Falesco Vitiano, an equal parts Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon looked to be another Falesco stunner on paper. Any regular readers will know I am the biggest fan of Falesco and have dedicated several blog entries to their fair priced range. I love the QPR with Falesco, I love their modern attitude towards wine marketing and I love that they are using Lazio to produce high quality reds which is fantastic terroir and I’m glad it’s being recognised.
I roared on for days about Falesco’s Tellus and Montiano so perhaps what I’m truly a fan of is their Merlot production because this blend put a whole new spin on unpleasant. It’s so displeasing to the senses that I can’t believe it’s actually deliberately made this way. It’s not like the wine has bad colour, or depth, it hasn’t been made poorly, in fact the tell tale signs of quality are there however, to my nose and palate, this was one of the most bizarre wines I’ve yet to taste.
Falesco Vitiano is a darling of the critics. After trying this wine I went along to the Parker and Wine Spectator websites to see if it had assaulted them as it had assaulted me. What I found were 88-90 range scores for every single vintage including my assailant, the 2005. It’s very difficult to comment about wines whose flavour and nose profiles are so off putting. Usually you can balance for your own taste nuances, for example, when a nose profile includes licorice I know that I do not like it, but other’s do, so I can’t take praise from a wine for this, but when it smells like the backside of bovine?
As with any individual my palate is unique to me, however looking up the notes on Cellar Tracker I found that several other wine lovers had exactly the same opinion. So how can Galloni and Suckling rate this wine 88-90 and 100+ others find it so grim? Are wine experts just more finely tuned to aromas of dung finding them innately more pleasurable than the rest of us mere mortals? Aren’t wine critics supposed to be representative of the palatus populus* rather than having super tasting powers? Of course wine splits opinion all the time, but you seldom see such wide ranging experiences of wine as with the Vitiano.
Whatever the reason for the bizarre opinion split personally I wont be touching this wine again and am not recommending it here on the blog. I’m very positive about Falesco and for the same price you can pick up the Syrah/Merlot equal blended Tellus available worldwide.
Falesco Vitiano 2005 – PASS – €7.50Lovely, deep brooding dark ruby red in the glass. On the nose the wine smells barnyard dirty, aromas of dark cherry somewhere underneath that though this is a secondary aroma. On the palate the wine was fruitless, mid bodied, quite bitter, licorice notes, too acidic, off balanced but a decent length on the finish. 84 Points
84 Points! Yes, the wine isn’t badly made, and yes it’s weird and off balance and smells like a barn and the fruit does disappear but it does have aromas and it has a nice mouth feel and great colour, whilst I wouldn’t buy it again it is a question of taste. It loses points for a lack of fruit and being off balanced, I can not slam this wine too hard for not appealing to me personally.
Boy O Boy what a tricky customer Falesco Vitiano is. If you do have €7.50 in your pocket and have nothing better to do than play with me I would love to know what other people make of this one.
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What has been the worst wine you have bought on recommendation, whether that’s the recommendation of a friend or critic? Have you tried this wine?
*Palatus Populus is not a real wine term. Do not use this in conversation with wine nerds. While we are here, I must also tell you that “Bum Vintage” is also not a real wine term (google it) these are specialist Wine90 terms and I am trademarking them as we speak.
Italian Wine Blog – Wine90