2011 Toscana Casamatta Red BlendTuscany Italy
Bibi Graetz, the iconic Italian winemaker, took an unconventional route to his winemaking career. Growing up in Fiesole, above Florence, in an artistic family, surrounded by the impressive metal sculptures by his father, Gidon Graetz, and his own canvases and paint brushes, Bibi graduated from Accademia delle Belle Arte in Florence as a promising young artist. His increasing passion for wine had become evident while he was still an art student, however, and he began studying all he could find on enology. It was in the late 1990s, when Bibi was in the process of renewing his family's contract to grow grapes for other producers that he impulsively decided to use the grapes to make his own wines. Bibi produced his first vintage in 2000. In collaboration with winemaker Alberto Antonini, with whom he worked for four years, the production became highly successful at an early stage. In 2003, his Testamatta (which routinely sells for more than $100 per bottle) was awarded Best Red Wine at the Bordeaux Vinexpo. Since then, he has risen from artisan to cult winemaker and is considered one of Italy's most ingenious and original winemakers.
"Casamatta," or "crazy house," is Bibi's creation of a Tuscan-style house wine that, contrary to its whimsical name, is consistently refreshing and seriously delicious. Characterized by balanced acidity and bright forward fruit, these are uncomplicated, natural wines that are meant to complement foods, require no further aging and are totally accessible and enjoyable upon release. A juicy wine with upfront fruit and light tannins, this little gem displays the earthy side of Sangiovese with loam, iron, cherry and plum flavors. 90 points Wine Spectator. 12.5% ABV SWC