Montalcino’s Luce Wine
The inaugural release of Luce was in 1995 and explored Montalcino’s ancient sangiovese vineyards using merlot. Aged in toasty new oak for 11 months, its dense, dark red color exuded great structure accentuated by fresh sweet herb and green spice notes for an unparalleled experience.
This opulent Tuscan blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Sangiovese boasts rich blackberry, cassis and herb flavors with firm tannins requiring further aging.
Early Life and Education
Robert Mondavi was instrumental in elevating Napa Valley with Baron Philippe de Rothschild through Opus One, but after moving his focus onto Tuscany’s Luce della Vite winery. Working alongside Frescobaldi family legends he created Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Merlot for launch during early 1990s.
Today, the estate is solely owned by the Frescobaldi family, and Marchese Lamberto Frescobaldi has implemented production protocols designed to preserve each vineyard’s individual identity from vine to glass. His family takes great care in all viticultural and winemaking decisions ranging from site selection and winemaking techniques, all the way through to selecting its final blend each year.
Classic Cabernet Sauvignon boasting an exquisite balance between red fruit and spice notes, lushness and ripeness, fine tannins and exquisite structure. A delightful sipper!
Luce is one of Montalcino’s iconic wines, instantly recognisable by its sun symbol inspired by Brunelleschi’s high altar design at Florence’s Basilica di Santo Spirito and by Montalcino’s bright sunlight. First launched in the 1990s through a collaboration between Vittorio Frescobaldi’s centuries-old Tuscan wine family and Robert Mondavi – an early pioneer of modern California viniculture –
Marini gained his knowledge of Burgundy’s soils from tasting soil samples for Cistercian monks, and understands the region’s unique terroir as part of his Cistercian studies. This philosophy echoes through Tenuta Luce’s dedication to sustainable practices.
Alessandro Marini, winemaking consultant of both the Luce and Castelgiocondo estates, holds a bachelor’s degree in viticulture and oenology from the University of Ancona and gained valuable experience at top French vineyards such as Figeac, Trotanoy and L’Eglise.
Achievement and Honors
Luce wine began production in the 1990s as an innovative collaboration between Tuscan aristocrat Vittorio Frescobaldi and American winemaker Robert Mondavi. The name, taken from Latin for “light of the vine,” refers to its iconic sun motif on its label.
Luce della Vite was the flagship wine of this property when first produced, embodying an intricate blend of Merlot and Sangiovese grapes that continues to reflect its origins year after year.
More recently, Lucente Winery expanded their product lineup with an entry level merlot blend called Lucente that provides an entryway into Brunello di Montalcino wines. Aged for 17 months in large non-toasted French oak barrels that let fruit take center stage, this wine embodies Lucie’s philosophy and style without compromising its pedigree.
In the mid 1990’s, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi of Italy and Robert Mondavi of Napa joined forces to produce a Tuscan red wine known as Luce, combining elements from both Sangiovese and Merlot for maximum enjoyment.
This timeless blend of Sangiovese and Merlot remains an outstanding value at any price. This year’s vintage offers richness and robustness in this Super Tuscan, boasting notes of blackberry, cassis, earthy fresh mushroom as well as precise tannins balanced by superior acidity for optimal drinking pleasure.
Luce vineyards lie west of Montalcino on steep-sloping terrain characterized by light sandstone and pure schist terroir. Wine production takes place in a modern 2011 facility on the estate. Since 2004, Frescobaldi family have owned and managed the winery exclusively with their team managing it solely.
Vittorio Frescobaldi and American winemaker Robert Mondavi joined forces in Montalcino at Tenuta Luce estate during the early nineties to combine Sangiovese with Merlot grape varieties that had not yet made an impactful statement within Brunello di Montalcino DOC zone. Their wine, named Luce della Vite (“light of life”) was an early precursor of Super Tuscan wines.
Today, Luce winery boasts exceptional vineyards and state-of-the-art production facilities. Additionally, its winemaking team pays particular attention to viticultural and winemaking decisions in order to capture the spirit of every vintage and produce an outstanding wine that truly expresses the character of its land.
Luce 2020 displays an intense ruby red hue, boasting rich aromas of black fruits and subtle notes of incense for extraordinary complexity. On the palate it offers excellent structure with velvety tannins creating an exquisite balance between freshness and elegance.