Thursday, January 30, 2014

First Look: 2009 Brunello di Montalcino

Article and Reviews by: Eric Guido

We live in a world where everyone is waiting for the next great vintage. Today, it’s just part of who we are. I’m guilty of it myself, in that I’m always associating ageability with quality. However, there’s an entire world of wine out there that isn’t stashed in someone’s cellar for decades. When I think Brunello, I think of a wine that needs ten years before I can touch it. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case, and beauty can be found in youth without feeling guilty for sacrificing the precious gems in our cellars.

This brings me to 2009 Brunello and the wines that I sampled at the 2014 Benvenuto Brunello event in New York City. Unlike 2006, 2009 isn’t a year of big structured wines for the cellar. Unlike 2007, it also isn’t a year packed with ripe, dense, sweet fruity wines. Instead, it’s a vintage that many in Brunello are referring to as traditional, like a vintage of old. Most of these wines showed some of the most beautfiul Sangiovese boquetes that I’ve ever encountered in a young Brunello. The are heavily perfumed with floral intensity while displaying ripe (yet not overripe) red fruits and spice.

One whiff is enough to toss you into a Brunello trance that can make your eyes roll back in your head. However, it’s on the palate that these wines take a sharp turn from the obvious. At most Brunello release events, I enter the room prepared for my gums to be ripped from my teeth by searing tannin and acidity. In fact, the hardest part is usually identifying the quality of the fruit versus the wines structure. However, that’s not so in 2009. Instead, these wines are fruity and juciy; some lacked depth, yet the best of them combined those juicy textures with a refined structure that peered out from behind their ripe fruit flavors. Those are the wines that will fill my cellar.

As for ageability, a number of them will mature well in your cellar (and I made sure to identify them in my comments). However, nearly all of these wines are drinking already, and the best of them should enjoy a broad drinking window.

In the end, 2009 looks to be a very good bookend to all of the big or structured vintages that we’ve seen or are in the pipeline. The one warning I’ll give you is to read the notes carefully, as some wines may score well now for the way they performed today, while others earned there merits on how well they should drink for many years to come. Most people know that I like a little backbone in my wines, and those are the ones that you’ll find on my table.

On to the Notes:

