Let’s start things off with a review, the 2004 Donnafugata Tancredi, courtesy of the good folks at Folio Wine Partners, who sent six bottles of Donnafugata’s latest releases, which Folio is importing. I picked the hearty Italian Tancredi to go with buffalo burgers tonight… which turned out to be a good choice.
Donnafugata is a Sicilian winery, and Sicily’s red wine usually means Nero d’Avola grapes. Tancredi is a blend of “old world and new world” grapes, which in this case means 70% Nero and 30% Cabernet. The blend is effective. While Tancredi strongly resembles most Sicilian wines I’ve had, the Cab backbone is there. Freshly opened, the wine comes across as fairly harsh and young (it is a 2004 after all), with lightly vegetal/green pepper notes overpowering the tight, fruit core. But an hour later, the wine had opened up considerably. The greenishness was gone, leaving behind a smoother wine more reminiscent of a New World Cabernet, with cherry and spice dominating. (Sure enough: The winemaker recommends opening the bottle two hours before drinking.)
I wished I was drinking the wine with a pasta with a rich and acidic tomato sauce (Donnafugata recommends rabbit, lamb, aged cheeses, mushrooms, and other hearty dishes), but given some time it was good even after dinner was over. It isn’t a perfect wine, and I’d prefer it to rest in bottle another few years before trying it again, but if you’ve got a few hours to kill (or a handy decanter), the Tancredi is pretty decent.
B+ / $40 / www.donnafugata.it