Sunday, January 26, 2014

Monte Antico from Neil Empson while out on the snowmobile trails

2008 Monte AnticoThis weekend I did what I love doing in the winter, snowmobiling! Even though the temperatures were well before zero there is nothing like sledding deep into the woods and exploring the natural beauty of the Great North Woods in NH beautifully covered in snow. Then another great part is coming home, taking a hot shower and relaxing with a bottle of wine. Who said you can't be classy and rugged at the same time!

This weekend I decided to open a bottle of Monte Antico from the portfolio of Neil Empson. I learned about Neil years ago when I worked for Martignettis and my boss at the time had exposed me to their impressive Italian portfolio. 
Monte Antico, meaning “ancient mountain”, is actually their own wine whom they have paired with the famous winemaker, Franco Bernabei, to produce. The wine is actually a Super Tuscan containing primarily Sangiovese with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. The grapes are hand picked from the Tuscan countryside of the Maremma, Colline Pisane and Colli Fiorentini areas. It's aged a year in oak and another 6 months in the bottle.

I found this 2008 bottle to be well rounded and balanced between the acidity and ripe red fruit. It's a solid medium bodied wine that is very smooth with soft tannins and a nice finish. What made it even easier is that it had a screw cap! It's very reasonably priced as well at $10-12 a bottle on average.

Have you had any of NeilEmpson wines?  If so, which ones are your favorite?