2009 Tenuta San Giorgio Ugolforte Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was beautiful and floral with ripe fruits, showing perfumed cherry and dusty sweet spice with chalky minerals; along with the slightest hint of oak from a deft hand. On the palate, it showed silky textures with ripe red berries and inner floral tones in a focused, clean, yet mouthfilling effort. The finish was staying, showing hints of structure. The San Giorgio Brunello was simply a gorgeous, complete wine. (94+ pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Il Grappolo / Fortius Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was very pretty and a bit rustic, showing ripe cherry with hint of citrus providing lift, as notes of soil and undergrowth filled the senses. Ripe strawberry and citrus notes that carried over from the nose filled the senses in this mouthfilling effort. A tannin and acid balancing act made for a dazzling finish as mouthwatering cherry notes coated every corner of the palate. (94 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino V.V. – The nose was pretty, not overdone, just perfectly refined with floral perfumes, small red berries and hints of animal musk. On the palate, I found silky textures, which were accentuated by focused red fruits, hints of spice and juicy acidity. The wine’s structural components shined through on the finish, along with a note of concentrated red fruit. The V.V. from Le Ragnaie is a selection of the best fruit from older vines, and it has a truly regal and refined personality. (94 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was beautiful with perfumed floral tones, intense tart red berry, an herbal lift, underbrush and hints of animal musk. On the palate, it was focused, yet intense with young cherry, spice and soil tones, which lingered long into the finish. Hints of tannin and acid left the cheeks puckered and promised good thing to come. (93+ pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was floral and feminine, showing crushed strawberry, tealeaf, floral perfumes and hints of undergrowth. On the palate, rich, intense red fruit, spice and soil tones came across in a powerful expression of Sangiovese. The lasting finish showed notes of dried cherries and herbal tea with hints of tannin tugging at the cheeks. (93+ pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was dark and inviting with red berry fruit, underbrush, animal musk and a hint of brown sugar. On the palate, ripe cherry and spice was met by inner floral tones. Its full-bodied mouthfeel and precision of fruit truly left an elegant and pretty impression. The finish was long with intense, saturating red fruits that nearly masked the wine’s structural components. The 2009 Talenti Brunello was polished and satisfying, truly exceptional for the vintage. (93 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Loacker / Corte Pavone Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was very pretty and floral with notes of strawberry jam, sweet spice, and herbal notes. With coaxing, the bouquet continued to gain more depth and dark fruit aromas. On the palate, it showed smooth, silky textures contrasting hints of tannin with dark red fruit, herbs and spice, which lasted into the finish. It was youthful with plenty of energy and concentration to improve for a number of years. (93 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Palazzo Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was bueatiful, as it opened up in the glass to reveal tart red berry, dry autumnal spice and hints of animal musk. On the palate, bitter cherry with cinnamon and cedar saturated the senses yet remained juciy and fresh. The finish was staying with young red fruits that made the mouth water, followed by hints of cheek-puckering tannin. (93 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was vibrant and intense, showing dark, ripe cherry, brown sugar, floral undergrowth and hints of green stems. On the palate, it was juicy with brisk acidity, ripe red berry, inner floral notes, tealeaf and spice. The finish was staying with spiced red berry tones. There was little tannin to be found, yet this was a pleasure to drink now. (92+ pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Capanna Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was dark, inviting and intense, showing black cherry with hints of stem and beautiful floral perfumes. On the palate, it was juicy, yet with a good concentration of spicy red fruits and a nice acid-driven lift toward the close. The finish was long, showing tart red berry and dry spice. Capanna managed to handle the vintage well and showed enough stuffing to live up to the name, Brunello. (92 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Capanne Ricci Brunello di Montalcino –- The nose showed ripe cherry with dusty coco, sweet spice and hints of cedar. On the palate, I found tart red berries and herbs with brisk acidity and soft textures. Cherry and soil tones prevailed into the long finish with a lovely hint of ginger. (92 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Tenuta Carlina La Togata Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed ripe red fruits, dusty spice, herbal tealeaf and a lifting citrus note. On the palate, it showed excellent concentration for the vintage with notes of cherry, cinnamon, cedar and minerals. The finish was staying, with hints of structure and intense red fruit, which seemed to saturate the senses. (92 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Col D'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino – This started restrained and closed on the nose, yet opened with time in the glass, becoming darker, riper and richer with notes of black cherry, cinnamon and ginger. On the palate, it was angular yet juicy with dark red fruits, hints of citrus and inner floral tones. The momentum faded a bit on the finish, showing youthful tannin and hints of dried cherry. (92 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was restrained in a youthful, closed up, fashion, showing young red berry, herbal and soil tones. There was a savory feel and excellent tension on the palate as red berry, cedar and tobacco notes washed over the senses. The finish showed hints of structure with spiced cherry lingering throughout. (91 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Pinino Brunello di Montalcino – The nose was restrained at first, yet it opened with time in the glass as notes of tart red berry, hints of menthol and floral perfumes filled the senses. On the palalte, it was juicy with a fenimen, light-bodied structure with red fruits and herbal hints. It finished clean with palate-cleansing acidity. (90 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed sweet spice, red berry and wood spice, turning darker and more inviting with time in the glass, morphing to tobacco notes. On the palate, ripe red fruits and spice rushed the senses, yet it was lacking any serious depth and structure. The finish followed suit with tart berry flavors clinging to the palate. (89 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed ripe and spicy red fruits with an outward and almost sexy personality. On the palate, it was juicy with ripe cherry and spice, yet there was a sweetness here that detracted from my expectations. The finish was clean with pleasantly fresh red fruits. I enjoyed this, but it lacked the stuffing I associate with Brunello. (88 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed sweet, almost candied, red fruits, black licorice and brown sugar. On the palate, ripe black cherry and hints of citrus washed across the senses with a slight tannic tug. The finish was fresh and lively with mouthwatering, spicy red fruits. Yet, as much as I enjoyed this wine on the palate, the nose was simply too sweet for my tastes. (88 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Le Macioche Brunello di Montalcino – The nose showed sour red berries, cedar and hints of herbs. On the palate, it was light-bodied with tart cherry and dry spices. A coating of dry berry remained throughout the finish, yet I craved more intensity. (87 pointsFind it on: Wine-Searcher!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1989: Barolo Retrospective

