Kepos de Ampeleia 2011 is an interesting wine made by Ampeleia. It comes from Tuscany but isn't anything like what you generally expect from the region. When I first sniffed this wine, before tasting it, the smell made me think "French" (and I would have thought that even if I hadn't known in advance about the varietals).
It is relatively light in color. The grapes here are often associated with the Rhone Valley. The wine is 40% grenache, 40% mourvedre,10% carignan, 5% alicante bouschet and 5% marsellan. These last two grapes are odd-balls. Alicante bouschet is a cross between petit bouschet and grenache. Marsellan is a cross between cabernet sauvignon and grenache. Neither are grapes most folks know (I didn't).
At first taste this wine makes you think; "how unusual." It doesn't have big, in your face tannins. Tannins are the compounds that give you the "drying" sensation in your mouth. There are tannins here, however, but they are sneaky and soft. The wine has a soft feel to go with these tannins. My first fruit thought here was cherry but that is just a first taste. I try to avoid talking about more exotic fruits like pomegranate but that is part of this wine. It is also a bit spicy but don't think peppery but rather baking spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. It isn't a Rhone wine knock-off but something that is entirely its "own thing." Italian winemakers seem to do this with frequency.
Kepos de Ampeleia is a medium-light to medium wine that will please people who usually like bigger wines. It has a great deal going on but mostly it is just enjoyable to drink. You don't need food (although you could pair this with a wide variety of cuisine) and you do not need to think about it too much; you never really need to do that but if you like to think about wine there is plenty to examine. Think on what fruits you sense here.
If you can find a bottle buy it because it it isn't something you see all that often! The next two years of this wine, 2012 and 2013, may be available here and there. Keep an eye open.