Ciacci Piccolomini Ateo 2019

2019 Ciacci Piccolomini Ateo: Top Super Tuscan Value of All Time!

What happens when famed Brunello producer Ciacci decides to "play around" with Bordeaux varieties? Greatness, that's what happens, and it is contained within their 2019 Ateo Rosso. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from 30-40+ year-old vines, this is one of the best Super Tuscan values in the world.

Your senses are going to jump with joy when you get this incredibly classy and stylish red wine into your glass. It is a wine that is more redolent of place than varietal, and this just oozes with Tuscan soul and style. 'Ateo' means 'atheist,' and it is Ciacci's way of thumbing their nose at the restrictive laws that govern winemaking in Tuscany. I am so glad this highly respected estate decided to "go rogue" and craft a wine without any native Tuscan varieties. It is a wonderful success!

Ciacci Ateo Rosso

2019 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Ateo Rosso

Super Tuscan Deal of the Year! 94 points - Yours Truly

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Ciacci's wines are some of the most sought after in all of Italy, and their Ateo is the cheapest way to get one of their wines into your glass. If you like to get maximum wine for your dollar, whether you love reds from Tuscany, Napa, or Bordeaux, this is the wine for you. The fruit is ripe yet fresh, the French oak is perfectly integrated, and the finished wine easily competes with others that would cost you 2 to 3 times the price. You really can't ask for much more out of an estate-grown wine from one of the best producers in the world.

Ateo was first produced in the 1989 vintage, a dreadful one in which Ciacci chose not to produce a Brunello di Montalcino. It happened to be the first harvest of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate vineyards south of Montalcino. Let's just say a star was born. Now some 30+ years later, those Cab and Merlot vines are older and yielding even more nuance, and  Ciacci's Ateo has become a much more complete and substantial wine.

Fermented in stainless steel and aged 18 months in French oak (20% new), this opens with aromas of ripe dark cherry, fresh plum, brown spices, cedar, and dark chocolate. With air and time, this just gets better and better. Like I said earlier, this is firmly rooted in Tuscany. It might not contain any Sangiovese, the greatest carrier of Tuscan terroir, but man, it still brings home that freshness and liveliness that is a hallmark of all great Tuscan reds. 

Let me recap things for you. Old-vine Cab and Merlot from one of the top estates in Italy, less than $25, and a wine that will please the pickiest of cork dorks....sign me up. Sign up I did, I bought my distributor's last 28 cases of this one. Get some while we have some. This will go fast!

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville