By rights this wine is a Super Tuscan, predominantly Sangiovese with a healthy dose of Cab, then mitigated with a little Syrah and Merlot. Since we hadn't had it before and we had a houseful for Christmas Eve we opened it first. Expecting a medium-bodied wine, we paired it with cold shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce (even now I can hear Jim Shepard squirming in his mausoleum vault....good heavens man, it's just not done), marinated asparagus and artichoke, & rich flavorful cheeses.
It didn't last long and Mrs TWC wanted to know why we didn't buy more. Although she was in charge of that department one has to understand that it is a miracle on the order of the Christmas miracle when Mrs TWC asks for a second or third glass of anything. That is endorsement enough I suspect.
Back in 2003 Wine Spectator suggested that Tuscany was in deep doo doo....
The 2002 vintage, with a few exceptions, was one of the worst in memory, wet and cold through most of the growing season and harvest. Many wines, particularly those based on Sangiovese, are not going to be up to recent quality levels
From what I can gather the 2002 isn't the knock-out that the 2001 offerings were and I know Parker was generous with his praise for the '01 Antinori Toscana, yet, on the tongue the 2002 vintage feels something like a long-cellared Bordeaux. Brick colored, dry, smooth, and earthy....reminiscent of the chianti that it ought to be, sans the straw and the peasant's lunch, altogether a bit more grown up I'd say.
These guys have been making wine for 26 generations and that depth of experience shows up in the end product. As TWC is fond of saying, I've had wines costing twice as much that tasted half as good. Expect to pay between $15.00-$22.00 and expect a great deal of pleasure from this wine, which will nicely compliment strong cheese, mesquite grilled beef, or any dish with red sauce.