Falkner 2017 Amante

Winery/Vineyard: Falkner Winery
Product/Varietal: Super Tuscan-Style Blend – 50% Sangiovese + 26% Merlot + 12% Cabernet Sauvignon + 12% Cabernet Franc
Vintage: 2017
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Duncan Williams

Rating: 90

90 out of 100 points for the 2016 and 2015 vintages on Wine Enthusiast. 92 points for the 2014 vintage.

How They Describe It

Our Super Tuscan Style Amante® is our proprietary blend of Sangiovese with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  Enjoy the lovely garnet color and the elegant style along with flavors of black cherry,  licorice, raspberry, and blueberry.  This complex wine has a smooth finish and pairs well with pasta, veal, duck, and beef dishes

How I Describe It

Half of Falkner Winery’s 2017 Amante Super Tuscan Style blend is Sangiovese, which commonly has pale color intensity and is prone to showing garnet after only a few years of aging. The other half is a Bordeaux blend, which tends to have a more medium intensity and redder hue. Not surprisingly, this wine splits the difference: an intensity right down the middle between medium and pale, and a beautiful hue which seems almost blood red.

Dominant aromas of red currant, raspberry, and ripe strawberry harmonize with sweet blackberry and blueberry. Layers of black pepper, wet stone, lavender, and eucalyptus — along with wet leaves and a touch of farmyard — add complexity and character. The winemaker’s style manifests with vanilla, nutmeg and cedar from the oak, as well as bread dough, likely though time spent sur lie.

Imagine cherry vanilla cola, muddled with a mix of ripened raspberries, strawberries, red currant, and blackberry. That’s the base for the Falkner 2017 Amante. Eucalyptus, fennel and black pepper add spice, accompanied by toast and bread dough. Additional oak flavors include nutmeg, baking spice, and fresh wood. Game and truffle demonstrate aging.

This is a dry wine with medium alcohol. Everything else about this wine is medium-plus: tannin, acid, flavor intensity, body, and finish. The result is a beverage well suited for food pairing and casual drinking.

Why is This Wine Special?

First, a very important note: this is a wine which needs to breathe. Most red wines (and some whites) require some time to oxygenate, in order to get the full bouquet of flavors and aromas. How much time depends on the varietal and the winemaking style. In the case of Falkner Winery’s 2017 Amante Super Tuscan Style, the wine needs to be opened at least an hour before drinking, preferably longer.

That said, once the 2017 Amante has breathed, it remains drinkable for quite some time. I forgot to cap the bottle the evening after opening it (oops!), and the wine was still flavorful well into the next evening.

Now, on to more important things. The Amante Super Tuscan Style is Falkner Winery’s flagship. Of the 26 acres cultivated to produce the winery’s ~10,000 total yearly cases, the winemaking team hand-picks and individually selects berries for the Amante blend. That’s a significant amount of meticulous labor, and when combined with careful blending (the percentages for each vintage are slightly different), the final product is a delicious showcase of the winemaking team‘s talents.

When & How I Would Drink It

The Falkner 2017 Amante Super Tuscan Style is a wine begging to be paired with food. While it goes nicely with meat like sirloin, pork, and veal, I would err on the side of roasting rather than grilling. And because of the bright red fruit from the Sangiovese, the Amante also marries well with gamier fowl, like duck and turkey, in addition to well-seasoned pasta dishes.

How to Get It

Order:  https://store.falknerwinery.com/2017-amante-super-tuscan-style-wine-p214.aspx

Bottle Price: $40.17 as of April 2020 (normally $59.95)

Cases Produced: fewer than 1,000


Have you tried the Falkner 2017 Amante Super Tuscan Style? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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