Posts Tagged ‘Maremma Toscana’

Recent Drinks

November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

After first trying a glass one year ago, I finally had the opportunity to visit the 2002 Robert Hunter, Brut de Noirs, Sonoma Valley over two nights.  With bits of yeast, toast, fruit, and baking spices this is a mature Californian sparkler  with plenty of life.  I might even venture that I preferred it on the second night.  My overall impression is that the 2010 Poggio all Guardia, Maremma Toscana is not yet ready to drink.  The meaty aromas, mature edge to the flavors, and old wood reveal bottle age but the wine is still firm and structured. Perhaps it is best drunk with food.  Finally,the 2015 Domaine La Manarine, Cotes du Rhone is another wine based on vineyards in Le Plan de Dieu.  There are attractive bright, grapey flavors but there is some distraction from bitterness in the black fruited finish.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2002 Robert Hunter, Brut de Noirs, Sonoma Valley
There is a light straw color and a nose of apples. In the mouth there is a strong start of bubbles and acidity on the tongue, the former of which soon dissipate into a froth. The wine has the slightest hint of attractive yeast and toast. There are structured flavors of white fruit and baking spices with a vein of acidity that cuts through. This is a robust, mature wine which still has moderate amounts of fruit making for an attractive drink right now. *** Now – 2022.

2010 Poggio all Guardia, Maremma Toscana
Imported by Vias Imports.  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.  Alcohol 14%.  A meaty nose! There is a mature edge to this robust wine.  Black fruit mixes with minerals and old wood and even some plum. There is a fine+ textured structure that will see this wine through many more years.  Good texture in the aftertaste.  A solid wine but will it come around?  **(*) Now – 2025.

2015 Domaine La Manarine, Cotes du Rhone – $15
Imported by Neal Rosenthal.  This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from vines averaging 35 years of age. The fruit was destemmed with elevage taking 20-24 months.  Alcohol 14%.  A spiced cinnamon nose.  Higher-toned in the mouth with grapey flavors, prominent acidity noticeable on the tongue.  There is fine grapey texture which lasts through the finish which is blacker and almost bitter.  **(*) Now – 2021.

Lou and I taste excellent bottles of Jean Noel Gagnard, Marisa Cuomo, and Torrione

February 2, 2015 1 comment

Lou and I gathered last week to taste more Italian red wine.  Before we started Lou generously opened a bottle of 2000 Domaine Jean Noel Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru.  I have minimal experience with mature white Burgundy but this handful continues to surprise me with how they gracefully age and become satisfying to drink.  When we sat down to dinner this is what I drank.  Right now it offers up definitely lemon flavors that show weight and some structure.  Unbreached bottles should last for sometime but once opened, drink it in one evening.  Our bottle of 2007 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva  proved to be past its peak drinking.  Perhaps I am being a bit harsh, you could drink it, but there was no need in the company of the other wines and its price is not precious.  One sniff of the licorice based aromas focused my attention on the 2010 Marisa Cuomo, Furore Rosso, Costa d’Amalfi.  This wine had the most personality out of all the wines we tasted.  Whether it is the combination of Piedirosso and coastal vineyards will require further research.  This bottle remained firm until the third night so I strongly recommend you cellar at least one bottle for a few years.  While the Cuomo is unique the 2011 Torrione, Petrolo, Toscana is clearly a satisfying wine that will benefit from short-term aging.  I can see why it won Tre Bicchieri and suggest you rest a bottle next to the Cuomo.  Of the pair of 2009s, the 2009 Enrico Santini, Poggio Al Moro, Bolgheri was my favorite over the 2009 Elisabetta Geppetti, Pelofino, Maremma.  The Santini offered a core of dark red fruit delivered in a fresh wine whereas the Geppetti was a bit hollow with its jelly and dark roast flavors.  The Santini also conveyed the strength of the 2009 vintage.


