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Posts Tagged ‘Tuscany’

A mixture of wines young and old

I met up with Lou and another friend for a casual after-work tasting of wines.  We started with a pair of bottles from the Finger Lakes of New York.  I have now enjoyed the 2016 Red Tail Ridge Winery, Sparkling Riesling Petillant Naturel, Finger Lakes on three different occasions.  This bottle was particularly frothy with a core of fruit and vein of bubbles that make it delicious to drink right now.  Also made from Riesling, but smelling like there is Sauvignon Blanc as well, is the 2016 Heart & Hands, Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes.  It is a solid wine of tart citrus and chalk flavor.

The pair of 2014 White Burgundy yielded a generous, rapidly maturing 2014 Gautier Thevenet, Domaine Emilian Gillet, Quintaine, Vire-Clesse.  Of good value I would say.  In comparison, the 2014 Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet is less fruity and the better wine.  With a core of lemon and ripe apple, there is an acidic spine, all of which lasts with good length.

Made from the youngest vines, 2017 Pierre-Marie Chermette, Griottes, Beaujolais is a well-made, enjoyable, grapey wine.  It is pure, fresh, and acted as our gateway to a trio of mystery wines.

I admit to being confused.  I had settled in on the wines being from the 1960s and 1970s, with origins in Italy or California, and at least one Cabernet Sauvignon.  Mystery #1 – 1974 Croce di Fralupaia, Chianti was younger than I thought but not worth drinking.  Mystery #2 – 1991 Tenuta Caparzo, Brunello di Montalcino was also younger than I thought but sound, which gives you an ideal of its maturity curve.  With air it took on body and flavor to become rather enjoyable.  The final bottle is the modest Mystery #3 – 1984 Steltzner Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.

2016 Red Tail Ridge Winery, Sparkling Riesling Petillant Naturel, Finger Lakes
Alcohol 13%.  Very frothy at first but the body soon develops.  There is a focused fruit core with the fine bubble vein.  With air and warmth the Riesling origins come out.  Easy to drink.  *** Now – 2020.

2016 Heart & Hands, Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes
Alcohol 11.5%.  A very light straw color.  A good nose, aromatic with both grassy and petrol aromas.  A soft frame exists for the whole fruit Riesling flavor.  There is some chalk and a slightly, tart citrus flavor in the end.  The acidity is balanced by the sugar such that it does not come across as lively.  Some engaging grip develops.  ** Now.

2014 Gautier Thevenet, Domaine Emilian Gillet, Quintaine, Vire-Clesse
Imported by Simon N Cellars. Alcohol 14%.  A very light yellow.  A rounded edge with with ripe lemon flavors, stones in the middle, and some fat in the finish.  It is easy to drink and will mature rapidly.  **(*) Now – 2020.

2014 Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet
Alcohol 13%.  A very light green yellow color.  There is a focused fruit impression at first but this wine is not all about the fruit.  It is dense and focused with a good, acidic spine.  There are hints of yeast and wood.  With air the flavors settle on lemon with a ripe, apple core.  Good length.  *** Now – 2023.

2017 Pierre-Marie Chermette, Griottes, Beaujolais
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. Alcohol 12.5%.  A purple, red cranberry color.  Grapey and bright on the nose.  The flavors are evocative of young, grape juicy being light, very pure, and fresh.  Tart berries and grip are closed by a round, verve finish.  ** Now.

Mystery #1 – 1974 Croce di Fralupaia, Chianti
Imported by T. Elenteny. Alcohol 12%.  Past prime on the nose with a banana aroma.  In the mouth it is falling apart with some leather, animale, and a hint of freshness.  There is a touch of fat-edged flavor and body but it soon turns acidic with green apple flavors.  Past prime.  Not Rated.

Mystery #2 – 1991 Tenuta Caparzo, Brunello di Montalcino
Imported by Palace Brands. Alcohol 13%. A garnet, brick color.  It tasted quite mature at first with bottle aged flavors, citric acidity, and citric pithe on the gums.  But magically, with air, it develops both body and flavor.  It even takes on a luxurious, marshmallow mouth feel.  *** Now.

