of the EU "Lotta Integrata" movement, which promotes reduced use of chemicals and organic viticulture; at Ciacci, fertilization is organic, and pruning and harvest are done by hand.
Although the estate is not certified, the guidelines of organic agriculture are followed. Only sulfur- and copper-based products are used. The area is sheltered by Mount Amiata and enjoys excellent air circulation. Only organic fertilizers are used (there is a cattle farm nearby for manure). The soil between the rows of vines is tilled and no herbicides are used. Minimum dosages of SO2 is used in the wines. " ~ Winery notes
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