Luce is a joint venture between the late Robert Mondavi and Vittorio Frescobaldi of the eponymous Italian estate. Two wines, Luce, and its little brother Lucente, are both exciting, full throttle wines using Merlot and Sangiovese as their theme song. Both wines are remarkable efforts and, in the sunny, superb vintage of 2009, the little brother is a winner.
2009 Luce La Vite Lucente Toscana IGT $30 srp
Deep red to crimson color. Intense blackberry and cherry impressions with tobacco, licorice, cedar and pinpoint minerality completing the seductive bouquet. Flavors are fruit forward with cherry predominating plus pepper and sharpened pencil elements emerging. What I especially love is how Tuscan Merlot is truly its own animal--not Napa nor Pomerol-like in nature; and how the native Sangiovese makes the package sing old world. (75% Merlot, 25% Sangiovese) A big wine that will improve with bottle age, but pretty dashing as we speak. Drink now-2018