Falesco Vitiano

Falesco Vitiano

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 2005PASS – €7.50
Lovely, 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. :D
Italian Wine Blog – Wine90

8 thoughts on “Falesco Vitiano

  1. J.Phelps Insignia. Not worth the dollars at half the price, recommended to me by a wine friend whose knowledge I had found unquestionable to that point.

  2. On a recommendation from a famous spanish wine critic I acquired a case of Numanthia Termes and I have never been so disappointed in any wine before or since. We opened bottle after bottle waiting for an improvement.

  3. Vitiano is widely available here in the States, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2003, it was an excellent bargain. The 2004 was notably different, and I do not usually obsess over vintage differences, but enjoyed it less than 2003. I only tried one bottle of 2005 and have not been inclined to purchase another. Too many other choices in that price range that I really enjoy more.

  4. I rarely find my tastes match with the top critics. There is a critic who writes for one of the NY dailys who I have matched point for point over the last 5 years.

    It’s difficult to find a critic to match your palate but can be a useful guide if you can.

    Tony

  5. Sarah

    This wine I have tried and agree with another comment earlier that its quite vintage unique. Even for such a large production this wine more than any other Falesco appears to depends on the year. I heard many of the 05′s were corked, maybe this was you?

  6. Sarah,

    I couldn’t agree more on your comments about Falesco’s Vitiano – except that I’ll apply those comments to *all* vintages of Vitiano going back at least as far as 2001, maybe 1999, but I can’t remember. Along with the Bodegas Castana Hecula, I can’t think of a wine more consistently, well, inconsistent! The amount of bottle variation is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve had higher than normal numbers of corked bottles, as well as some good bottles (in the 88+ point range that critics are giving), but most in the lower 80s range, with some even worse than that.

    It’s completely unacceptable, and as such, it’s been off my list of QPR wines for several vintages now. To be honest, with over *200,000 thousand cases produced*, it’ not much of a surprise that there’s so much variation. Apparently 65% of the yield gets into vats for fermentation, but personally I think they need to do 3, 4, or maybe even 5 green harvests since the quality is all over the place.

    Sorry for the rant, but the poor quality of this label is a stain on an otherwise relatively solid winery.

    BTW, not to be a stickler or anything, but Vitiano is made from vineyards in Umbria, not Lazio.

  7. Hi Sarah,

    Only bad experiences with the Falesco Vitiano from 2005. 2 out of 3 bottles were corked (bought at different stores) and the bottle that was okay was so boring, fruitless, bitter and off balance that I found nothing I liked in this wine. Pretty much your impression I guess. I really don’t get the high scores attributed to this by some wine critics. It is a wine I will avoid in future.

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