By Eric Guido

The "Epic" '89 Cascina Francia
With no Monfortino in '89,
this wine turned out to be a
2004 was the year that I really got into wine, and from that moment forward it has been a continuous learning experience on a topic that is constantly evolving. In that time, there are specific “truths” that I’ve come understand. One is that price doesn’t always dictate quality. Another is that there will always be another “greatest vintage ever,” according to somebody, only a few years down the road. And then there’s 1989 Barolo; and the truth is that it’s the best, classic vintage of Barolo in the last 35 years.

Let’s call a spade a spade. I understand that farming practices have improved, that wineries work cleaner and more efficient, and that global warming has given producers more good vintages to work with. But here's another truth; because of all of these changes and improvements, the Barolo being made today will never become the wines of yesterday. Granted, they might become something totally different, which in retrospect may be considered better. But we won't see another 1974, '78 or '89. The fact is that all the technology today is simply trying to recreate what a great vintage provided us in years like 1989.

We're talking about a time when there were great vintages once a decade, and it was the result of what Mother Nature gave them. Green harvesting wasn't regularly practiced in 1989; instead a wet, cool spring resulted in irregular flowering. What's more, severe hail in June left its mark on many vineyards. The summer was warm, but not hot, and temperatures dropped near the end of the growing season with wide fluctuations between day and night. The result was a late harvest with perfectly ripe grapes.

Setting up our blind tasting at i Truli.  An amazing tasting
complimented by a Piedmonte inspired menu.
When I think back to the first time I tasted an '89 Barolo, even at an early point in my journey to understand wine, the quality struck me. All of the other vintages I had tasted, '95 through 2000, seemed to pale in comparison. They were rich in fruit and powerful, yet bright and focused with a structure that I can best describe as "noble". They weren't ready to drink yet, which at the time (2006) intrigued me greatly. However, even though the structure of these wines dominated, you could still sense the tension of fruit that was just waiting to bloom. So here we are, eight years later, and these wines are even closer to peaking, but not quite there yet. Enjoyable? Absolutely. Yet, you can still sense that there's something more waiting down the road, and I won't be surprised if we are still enjoying the best of them 40 years from now. God, I love '89 Barolo.

These 25-year old corks look fantastic, unfortunately
a few them work cork-taint time bombs.
The following notes are from a recent tasting, which included 14 bottles of Barolo and 2 of Barbaresco. One issue I witnessed was a problem with cork taint (3 out of 16 bottles), which is another issue on the decline these days. Also, out of all of these wines, one was obviously heat damaged, a concern when trying to procure these wines on the market today. My advice, if you have the means, is to buy '89 Barolo, because the prices will only go up as the wines continue to peak. However, if you are a buyer, make sure you are getting them from a reliable source. Many of these wines will cost a pretty penny (my Wine of The Night is retailing at $595), but that doesn't mean you can't find deals if you look hard enough. '89 Produttori Ovello is a perfect example.

On to the notes:

Flight #1 was something of a let-down, yet in no way the fault of the vintage. The unfortunate reality of older wine is the possibility of it being damaged from mistreatment or issues with cork. Thankfully corks have improved drastically in the last decade. However, there was a silver lining in the form of a Produttori Barbaresco that showed beautifully. What would a Barolo tasting be without a Barbaresco inserted as a ringer, which pans out to be a winner?

