There are countless times when you are looking for an interesting wine under $15 and get stuck with the same old mass produced California, Spanish or South American selections to choose from. Italian options in this range and style are limited to cheap Chianti, large format Montepulciano D’Abruzzo or if your lucky some decent Puglian bottles.
Unfortunately Chinati tends to be simple, Montepulciano tends to be thin and Puglian stuff can get overripe and dumb with vanilla and oak. This bottle of Falesco Vitiano is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the style of a super Tuscan that makes a case for your twelve bucks.
When I got past the initial aromas of alcohol I picked up some ripe plum, black currant, raisin and a hefty dose of vanilla. Rich and creamy on the palate with only a hint of astringency that ultimately keeps it food friendly. Overall dense and ripe without coming off as sweet, it has just enough subtle earth notes that I could peg it as Italian.
Since it’s easy on the wallet and easy to find, this wine is interesting enough for the geeks and friendly enough for newbies as it finds a happy median between old world and new. The Falesco Vitiano 2007 is where bulk wine and interesting value Italian wine come together to flirt with being overripe.