2003 Pian di Nova Toscana IGT, 75% Syrah, 25% Sangiovese, $22.49, 13% alc.:
Dark garnet color from rim to rim, with a big international style nose of ripe dark plums and berries with a good dose of oak and some dark chocolate to boot; flavors echo and expand with a note of old wood in the background. Somewhat dense and extracted, well structured, smooth and elegant, this really likes half an hour's air, which allows it to open and come off more like real wine than a manipulated one; extended air actually brings out more old world character, although obviously, there's nothing "traditional" about a Tuscan red that has three quarters Syrah. Fermented in stainless steel for 10 days at 30°C; maceration on the skins continues for 22 days at 28°C, then the wine is racked in Allier oak, undergoing malolactic fermentation, and ageing for 12 months, followed by another six months of bottle-ageing.
2002 Il Borro Toscana IGT, 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, $32.99, 13.5% alc.:
Dark garnet color from rim to rim, showing a little cola over black currants, berries and plums in both flavor and aroma, with little earthy, "sticksy," leathery notes underneath it all; medium full bodied, elegant and silky smooth, with the structure to improve for at least a few years, but it's already so "more than just approachable," one might argue, "Why wait?" Why indeed? This wine undergoes essentially the same fermentation and aging process as the Pian di Nova.
It's so refreshing that these wines have come down significantly in price; I saw a previous vintage of Il Borro priced at $70 about a year and a half ago. (Perhaps their decision had something to do with comments like this from Bob Parker: “The only problem I envision for this wine is that there are a lot of similarly-styled Bordeaux offerings priced significantly less than $80.”)
- From (Not Just) Flotsam and Jetsam
Reporting from Day-twah,