NOI4, Bolgheri DOC – 2011 – Today’s Sommelier Selected Wine – SommSelect
“There is something about the ethereal landscape of Tuscany that that makes it one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Luscious, green vineyards lined with olive trees are perfectly situated beneath an endlessly-bright blue sky. From the town of Monteverdi Marittimo in the subregion of the Bolgheri DOC, the estate of Tenuta Sette Cieli seems to be an arm’s length away from the majestic Tyrrhenian Sea on Italy’s west coast. Their 2011 ‘NOI4’—which means ‘the four of us,’ in reference to the four people who made the wine together—is a noteworthy Super Tuscan that could easily stand up to the best in the appellation. Vineyard Manager Giuliano Tarchi and Winemaker Elena Pozzolini have a serious passion for crafting terroir-driven wines with unique character and personality.
“The estate vineyards are all farmed organically and each grape variety is separated by stone wall terraces; the soil is comprised of rock, sand and clay—mimicking the French soil composition in which Bordeaux varietals thrive. The sun shines brightly on these gentle hillside vineyards, but the overall climate is kept moderate by the land’s proximity to the ocean and the winds that sweep through the vines. The grapes are of course picked by hand, fermented in stainless steel tanks separately by each block, and then aged separately as well. The juice for each varietal sees twelve to fourteen months in 50% new French oak barrels (the remaining 50% is twice-used French oak barrels). Once blended together, the result is a voluptuous combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, which sees six months of bottle aging before release.
“Like all Super Tuscans, the fruit on the palate of the 2011 NOI4 is both present and enticing, showing a touch more richness than Bordeaux typically does. With age, the fruit will quietly dissolve into the background and more of the terroir will come to life. With that being said, this wine is showing beautifully, even in its youth. It is an almost perfect example of the potential of Bordeaux varietals. The aromatics are full of fresh blackberry, black and red currants, wet clay, green tobacco, pencil lead, and fresh violets. On the palate, this wine is dense and concentrated with sweet notes of black currant, wild blackberries, fresh violets, cedar, fresh leather and crushed gravel. Please decant this wine for 30 minutes, then serve in large Bordeaux stems at about 60-65 degrees. The wine is seriously delicious at the moment, but I feel it will age gracefully for another 7-10 years, most likely reaching its peak around 2020. At this price the NOI4 greatly over delivers and there is a reason why there is such a small amount available for us to offer.”