2000 Domaine Jean Noel Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru –
Imported by Ex Cellars Wine Agencies.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay that was barrel fermented then aged up to 18 months in new and used oak.  Alcohol ?%.  It was a golden, mature color with a little toast and other hard to place aromas.  In the mouth were flavors of ripe and tart lemon fruit the showed some weight, mixed with sage, and still had structure wrapped up by a nice tang at the end.  With air it developed an old wood hint as well as a mineral finish.  Best on the first night.  **** Now-2020.


2007 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva – $13
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is 100% Cannonau that was fermented in stainless steel vats then aged for 2 years in large Slavonian oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  There were pruned fruit aromas on the nose.  In the mouth were black and red fruit that had a hint of freshness and firm tannins.  Though this wine was clearly alive it was also past its peak drinking. * Now.


2010 Marisa Cuomo, Furore Rosso, Costa d’Amalfi – $30
Imported by Panebianco.  This wine is a blend of 50% Piedirosso and 50% Aglianico sourced from terraced coastal vineyards that underwent malolactic fermentation and 6 months aging in used French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a medium black cherry.  The nose remained interesting with licorice-like aromas.  Tasted over three nights, this wine barely budged the first two nights.  It offered unique flavors of floral infused black fruit that were firm and young.  The wine was certainly interesting with a mineral, racy bit, and tart flavors on the tongue.  It developed a savory hint and watering acidity.  ***(*) 2017-2025.


2011 Torrione, Petrolo, Toscana – $29
Imported by Vintus.  This wine is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vines that reach back to the 1970s. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts in a mixture of French oak barriques, large oak barrels, and cement vats followed by 15 months of aging in French oak barriques and large oak barrels.  This period includes 6 months on the lees.  Alcohol 14%. The nose bore young, red and mixed fruit aromas that eventually showed raspberry candy and smoke.  In the mouth were plentiful flavors of tart, red fruit that had attractive grip and dried herb notes.  Over three nights the wine showed good presence in the mouth with a citric red fruit start, tang, grip, and a finish of black fruit, tannins, and acidity.  A good, young wine.  ***(*) 2016-2023.


2009 Enrico Santini, Poggio Al Moro, Bolgheri – $22
Imported by Vintus.  This wine is a blend of 30% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, and 10% Merlot that was fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel followed by three months aging in French oak barrels.   Alcohol 13.8%.  The black cherry and garnet color was followed by a plum nose.  In the mouth were pleasing flavors of dark, red mixed fruit then a core of flavor with a strong, fresh structure.  With air the acidity showed perfect integration with the strong structure leaving ripe, drying tannins on the gums. *** Now-2020.


2009 Elisabetta Geppetti, Pelofino, Maremma – $18
Imported by Nickolas Imports.  This wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  Alcohol 13.5%.  As Lou noted, there were jelly aromas on the subtle nose.  In the mouth the flavors were a little soft and a touch hollow.  There was a strong structure, dark roast notes, and eventually the wine firmed up with texture to the jelly fruit.  ** Now-2017.


Several Italian Wines Opened While Researching

July 8, 2013 1 comment

Here are several different Italian wines I have opened while researching and writing about the history of wine.  At the affordable end of things the 2011 Elena Walch, Lagrein is appealing for contemporary drinking.  My favorite of the lot were the 2005 Rocca di Frassinello, Poggio alla Guardia and the 2008 Ricci Curbastro, Vigna Santella del Grom.  Both of these are blends with Merlot and Cabernet.  The former is attractively mature right now.   The later is more youthful and surprisingly contains Carmenere! These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Elena Walch, Lagrein, Alto Adige – $14
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Lagrein which was fermented in stainless steel then underwent malolactic fermentation and aging in large French oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was black and grapey.  In the mouth the wine had lighter and cooler flavors of red and black fruit.  It tasted like a cool-climate wine.  It was a touch tart but moved forward with structure, some pepper, licorice, and a delicate core.  Attractive.  ** Now-2014.


