Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vintage Sangiovese at "The Sommelier's Cellar"

In wrapping up my coverage of The Italian Wine Master’s, today I bring you my notes from “The Sommeliers’ Cellar”, a portion of the tasting that was created to showcase older vintages of the wines that were on display at the show. Some people may ask, why is this important? The reason, even though many people drink wines early after release these days, is that many of these bottles need age in order to show what they’re capable of. Brunello especially, is extremely hard to gauge in its youth.

Ready to drink
2007 San Felice Il Grigio
This is not say that all Sangiovese should be placed in a wine cellar and left for over a decade, in fact, the majority of Chianti Classico, sampled at this event, was perfectly ready to drink. However, some of the best producer’s bottles simply need time before they blossom, the Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo comes to mind. In tasting these wines and in reading these notes, you can gauge what the new release bottles may one day taste like. For instance, one thing I learned, is that the wines of Tenuta Oliveto and Col C’Orcia are worth more of my attention and should be in my cellar.

Montalcino
Lastly, what I took from this tasting is how the development of certain vintages is coming along. 1999 is truly showing that it was worth the accolades bestowed upon it in Brunello di Montalcino. The wines are stunning and just entering their drink window, with pure ripe fruits and velvety textures. 1997 continues to be a super-model vintage with all the sex appeal included. Lastly, 2001 still needs time, but continues to age gracefully, and should one day, be truly glorious.

On to the Notes:

1995 Barbi Brunello di Montalcino – Aromas of brown and burnt sugar on the nose gave way to dried red berries. On the palate, this wine was full and beautifully resolved with lush sour cherry fruit made juicy by vibrant acidity. The finish was long and reminiscent of cherries and old spice. (92 points)

1999 Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva – The nose showed earth and minerals followed by raspberry and berry scented wax. On the palate, I found a soft expression of sweet strawberry fruit and old wood, which led to a short and drying finish. Unfortunately it seems that the structure of this wine will outlive its fruit. (91 points)

Find this wine on: Wine-Searcher

1980 Col C’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Riserva – The nose showed faded strawberry, herbal tea leaves and minerals. The palate came across as savory and juicy with cherry, plum and mineral salinity. This wine may be on its down slope but it was highly enjoyable and will probably continue to drink well for many years to come. (94 points)

1997 Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed, saddle leather, cedar, strawberry and brown sugar. On the palate, this wine is full and well structured with sweet dark fruits, holiday spices and hints of herbs. It was highly enjoyable through the long fresh finish. (92 points)

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1999 Tenuta di Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed brown sugar and herbal green stems. The palate came across and soft and velvety yet with an underlying structure and balance. Black raspberry and mulling spices fill out the palate and faded into a long gentle finish. (90 points)

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1998 Tenuta Oliveto Brunello di Montalcino – The Oliveto stood out amongst its peers with a nose of blackberry, herbs and green olive. In the mouth, this showed amazing focus of fruit against a fine acidic backbone as sour red currant coated the palate; followed by minerals and slight salinity. The finish was long, as this wine’s tongue coating fruit slowly faded away to freshness. (94 points)

2000 Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was elegantly perfumed with floral aromatics, herbs and spice. On the palate, I found sour cherry but with little else to offer. The finish was reminiscent of the palate but very drying. This wine may just need time but at the moment its score is more representative of what’s offered on the nose as opposed to the palate. (88 points)

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1997 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was floral with potpourri and dark brooding fruits. On the palate, I found sweet red berries and spicy wood tones. The finish was fresh. (89 points)

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1997 Ormanni Chiant Classico Riserva – The nose of this wine reminded me of autumn, with old wood, florist shop and strawberry. On the palate, I found sweet, round red fruits, herbal tea and spices with a slight copper penny note on the finish. (90 points)

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1999 Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo – The nose showed strawberry, rosemary, tanning leather and hints of manure. On the palate, I found a lush, full, structured expression of ripe, dark red fruits with mulling spice. The finish was long, as the ripe fruit slowly tapered off. (95 points)

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1990 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico – The nose showed vibrant red fruits, florist shop, leather and potpourri. On the palate, I found dried strawberry and spice. This wine somehow came across as young and full of life. It was a pleasure to taste and should continue to develop for many years to come. (94 points)

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The Sommelier's Cellar also include some great Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. My notes can be found HERE!

2 comments:

  1. Brunello di Montalcino has so much to offer and you got to try some of the great vintages ('97, '99), I especially enjoyed other vintages of the Il Grigio and the Barbi. Nice job Eric!

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  2. Thanks Dave, the Brunello in my cellar starts at 2001 going forward, so you and I can enjoy some good bottles together, down the road.

    Otherwise, I plan on grabbing the Fontodi and, (if it comes up again at retail) the Tenuta Oliveto.

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