Mystery #3 – 1984 Steltzner Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Earthy fruit with red cranberry flavors, a grippy nature, and clearly the most acidic of all the wines tasted.  Vibrant but a bit thin in flavor with a slight green edge.  ** Now.

I try Italian wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Negroamaro, Susumaniello, Refosco, and more

Just a quick post on several Italian wines I tried over the last week.  Nothing particularly moving at this point.  I do not think I’ve drunk a Taurino wine since my Michigan days.  I can report that the 2010 Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento is still low priced and a solid value.   The 2011 Carpineto, Farnito, Tuscany and 2014 Antonutti, Ros di Muri, Venezie  have the best potential for development.  I suspect the Carpineto will have broad appeal next winter.  I found the 2015 Cantine Menhir Pietra, Salento so ripe I could only tolerate a small glass.

2010 Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento – $18
This wine is 100% Negroamaro. Alcohol 14.5%.  An interesting nose of tar and spruce while note piercing is certainly aromatic.  The controlled, rounded flavors are primarily of red fruit yet there is a sweet floral and herbal infusion evocative of Northwest evergreen forests.  This gentle wine wraps up with almost puckering acidity.  **(*) Now – 2020.

2011 Carpineto, Farnito, Tuscany – $22
Imported by Opici Wines. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol 13.5%.  There is a firm, dry middle followed by a steely structure near the end.  The flavors of licorice and menthol have a slight wrapping of fat.  With air the wine fleshes out and develops more blue fruit.  **(*) Now – 2023.

2014 Antonutti, Ros di Muri, Venezie – $16
Imported by Casa Vinicola. This wine is a blend of 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Refosco fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in barrique. Alcohol 14%.  A solid blend with flavors of red and black fruits, noticeable leather, and a spine of structure.  This could open up by the end of the year.  **(*) Now-2023.

2015 Cantine Menhir Pietra, Salento – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest. This wine is a blend of Primitivo and Susumaniello. Alcohol 14%.  There are ripe, almost sweet flavors of blue fruits that mix with some attractive wet tobacco smoke.  Dark flavored and ultimately too ripe for my preference. * Now.

A few cheapies with Lou

February 27, 2018 Leave a comment

With jam-packed work and personal calendars it is hard for Lou and I to meet up.  We carved out a few hours the other day to sit at the peninsula and drink several inexpensive wines.  The 2007 Carmelo Patti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza was expectedly my favorite of the red wines.  After drinking a bottle in Seattle I brought one back to share with Lou and Jenn.  This bottle was more youthful than the first with a good balance between texture, fruit, green pepper, and minerals.  It is a good, old-school drink.  The 1990 Colle Bereto, Il Tocco, Tuscany is an inexpensive wine from a great vintage.  The vintage expresses itself through the ripe black fruit with the age coming in through leather and wood notes.  It is fully mature with some roast earth marking it as on the down slope.  Finally, the bottle of 1996 Moulin des Sablons, Chinon was surprisingly marked on the back label as “Mevushal 89 °C” meaning it is a Kosher wine.  Unfortunately, it was exposed to 192 °F  in being made Kosher which meant it was doomed in the glass.

2007 Carmelo Patti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza – $26
Imported by SWG Imports.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was fermented then aged in concrete for 12 months then aged a further 12 months in French oak.  Alcohol 14%.  A gentle ripeness of black fruit mixes with an appropriate amount of an herbal/green pepper component.  The texture is slightly grainy with mid palate weight and a round, mineral-like finish.  ***(*) Now – 2023.

1990 Colle Bereto, Il Tocco, Tuscany
Imported by Olinger Distributing Co. This wine is 100% Sangiovese. Alcohol 12.5%.  A woodsy wine that is fresh and crisp, beginning with up-front ripeness but finishing dry.  There are hard cherry flavors, focused weight, wood, and dried leather in the finish.  It is fully developed with a little roast end in the end from age.  It does not fall apart in the glass.  *** Now.

1996 Moulin des Sablons, Chinon
Imported by the Royal Wine Corp.  Alcohol 12.5%.  Mevushal 89 °C.  Brown, cooked, gross! Not Rated.

