92 Points- James Suckling
93 Insider Points
"A silky and soft-textured red with lots of fruit and tannins. Full-bodied, fresh and bright. Needs a year or two to soften. Excellent. Second wine of Luce."- James Suckling
The 2013 Lucente from Luce Della Vite is the second wine from this iconic estate in the heart of Montalcino, and it absolutely amazes at this price. Beautiful rich ruby color with enchanting aromas of blackberry, blueberry, plum, and a nice baking spice component. Soft and melting tannins, the wine is a bit tight at first, likely due to its youth, but the palate has luscious fruit, with layers of cedar and spice, and lasting vanilla notes. Enjoy now through 2023. - DZ Oct 2016
“Excellent,” writes James Suckling, who scored this Super Tuscan blend of Merlot and Sangiovese 92 points. “A silky and soft-textured red with lots of fruit and tannins. Full-bodied, fresh and bright.”
Luce is a great house in Tuscany, producing what many might name as the finest Super Tuscan out there. Fortunately for mere mortals, this estate also produces a “second wine” sourced from the very same vineyards as its tete du cuvee (which routinely earns 95+ points from critics and costs nearly $100.)
A stupendous value in the under $20 category, the 2013 Lucente rested for one year in the estate’s hallowed barrel room and was bottled on site in the impressive cellar. At this young stage, the wine is full of dark, even black cherry notes and excellent structure, promising a long life ahead for those who can resist its elegant, creamy dark fruit and exotic spice now. Previous vintages of this bargain earned a place in the Spectator’s Top 100, and the 2010 vintage found itself in Suckling’s Top 10 Wines of the Year. A near perfect vintage in 2013 produced yet another Lucente to write home about. And come to think of it, this impressive label makes a fine holiday gift to send back home to friends and family.
Reasons why we love it:
2013 is already “considered a classic vintage” in Tuscany, says Jancis Robinson. Robert Parker awarded 2013 with 92 points. According to the Wine Spectator: “2013 looks like a very good to excellent harvest for most grape varieties.”
Luce was established in the early 1990s, just as the Super Tuscan category reached newly stratospheric heights in popularity. And behind this famous label: two equally famous names in fine wine—Vittorio Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi.
The Tenute Luce della Vita includes 192 hectares just southwest of the wine town of Montalcino, though just 77 are planted to wine grapes. The remaining land includes a few olive groves but is mainly left to local plants and trees in order to preserve the natural ecology of the zone. In fact, Luce is dedicated to sustainable agriculture and makes use of organic practices throughout the estate whenever possible.
Lucente 2013 displays a vibrant purple-red colour. Its rich, intense bouquet releases black cherry and wild berry, enriched with fascinating notes of pungent spice. The palate is smooth, with fine-grained tannins and an underlying impression of crisp balsam. Overall, this wine is complex, forceful, and elegant.
Luce is the result of a project launched in the early 1990s, the fruit of a dream of two leaders in the history of wine, Vittorio Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi. Their common goal was to unite together their individual passionate commitments and their own personal traditions, in order to offer the world a truly exceptional, utterly different wine, grown in the heart of Montalcino. Their sons, Lamberto and Tim, at that time both young winemakers, were the ones who brought into reality their fathers’ vision, uniting together in a magisterial blend, Sangiovese and Merlot, a wine that was given the name Luce, as tribute to an element essential for the flourishing of every new being.
The first two vintages, 1993 and 1994, were released together, in 1997, and aroused enormous interest, fascinated by the innovative character that was the hallmark of this project. But that was just the beginning, and any uncertainty engendered by the arrival on stage of an unexpected new actor quickly gave way to appreciation for the new wine’s indubitable quality.
Year after year, Luce succeeded in crafting an expression that was uniquely individual to each growing season. Beginning with the 2004 vintage, the direction of Luce was entrusted solely to Lamberto Frescobaldi.
Perfect with the classic risotto napped with wild mushrooms and drizzled with truffle oil.