La Querciolina Istriciaia Maremma Toscana (2007)

La Querciolina Istriciaia Maremma 2007One of the most difficult things about wine critique – and, before I even get into that, I should mention that I don’t consider myself a true wine critic, at least that inhabits the same space as people like Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer, or even bloggers who do actual professional tasting events, but at the same time, people who read my posts might be encouraged to buy a wine, or perhaps dissuaded from buying a wine, so in some ways, the same principles apply.

Anyway, one of the most difficult things is separating personal taste from unbiased reviews of the wine itself. There are many wines that are made very well, but not particularly in a style that I personally like. How much does one deduct from a wine’s score when the winemaker’s choices are not particularly well-liked by the reviewer, but certainly valid choices? This becomes even more relevant when the wine in question is a “crowd-pleaser” – a wine that is delicious and probably would be well liked by most people, even if that makes it somewhat less interesting to more nuanced palates.

As you might guess, La Querciolina Istriciaia Maremma 2007 is one of these wines for me. It’s quite tasty, but not made in the style I like when it comes to Italian wine. See, for me, why Italy is so interesting is due to the funky, old world aspects of many of their wines. I love wines that reek of mushrooms, leather and earth, and which bring bright acidity that cuts through a myriad of Italian cuisines.

This wine isn’t that. It’s more of a New World-style, with loads of candied cherries and caramel sauce. In a way, it almost tastes like candy. Maybe toffee with cherries, if such a thing existed. Or a cherry pie with caramel sauce. Although these combinations may seem odd, they also seem like they’d be delicious, which this wine is. It’s just not what I look for in Italian wine. But you’ll probably like it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I would pair it with something rich – a meat ragu, grilled meats, or aged cheese. Despite the lack of Italian-ness, it’d probably go wonderfully with an aged Gouda.

Tasting Notes:

Leather, cherries, herbs on nose. Palate features candied fruits, vanilla and caramel, with a slightly sour note on the finish. Tannins and acidity are well-integrated. Do they serve cherry pie with caramel sauce? If so, this is what it would taste like. New world in style, and I would suggest bolder foods than most Sangios normally pair with.