A Versatile Tuscan Red

Poggio alle Sughere Morellino di Scansano 2005
Thomas Matthews
Posted: April 9, 2009

A Voce is a contemporary Italian restaurant near Gramercy Park in Manhattan, with a fine wine list (it holds Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence) and a new chef, Missy Robbins, who came from the renowned Spiagga in Chicago.

Robbins hasn't changed the menu dramatically; the flavors are focused and clean, the dishes largely traditional yet often brightened with a surprising touch. For example, in a pasta special of maccheroni alla chitarra, a rich lamb ragù was enlivened with spicy Sicilian chiles.

The wine list is balanced between Italy, France and the United States, but since the food is resolutely Italian, I chose a Tuscan red from Poggio alle Sughere ($48 on the list). It's a blend of 90 percent Sangiovese (the local clone is known as Morellino) and 10 percent Cabernet from the coastal Maremma region of Tuscany.

The warm climate (compared with Chianti), a short maceration and only a few months in oak gives this red a round, soft character, a core of ripe plum fruit and just enough tannins for grip. The wine nestled up nicely to pillowy ricotta, yet had enough structure to hold its own with deliciously gamy, fatty lamb chops. I rated it 87 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members:
• Get more tasting notes for recently rated Tuscan reds from the Maremma.
• Plus, our quick lists of Top Values and Easy Finds among Italian reds.

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