Cabernet Franc rarely gets the lead in a Super-Tuscan blend, but Il Palazzone’s Dick Parsons gave it a shot in this debut bottling, Lorenzo & Isabelle. Problem is, Parsons, an admitted Franc-ophile, intended L & I to be a one-time-only thing. We can only hope that Franc’s got a future at Il Palazzone—with a limited case production of 565, L & I is going to have a very limited run.
Named for Parsons’ parents, Lorenzo & Isabelle is comprised of Cabernet Franc (59%), Sangiovese (39%), and Petit Verdot (2%), the last of which, according to Parsons, is “for the nose.” While designed for earlier approachability than the estate’s Brunello (the average elevation of the relevant vineyard sources, 250 meters above sea level, is lower than that pertaining to the Brunello), L & I’s traditional ageing regimen suggests a significant aging potential as well: following a lengthy period of maceration, L & I is aged in 250-hectoliter barrels for a period of 16 months; prior to release, it receives six months’ refinement in bottle. Like Argiano’s Solengo, L & I’s constituents fashion an intriguing persona, with that Petit Verdot making its presence known in the wine’s deep purple hues and tannic grip. On the palate, dark fruits are complemented by firm tannins (the latter of which signify not only the work of Petit Verdot but a moderate degree of oak aging), rendering this wine a suitable candidate for further aging and maturity.