Today we had an almost fully blind tasting. Almost, because I knew the theme was Super-Tuscans with 90% or more Sangiovese. Other than that, all (vintages, producers) was unkown to me. Here are my notes as written:
Fattoria La Massa: Giorgio Primo Chianti Classico 2000
(93% Sangio + 7% Merlot)
A bit oxidative, very oaky, a bit bloody but with a nice bitter touch to it that is very Italianate. It does also show a bit of jamminess and raisininess. The palate is very fruity, full bodied, oaky, but it has fair acidity and again that Italianate bitter twist to the finish. There are many lovely elements in this wine and an especially lovely and fresh finish, but the oak and sheer full bodiedness are a bit too much for me.
Leonardo Masoni/Az. Ag. Il Tagliato: Balze d’Istrice 2001
(90% Sangio + 10% Merlot)
Sickly sweet cherry, some cola like aromas and oak. International in style and frankly tedious. It tastes flat and almost acidless. It tastes more like juice than wine, except for the nice and obvious tannic structure. I don’t like it: flat and acidless and lacks freshness.
Isole e Olena: Cepparello 2000
If you take away the glossy oak veneer and liquorousness from the scent, what emerges is a beautiful, bright, red toned, cherryish, herbal, lifted and delicious Sangiovese nose. The palate is again very full bodied and smooth. The acidity is decent but not as harmoniously high as I would have wanted. The tannins are fine, the fruit is sweet and savoury at once and the aftertaste has remarkable freshness. Again, there are lots of really lovable elements in the wine, but stylistically it just doesn’t please.
Fontodi: Flaccianello Della Pieve 2001
A dull and lifeless nose of sickly sweet cherry cola. The palate is almost as sweet as dessert wines, woefully over the top, but still has fair acidity and lots of soft tannins. I sort of like the structure; I emphatically do not like the over-ripe, simplistic fruit.
Fattori di Felsina: Fontalloro 1998
An interesting, loamy scent reminiscent of young, old style Brunello. It has cherries, earth and even a hint of minerals – but it doesn’t have the brightness I hope to see. Unfortunately there are hints of jamminess and over-ripeness also. The palate is tannic, high in acidity, high in extract, but also has lots of fruit. The slight jammy hint on the nose was not noticable on the palate: the palate was very ripe, not over-ripe. Long aftertaste. If it had a bit less extract and a bit more brightness I would really love this wine.
Il Molino di Grace: Gratius 2000
A fresh and lifted nose, very much like the scent in a pine forest, the fruit is a bit darker toned than expected from the theme, but nice (if you take out the oak, that is). The palate is a bit lacking in acidity when compared to the lush fruit and rather copious, if soft, tannins. The aftertaste remains fresh and is more acidic than the palate. I guess I should say that the wine is
acidic enough, but just over-fruited!
Poggio Scalette: Il Carbonaione 2000
Blueberry muffin with some citric and savoury lift to it. Not bad I guess if you don’t mind a sweet nose. The palate is very oaky with fair acidity, soft tannins, fine depth, but too over the top to bring me joy. Very well made for sure and does have some genuine depth.
Riecine: La Gioia 1998
Again, a little bit loamy nose as with glass #5, but with added brightness. Unfortunately it also has more blueberries than I would like. The palate is sweet, bright and has fine acidity but is a bit oaky at present. Lovely, fresh and lifted aftertaste. Not bad, albeit sweet.
Castello Vicchiomaggio: Ripa delle More 1999
(90% Sangio + 10% Cab S)
A rather odd nose: very sweet, liquorous and dark toned except for an unintegrated sickly sweet strawberry scent and the tiniest hint of dung. It had a delectable hint of pine forest about it also. The palate has fine acidity backing up the sweet fruit. The aftertaste is long and surprisingly fresh considering the over-ripeness.
Castello di Verrazzano: Sassello 1997
Plummy, dark toned, very sweet fruit with a savoury, earthy edge: the whole reminds me of Dow’s VP style. Very soft attack, rather lifeless mid-palate, some savoury herbaceousness on the finish. Rather tannic, but too low in acidity compared to the fruit. Not my cup of tea.
Argiano: Suolo 2001
A very sweet, honeyed nose, reminiscent of a CdP except it does have the pine forest scent that so many Tuscans have. The attack is sweet and there is some nice astringency on the mid which brings in the required freshness. It is a rather tannic wine, but has the fruit to stand up to it. The acidity is fresh. Ok, but much to sweet, thick and honeyed for me.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.