After tasting the 1997 Campoleone (one of the greatest Italian wines made over recent years), a friend of mine joked that it was a shame these people didn't fashion cars as well as they make wine. This famed 50% Merlot/50% Sangiovese blend comes from a parcel of just under 20 acres. The compelling 1999 Campoleone (20,000 bottles produced) was aged in 100% French oak and bottled without fining or filtration by oenologist Riccardo Cotarella. A dense opaque purple color is accompanied by scents of new saddle leather, blackberry and cassis fruit, licorice, roasted meats, and graphite. Full-bodied and sweet, with a fabulous texture, ripe tannin, adequate acidity, and brilliant definition, this is a tour de force in winemaking. RP
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