Well, THESE are a fun pair. Had been eyeing these two for a while, loved the art, design and classic vaugeness of the label (no english, no variety, nothing–as is quite unusual for Italian wine marketed in the US because: Umerican) and decided to take them around the block for a spin.
BLUE: Dark purple red, staining and impenetrable. Fresh bread and black cherry lollipop along a dusty dank path, meaty and rich, headed ever-so-slightly into liqueur, but with a thick, chewy being.
ORANGE: Thinner and more garnet. Much calmer nose, shrill with a little diesel and sweet pie cherry. Cinnamon and nutmeg, more shrill acidity visible, a little vanilla and dessert encapsulating everything.
I know nothing about this producer–turns out I am literally the ONLY person on the planet not familiar with them–but they appear pretty professionally done, and right off the bat: for IGT’s they are NOT big rich oaky Napa-clones as is quite common in the US. Both in fairly inexpensive glass, and immediately: BLUE is going to have something besides Sangiovese in it, definitely heading out on extraction and alcohol, comfortably north of 13-5, while ORANGE strikes me as 100% Sangiovese and a bit more restraint included.
GRILLI: NOT flabby at ALL. Harsh and sharp, CRAZY acidity and structure offset the alcohol. Tannic from the get-go, chalky dry shrillness indicate a baby needing to settle down–and all the fruit is back there to ensure good results. Massive straight-raspberry pepper, concentrated and ripe, but oh man it dries out fast and leaves the mouth gasping for air–in a GOOD way.
CASAMATTA: The dull barnyard of the nose greets each taste, influencing what direction it goes. Dense and woody, fruit dialed back–as is the structure–but still almost-shocking acidity, creating a package thinner and more approachable, not short-changing anyone on clear, distinct berry basking amid Scarface-piles of acid. Finish more shrill than tannic, but they are still there.
Two very distinct wines for two different styles of drinkers. Thank Dog I am able to appreciate both. These are glorious wines, and EACH of them I would stash a few away for future reference–IF you can keep your hands off them.
2016 BIBI GRAETZ ‘Grilli’ CF/SY/ME 60/20/20 IGT Toscana 14.0
2016 BIBI GRAETZ ‘Casmatta’ Sangiovese IGT Toscana 12.5