Argiano NC (Non Confiditur) 2004
For those of you who wasted away your childhood watching Saturday morning cartoons such as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids may remember “NC” being the abbreviation for “no class” — which the character Russell invariably used to insult Rudy.
However, this wine has plenty of class, and in fact the “NC” stands for “Non Confunditur”, a latin term which the Argiano family uses as their motto. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the term means because instead of taking latin as a kid I wasted away my time watching cartoons. Anyway …
This is a Tuscan blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Sangiovese, and 20% Syrah – all from vineyards in the Montalcino district. It’s an IGT, and could be considered a “baby Super Tuscan”. All those great grapes put together, spending a full year in oak barrels, and then another four months in bottle before release, and yet it still retails for under twenty bucks. Amazing.
The nose is deep, rich with aromas of leather saddle, black fruit, tobacco, earth, tar, peppermint, and something else green or herbal — eucalyptus? Sage? Bay leaf? I’m not sure, I really need to get better at this. The palate has similar flavors, dominated by sweet black cassis fruit, sweet tobacco, a touch of anise and red licorice, and some mocha / chocolate hints. Acidity is low, tannins are medium and firm. The texture is very smooth. There’s a bit of hotness that appears momentarily but fades away by the finish, which has good fruit (black raspberry, cassis, black licorice, tar, tobacco) and is fairly well balanced. The acidity isn’t high enough to match with tomato sauce, so try it instead with hard and soft cheeses, grilled meats, lamb chops.
This is a wine that drinks like a big boy, but not priced like one. A good value.
a-8 t-8 b-8 fc-7 v-8 ~ 89 Points