1989 Produttori del Barbaresco Riserva Ovello – What a pretty and feminine wine that may not have shown as well next to a larger-scaled Barolo or Barbaresco, yet on it’s own was magical. The nose was still youthful, showing dusty red fruits with minerals and rose petals. On the palate, it showed silky textures interlaced with veins of structure and acidity. Bright cherry was joined by notes of earth and inner floral tones, which lasted into a long, staying finish. The Ovello was elegant and finessed, showing the undeniable qualities of Produttori yet again. (93 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Roagna Barbaresco Riserva – Sadly, the ’89 Roagna Barbaresco Riserva was slightly corked, and what a shame that was, because what I did find in the glass tempted my curiosity. Dried red fruits pushed forward on the nose with notes of soil, gravel and old parchment. On the palate, it was tart with red berry and herbal notes, yet turned muddled. Dried red berries lingered on the finish with a zing of acidity. (N/A) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo – The nose was dark, showing roasted meat, mushroom, moist leaves and beef stock. On the palate, it was still youthful yet meaty, with red fruits and earth tones. The finish was long, yet the wines acidity seemed to dry out the wine, leaving only traces of citrus peel and minerals. (87 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Cavallotto Barolo Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva – You could sense the greatness in this wine, yet it was apparently mistreated at some point in its life. The nose was earth personified with porcini mushroom, soil, mineral, herbal tones and a hint of French onion soup. On the palate, it showed tart red fruits and citrus peel. The finish was dank and muddled with notes of earth and stewed fruit. (N/AFind it on Wine-Searcher!

Flight #2 really took things up a notch and relieved any fears that flight #1 may have stirred. Monforte d’Alba was the theme of the flight, and these wines came through in spades. What really impressed me was how impossibly young they all seemed.

1989 Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala – The nose was classic, showing dusty red fruits, dried flowers, sandy soil, minerals and beef broth. It showed great depth on the palate, with tart red berries saturating the senses in waves of velvety texture, followed by notes of herbal tea and minerals. The finish was staying and seemed to wrap the palate in warm, radiant fruit. Other tasters seemed to prefer the Colonnello, but for me it was the Cicala that showed best. (94 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Elio Grasso Barolo Gavarini – The nose was earthy and complex with dark red fruit, mushrooms, dried flowers, hints of citrus rind and dusty, dried cranberries. On the palate, it was still young and structured with tart red fruit, inner floral tones and hints of citrus. The medium-long finish lent a sweet and sour effect as red berry and citrus intermingled. (93 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello – The nose was wonderfully expressive with dark red fruits, dried flowers, spices and beef stock. On the palate, it was smaller-scaled, yet silky smooth and juicy with round red fruits and herbal tones. The finish turned darker and lingered. Other tasters found this to be much more interesting than I did. It’s a beautiful wine that’s drinking well now, but it was lack of depth on the palate that soured my view. (92 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Rocche dei Manzoni Barolo Riserva – The nose was modern and forward, showing ripe black cherry with balsamic tones, spice, licorice and a whiff of vanilla oak. On the palate, it was surprisingly clean, focused and finessed with cherry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and earth tones. The finish was soft and juicy with dried red berry notes lingering long. (88 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

Flight #3 was marked by the biggest disappointment of the evening, a completely corked Brovia Rocche and Bruno Giacosa Villero. Luckily, the two wines that did show were incredible! So began the battle of the two ’89 Vietti…

1989 Brovia Barolo RoccheCorked

1989 Vietti Barolo Rocche – The ’89 Vietti Rocche was stunning. The nose was forward, yet elegant and finessed, showing beautiful floral tones, cherry, potpourri, roses, balsamic hints and spice. On the palate, it was still youthful and structured; yet even still, the most focused red fruit ran deep, enveloping the senses and contrasted by inner floral notes. The finishes lingered on and on with hints of structure tugging at the senses while crystalline red fruit slowly faded away. This wine was seamless. (96 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Vietti Barolo Villero Riserva – The nose was bright and explosive with sweet red fruits, spice, rose petal, potpourri and hints of menthol. On the palate, it was round with velvety red fruits, yet persistent and focused, as sweet spice and hints of citrus danced across the senses. It finished focused and clean with dried red berries and hints of spice, which lingered on and on. It was gorgeous. (95 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Bruno Giacosa Barolo VilleroCorked

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, along came Flight #4. Out of the 16 bottles we originally assembled, what wasn’t revealed to the tasters was that a 1989 Giacomo Conterno Cascina Frania had been entered into the tasting. It was great listening to the chatter around the table as everyone put their nose to the glass.

