Winery: San Felo
Wine Name/Vineyard: Balla La Vecchia
Wine Category: Red Blend
Grape blend: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot
Bottle size: 750 ml
State or country: Italy
Cases produced: N/A
The Barrel Cellar Score: 89 points
Review date: Dec 8, 2021
About the Winemaker: Fattoria San Felo’s vineyards are located in the Tuscan Maremma. The “Maremma” is a low lying and marshy area near the sea. While it wasn’t always considered a great area for viticulture, today it is considered an important winemaking region; vines there benefit from the sandy soil so much that great old world wines are being produced there regularly. The vineyards that produced the grapes for this wine, span an area of about 50 hectares, and the grapes were harvested over three separate periods between mid-September and late October.
Color: Deep Purple
Nose: Fresh strawberries, Flintstone vitamins.
Taste: Oak, fresh strawberry, fresh Oregano, Eucalyptus, fig and baking spice.
Assessment: As I first poured this “Super Tuscan” red blend into my glass, I was quite impressed by the color. It’s unusual for a well aged wine to maintain a consistent and deep purple color over 11 years. I’m not sure I’ve seen a wine over 10 years of age not take on at least a few hints of rose gold or brick red. Most importantly, the juice is also still in great shape. It’s silky in texture with a full body and nice grippy tannins. There is a consistent balance of fruit, tannin, and acidity in each sip, and the old-world influence ties it all together.
When I first bought this bottle, I believe it was around $10 a bottle, more recent vintages have doubled in price, but this wine is worth every cent of the current asking price of $20. The Barrel Cellar gives Balla La Vecchia from Fattoria San Felo 89 points.
Pairing recommendation: Duck breast with a cherry reduction, roasted portabella mushrooms, or a slice of chocolate silk pie.