Wine Talk - Under the Marlborough sun - 'Grandezza 2019'

Hans Herzog - Grandezza 2019
Back in the Swiss nineties, we couldn’t get enough of the opulent super Tuscan’s which differed so much from the mostly mass-produced Chianti, a Sangiovese blended with the high-yielding whites Malvasia and Trebbiano. The creation of super Tuscan wines resulted from the frustration winemakers had towards a slow bureaucracy in changing Italy’s wine law during the 1970s. Some of the ambitious producers wanted the flexibility to experiment with blending French grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and not be required to blend in any white grape varieties and began mixing these ‘unsanctioned’ and ‘foreign’ varieties into their blends to make high-quality wines.

Our wine cellar still features some amazing 90ties vintages, but prices really skyrocketed the last 25 years, and I thought it’s time to plant Sangiovese to stock up with a Marlborough alternative.

Many of you are already familiar with our elegant ‘Spirit of Marlborough’, our Cabernet based Bordeaux blend which was planted in 1996. It took me a few years of vineyard selection with the Sangiovese I planted in 2013 but it came finally to fruition and my full satisfaction with the great 2019 vintage. All three grape varieties were handpicked from the lowest yield (2t per ha!) beginning with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and concluded with the Sangiovese, planted on slightly cooler soils mid-April. All three untamed with long skin contact for intricacy and texture, and indigenous yeast for a natural fermentation in French barriques to express our stunning terroir and a sense of place. After an initial period in barrel for 18 months I made the final blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25 Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, before completing barrel ageing. A allowed a serious 24 months of maturation on the fine lees for silky power, purity, depth, and length. Like with all my Reds there is no fining, no filtration to retain the beautiful flavours and aromas of this small-batch wine.

Super Tuscan Wines - highly sought after…

Marchesi Antinori, one of the biggest and most prestigious wineries in Italy played a large part in the "Super-Tuscan" revolution of the 1970s creating two of the most famous super Tuscan wines. One is called Tignanello, created in 1971 and a blend of 80% Sangiovese 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The average price for the vintage 2019 on Wine Searcher is NZ$173 excl. tax, unfortunately now at a whooping production of 350,000 bottles per year!

The other is Solaia - 'the sunny one’ from a 10-hectare vineyard whose wine commands $350 with an indicative blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese 20%, 5% Cabernet Franc. Wine searcher shows a price average of NZ$ 487 excl. tax for the vintage 2018 at about 90,000 bottles production.

In comparison Herzog Grandezza, a true artisan small batch production of 501 bottle for $99 incl. GST. Better be quick…

Enjoy and let me know what you think.


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