2005 Rocca di Frassinello, Poggio alla Guardia, Maremma Tuscany – $16
Imported by Vias Imports.  This wine is a blend of 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Sangioveto sourced from seven-year old vines which was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation, then aged for four months in stainless steel and cement.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a medium garnet mixed with brick.  The flavors were ripe and focused with black cherry that was lively on the center of the tongue.  There was gentle weight as the fruit coats the tongue then takes on texture with ripe, drying tannins on the tongue and lips.  there were some wood box flavors and structure with air.  There was a little coarse texture but the wine filled out with air and was supported by the structure.  *** Now-2018.


2004 Agricoltori del Geografico, Contessa di Radda, Chianti Classico – $16
Imported by Monarchia Matt International.  This wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero grape sourced from member vineyards total 480 acres.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed a little roast and a hinted of stewed fruit.  In the mouth there was firm cherry fruit, a little roast, and firm acidity on the tongue tip.  With air there were some tea flavors, expansion in the mouth but not a lot of depth.  It was a little stemmy with a touch of salivating acidity.  It seems to be drying with its age.  ** Now.


2008 Corbera Vini, Nero d’Avola, ar Cera, Sicily – $13
Imported by Red Ink Imports.  Alcohol 14%.  In the mouth the flavors were very smooth with silky and smokey black/red fruit.  There were some strong tannins in the underlying structure which continues to emerge with air.  There was some acidity followed by a smoky, pervasive aftertaste.  ** Now-2017.


2008 Velenosi, Brecciarolo, Rosso Piceno- $11
Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.  This wine is a blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese which was destemmed, fermented in stainless steel then aged in used barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This had flavors of black cherry and black fruit with some ripeness.  There were cinnamon-like spices to this softer but textured black fruited wine.  It was tart with integrated acidity, and a small amount of tannins. The finish was shorter.  No need to hold on to this.  ** Now-2014.


2009 Fattoria di Fubbiano, San Gennaro, Colline Lucchesi – $20
Imported by David Vincent Selection.  This wine is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 15% Ciliegiolo.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was light with a  little perfume, greenhouse, and stems.  The mouth followed the nose with a core of focused, ripe vintage perfume and black fruit.  There were flavors of tart red and black fruit then a textured middle, and acidity in the aftertaste.  The wine is a little rough at this point but has good, yet firmer black and red fruit flavors in the aftertaste. Needs a little age. **(*) 2014-2017.


2008 Ricci Curbastro, Vigna Santella del Grom, Curtefranca – $23
Imported by Grappoli Imports.  This wine is a blend of 30% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot, 12% Carmenere, and 10% Barbera sourced from the Santella del Grom vineyard planted in 1992.  It was fermented in stainless steel vats then aged for 18 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose bore some fresh, red berry fruit.  In the mouth there were focused raspberry flavors, a little ripe core, and acidity which moves things along like a wave.  The wine was red and tangy in the back of the mouth with a touch of weight behind the fruit.  Good quality.  This is a good youthful wine with cherry berry notes.  *** Now-2016.

An Affordable Italian Cabernet Sauvignon from Volcanic Soils

The Tommasi family has been producing wine since 1902 where they are located in Valpolicella. Since then they have expanded by purchasing and planting on additional estates. Located in Southern Tuscany the Poggio al Tufo estate has been owned by the Tommasi family since 1997. The estate is named after the hill it is located on which contains soils rich in volcanic tufo. There are 66 hectares of vineyards located at 350 meters. This is one of four wines produced from these vineyards. At $15 this is a pleasing buy that may be drunk right now. I have no previous experience with this wine so while it will certainly age for several year, I do not know how it will develop. This wine is available at MacAthur Beverages.

2009 Tommasi, Poggio al Tufo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maremma Toscana IGT – $15
Imported by Rolar Imports. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the 35 hectare Rompicollo vineyard planted in 1997. The fruit was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel then aged for 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels. There is a subtle nose of purple and red fruit with a touch of perfume. In the mouth there is blue fruit flavor, greenhouse notes, and a bit of incense to this wine along with a modern mouthfeel. The finish is enjoyable with tart red fruit and ripe tannins. ** Now-2017.