A pair of youthful Italians

February 26, 2018 1 comment

This pair of Italian wines has helped see me through the evenings of this particularly busy period at work.  Both wines are from the 2015.  The 2015 Fattoria dei Barbi, Rosso di Montalcino is young and in need of short-term aging.  It is attractive in flavor profile but not the most complex.  The 2015 Tua Rita, Rosso dei Notri  is good fun being an effective blend which comes across as both youthful and expressive.  This wine is placed on the front rack at MacArthur Beverages with good reason.  I recommend you grab a few bottles as soon as you enter the store!

2015 Fattoria dei Barbi, Rosso di Montalcino – $23
Imported by Frederick Wildman.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The flavors of cherry and leather show some focus rather than be framed by structure.  This is dark in flavor with menthol hints, tangy acidity, and very fine tannins in the end.  In need of air and ultimately a solid wine.  **(*) Now -2023.

2015 Tua Rita, Rosso dei Notri – $18
Imported by Winebow. This wine is a blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%.  The finely textured fruit becomes mineral and black in the middle with a youthful mix of fruit and cocoa by the end.  It is rounded with structure and acidity integrated together, yielding a mouth filling and tasty wine.  *** Now – 2023.

The all Cabernet Sauvigon 1990 Castello di Monsanto, Nemo

November 9, 2017 Leave a comment

I picked up the bottle of 1990 Castello di Monsanto, Nemo, Vino da Tavola di Toscana from WineBid as I was curious.  My interest lay in their Chianti but as I had never tasted a bottle of Nemo I gave it a go.  The 1990 Tuscan vintage is outstanding which is reflected in the fresh acidity and attractive grip of my bottle.  That said, the aging in wood is still noticeable and for my preference, the structure dominates the flavors in the finish so it might be best to drink this up.  Still, a solid experience.

1990 Castello di Monsanto, Nemo, Vino da Tavola di Toscana
Shipped by Allyn & Scott Wines.  Imported by Wine Cellars.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Il Mulino vineyard planted in 1976.  It was aged for 18 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The fleshes out with air revealing generally dry flavors of dark fruit, leather, some roast, and polished wood.  There is fresh acidity and dry tannins leading towards a bitter black finish.  There is still attractive grip.  *** Now – 2020.

There are deep flavors in the 2013 Bosco, Dainero

Castiglion del Bosco produces several wines from Montalcino but also the flavorful Dainero from their vineyards in Riparbella.  Located near Bolgheri, Riparbella is also an area conducive to the Bordeaux varieties.  The 2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany shows off as a successful blend of mostly Merlot with a touch of Sangiovese. It is ultimately quite tasty with the additional benefits of texture, almost lively acidity, and surprising depth.  It is a well-priced wine worth checking out.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany – $18
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines.  This wine is a blend of  90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then aged for 6 months in a combination of new and used oak.  Alcohol 13%.  Deep red flavors overlay minerals and bright black fruit.  There is a good amount of acidity, almost bordering on lively, with texture and tang hitting the back of the mouth.  The wine plays it close with structure and brightness to support further development.  Development is no doubt possible because the wine has surprising depth to the pervasive, blue and black fruit flavors. *** Now – 2022.

A deep flavored 2003 Castello Monsanto, Nemo

February 5, 2017 Leave a comment

I was looking around for older bottles of Chianti wine when I was sidetracked by a few vintages of Castello Monsanto’s Super Tuscan wine Nemo.  I randomly decided to open a bottle Friday night so I opted for the 2003 Castello Monsanto, Nemo Il Mulino, Tuscany which is the youngest I have.  There is a lovely nose of blue and black fruit which is matched by deep, balanced flavor in the mouth.  It is more flavorful than complex with the sensation that bottle age has made it the wine accessible.  As such, it is a very satisfying Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany.

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2003 Castello Monsanto, Nemo Il Mulino, Tuscany
Imported by MW Imports.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in oak.  Alcohol 14%.  This is a deep, earthy wine of blue and black fruit.  At this age the wine is still has some fresh structure and grip which provides a pleasing amount of texture.  More importantly the good, deep flavor is hard to resist.  ***(*) Now – 2027.

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