2 ‘Glasses’ For 4.99€
Today’s wine review is different. Usually I do not review wines for under 10€ – most of the time they are not worth mentioning. This wine is worth mentioning.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine brought over a bottle of 2009 Tenute Piccini Il Pacchia. A Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes. We all know the Gambero Rosso don’t we? The famous Italian wine guide. Il Pacchia was awarded 2 glasses by the Gambero Rosso, yet the wine only costs 4.99€. How is that even possible? Come and join me on a journey full of “surprises”.
My friend did not tell me the price tag of the wine until I was done taking notes.
If you take a closer look at the label, then you read at the bottom Tenuta Moraia. Because I always like to know a little bit about the winery I tend to google them. I assumed that Tenuta Moraia was the producer but it turned out that Tenuta Moraia is just a fantasy name. Il Pacchia is actually bottled by Tenute Piccini, a very large winery from Tuscany. According to their website, Piccini looks back to 125 year long history, has four different estates and exports wine to over 70 countries. But why would a winery invent an imaginary name, which they print on their labels? To me that looks just very suspicious.
A few days after drinking the wine, I did a little research on it. It turns out that the 2009 Il Pacchia is only available in Germany, Switzerland and a few other countries. Furthermore it looks like Aldi (same company that operates Trader Joe’s) secured itself a monopole for the wine.
Why does a wine win an award in an Italian wine guide if it is not available in Italy? At first glance, one would say that this does not make much sense but after tasting the wine it does make sense that it is not available in Italy. I will come to the Gambero Rosso rating later on in this review.
Tasting Notes Il Pacchia
The wine is a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot grapes. Il Pacchia aged for six months in French oak and is classified as IGT Maremma Toscana. 13% was the label listed ABV.
In the glass, the wine had a garnet red color with ruby red hints. The bouquet consists of blackberries, blueberries and plum. On the palate, dry with hints of vanilla and lots of fruit. Il Pacchia was of medium body. The finish was rather short and boring.
2 ‘Glasses’ – How is that possible?
Il Pacchia is best used for cooking and I am tempted to give this wine just a 1.5 star rating and might do so later. For 4.99€ the wine was alright but I certainly won’t buy it again.
It makes perfectly sense now that the wine is not available in Italy. I am sure that there are more customers for cheap wine in Germany than in Italy. How in the world is it possible that the Gambero Rosso rated this wine high? I do not have an answer to that question. I assume though that money was involved. More and more people buy Italian wine which was rated high by the Gambero Rosso. Advertising with a Gambero Rosso logo almost certainly guarantees buys. So that could be an explanation but it is also possible that the Gambero Rosso judges really liked this wine. I hardly believe though that this is the case.
I am very disappointed to find a wine like Il Pacchia in the Gambero Rosso. I have been reading their reviews for many years, but lately more and more wines that are listed in the Gambero Rosso were either a flop or nothing special. I recall my experience with a Colle Massari Montecucco Riserva here. Hopefully, the Gambero Rosso will go back to its roots. Otherwise they will lose many readers like myself. I understand, that a company wants to make money but we can only hope that the Gambero Rosso will not become another biased wine guide.
What is your opinion on this? Have you had a similar experience with a wine that was rated by the Gambero Rosso with at least 2 glasses?