From an Italian dinner with friends last weekend. I'm extremely enthusiastic about this super Tuscan - I'll let my notes do the talking.
Fattoria Viticcio, Bere, Toscana 2008
50% Sangiovese, 25% each of Cab Sauv and Merlot. Just a bit closed at first. On the nose and palate, a personality of black cherry, damson, prominent herbs, orange rind, a hint of plum tomato, violets, and dark chocolate. Dark but fresh, aromatic and attractive (which sums up the wines of this vintage nicely); full bodied, with perfect acid balance. This is from Chianti, and has the personality of a Chianti, but perfectly enhanced by the Cab and Merlot, rather than masked by them. A remarkable wine, and possibly my favorite super Tuscan to date stylistically. With the balance of an excellent Chianti and the structure contributed by the Cab, this will age gracefully for up to another 10 years. What's more, this is possible the most outstanding value I've encountered in Tuscany, at just $15 a bottle. 3 Stars [6/15/13]
Erath, Pinot Noir, Oregon 2009
Smells like a Nuits, with leather, cloves, and matchstick. On palate, the same personality as the nose, with black cherry and blackberry. Very fine, substantial yet attractive, though it is marred a little bit the alcohol showing through quite noticeably. Still, quite a good wine. 2.5 stars [6/15/13]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)