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This wine is dedicated to the family’s most notable ancestor, Philip Mazzei (1730-1816), an illustrious political thinker, philosopher, and winemaker. A close friend of Thomas Jefferson, he planted the first vineyards at Jefferson’s estate in Monticello, VA. Philip’s political writings were influential to the soon-to-be president, particularly on matters of equality. Philip advocated that “all men are by nature equally free and independent,” which later served as an inspiration for the writing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. In his honor, the Mazzei’s developed Philip, a Cabernet Sauvignon made from a blend of grapes grown at Castello di Fonterutoli and Belguardo, their two estates in Tuscany.
The Mazzei’s Tuscan estates include Castello di Fonterutoli in Chianti Classico, characterized by mainly limestone soils. Half of Philip comes from these estate vineyards. The other half is sources from their Belguardo property in the Meramma, roughly six miles inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Soils here are primarily composed of sandstone.
For 26 generations, the Mazzei family has been producing benchmark Italian wines from their historic Castello di Fonterutoli estate in Tuscany and more recently in the Maremma, Sicily, and the Veneto. The passion, commitment, and expertise that goes into these expressive wines are a reflection of the Mazzei’s spirit of innovation and respect for each property’s unique terroir.
Aging: 18 months in French and American oak barrels (30% new).
Tasting Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark purple in color. On the nose, intriguing black cherry, balsamic herbs, coffee, and lightly toasted oak. Harmonious flavors of dark fruit, dried flowers, chocolate, and vanilla. Exotic, complex character, full-bodied with polished tannins.
This wine is a symbolic bridge from the Old World to the New. The Mazzei 2019 Philip is an all-Tuscan expression of Cabernet Sauvignon (with a tiny part Cabernet Franc) that delivers rich texture, ripeness, and ripe fruit. The wine is named after Philip Mazzei (1730–1816), who was a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson. The two men reportedly exchanged winemaking tips and vineyard techniques. The 2019 vintage nails that proverbial sweet spot between softness, structure, fruit, and spice. This is a plush, fruit-forward, and balanced Tuscan red. ~94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Very tight and firm with polished tannins that are poised and creamy-textured. The fruit shows plenty of blackberry and raspberry character. Lightly chewy finish. Better after 2024, when it will have opened up. ~ 94 James Suckling
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