Very tight and firm with polished tannins that are poised and creamy-textured. The fruit shows plenty of blackberry and raspberry character. Lightly chewy finish. Better after 2024, when it will have opened up.
This wine is a symbolic bridge from the Old World to the New. The Mazzei 2019 Philip is an all-Tuscan expression of Cabernet Sauvignon (with a tiny part Cabernet Franc) that delivers rich texture, ripeness and ripe fruit. The wine is named after Philip Mazzei (1730–1816), who was a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson. The two men reportedly exchanged winemaking tips and vineyard techniques. The 2019 vintage nails that proverbial sweet spot between softness, structure, fruit and spice. This is a plush, fruit-forward and balanced Tuscan red.
The Philip is soft, voluptuous, and quite caressing in its contours. In 2019, varietal Cabernet flavors aren’t quite as developed as they can be, and yet the Philip is an undeniably attractive wine to enjoy for its racy, forward personality. Succulent red cherry, plum, spice and leather build into the supple finish.
A new addition to the Place de Bordeaux this year from Castello di Fonterutoli, a single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon dedicated to Philip Mazzei, an illustrious ancestor of the family and American patriot. It has tobacco, smoked black cherries and dried herbs on the nose. Intense and seering dark berry fruit, high acidity is noticeable straight away filling the mouth with juice but the tannins also come into play with a touch of velvet texture coating the tongue and cheeks. It's still hiding a bit, just showing some signs of life but quite knitted down for the moment. Tightly, brimming with underlying energy but controlled at the moment. Nice depth and clarity with a long lingering finish.
Aging/Cooperage18 months in french and american oak barrels (30% new)
The Mazzei family’s history includes everything from the first documented use of the name “Chianti” in 1398 to swapping vineyard tips with Thomas Jefferson. Their track record of producing top-notch wines is pretty solid, too. This 94-POINT beauty illustrates that point perfectly.
What better way to celebrate President’s Day weekend than featuring a wine named after the man who helped Thomas Jefferson fine-tune his vineyards at Monticello (and a 94 POINT cabernet sauvignon, at that!)? Phillip Mazzei did far more than just help Thomas Jefferson establish vineyards in the new world...Jefferson would go on to paraphrase Philip’s writings and is now credited with inspiring Thomas’s opening for the Declaration of Independence “All men are created equal”!
That’s a pretty significant historical footnote, I’d say, so it is no wonder the Mazzei family continues to honor their most famous ancestor. But the wine? Intense. Voluptuous. Plush. Structured. And those are just the critics talking! Double 94s, plus a 92 from Vinous and a 91 Decanter, state this wine is a noble and worthy effort...especially when you take into account our epic price of only $29.95!
Hailing from two of the Mazzei family estates – at Fonterutoli in the heart of Chianti, and Belguardo in the Montebottigli area of Maremma – this 100% cabernet sauvignon is a structured and powerful wine that somehow manages to appear elegant and delicate at the same time. Experience aromas of saddle leather, dried herbs, and crushed raspberries and cherries – evolving into the glass with flavors of cigar, and blackberries, dark chocolate, and plums. A mineral edge and racy acidity carry this ample and plush wine to a long and balanced finish, with a velvety polish rarely seen in cabernet sauvignons outside of the New World (and only in illustriously few examples there). 18 months in 30% new oak aids in that, with a split of French and American oak barriques putting a truly unique stamp on this Tuscan cabernet. Delicious to drink now, better still in a couple of years (or with a vigorous decant). While it lasts!
About the Producer
Ser Lapo Mazzei is the author of the first known document to use the "Chianti" denomination in 1398; in 1435, when his granddaughter Madonna Smeralda Mazzei married Piero di Agnolo da Fonterutoli, the holding became part of the family's estate. Since then, for 24 generations, the Mazzei family produces wine at Castello di Fonterutoli, which even after its recent expansion still remains the beating heart of the company.