1989 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia – The nose was deep, rooted in the earth with iron and minerals, yet dark and imposing as rich black cherry, licorice and dried roses gave contrast to rock dust and black soil tones. You could sense that as much as this wine was willing to give, there was still so much more being held in reserve. On the palate, balsamic notes gave way to dark fruit and inner floral perfumes, yet the wine’s muscle and girth seemed to be working hard (yet in a futile manner) to try and keep it all concealed. The finish was filled with strawberry, tar and tobacco notes in a long, youthful expression. This is a wine that anyone who considers themselves a fan of Barolo must taste at one point in their lives. (97 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Cascina Bruni Barolo Vigna Batistot – The nose was beautiful and quite unique, with spicy, candied tones leading to Bing cherry, celery seed and candle wax. On the palate, it showed velvety textures with dark red fruit and a hint of bitters. The finish was staying with red berry and licorice lingering on the palate. (90 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Prunotto Barolo Cannubi – The nose was dark, and at first reticent; yet as it opened in the glass, a bouquet of red berry, floral perfumes, herbs, minerals and a hint of spice came forward. On the palate, focused red fruits gave way to earth, minerals and stone with a still lively structure. The finish was clean and refreshing with a note of dried cherries. (93 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

1989 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Riserva – The nose showed red fruit, which was a bit stewy, with mushroom, herbs, tar and parchment. On the palate, dried red berries, spice and fall leaves coated the senses, yet the sense that this wine was holding back edged on my thoughts. The finish showed notes of red fruit and old cedar with a drying structure, which cut it short. (92 pointsFind it on Wine-Searcher!

Related Links: 
Words from fellow wine writers and bloggers who attended this tasting. The following links are a great way to get an in-depth understanding of these wines and the vintages.
Ken Vastola of "The Fine Wine Geek": 1989 Barolo and Barbaresco

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Old School, New Tricks: Avignonesi

By Eric Guido

The name Avignonesi has always been synonymous with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. In fact, they were one the pioneers of the DOCG, and a winery that has been producing wines from the region since 1984. However, up until recently, it was only the Vin Santo that really made it onto my radar (and a truly amazing Vin Santo it is). For the longest time, Avignonesi Vino Nobile fell into a bracket of wines that I didn't appreciate: namely, wines that were unidentifiable as Sangiovese-based wines. There's no question why I felt this way, especially with the blending regulations of the DOCG permitting up to 30% other varieties into the wine.

Courtesy of Wine Folly
"Guide to Sangiovese"
Sangiovese is a finicky grape that takes a lot of work to get it right. Once you've put all of the effort into growing and vinifying Sangiovese--to add 30% Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah, which will overwhelm and eliminate nearly all of the grapes inherent traits--is, in my opinion, a waste. There are many wine makers that will battle against the idea of a pure Sangiovese based wine (too hard to get right and keep balanced) and I too have enjoyed many Chianti that were blended with small amounts of other local varieties. But when a winery gets it right, pure Sangiovese can be a thing of beauty. Avignonesi has now joined the ranks of those daring vintners that have decided to make a true 100% Sangiovese-based Vino Nobile di Montepulciano--and I couldn't be happier.

Virginie Sayerys of Avignonesi
So what's changed, besides the blending? The fact is that the changes at Avignonesi go right to the core. In 2009, the company was bought by silent partner, Virginie Sayerys. Virginie, Belgium by birth and a lawyer before getting into the wine business, took her own beliefs in natural living, and then applied them to the production at Avignonesi. The winery is soon to be certified organic, along with many biodynamic principals, which have been adopted. Her focus on Sangiovese and terroir has brought a new elegance and balance to the entire range, while maintaining traditional Tuscan qualities. 2010 was the first Vino Nobile to be 100% Sangiovese, and the second I tasted it, I smiled from ear to ear. Frankly, to taste a wine like this, from a winery with such a large production (750,000 bottles a year), is a breath of fresh air.

The formidable Desiderio 85% Merlot / 15% Cabernet
& the dark classic;
 Grifi 60% Sangiovese / 40% Cabernet
Having loved the 2010 so much, I knew I had to explore the rest of their range, and the other day I finally got my chance. I was able to work through the core wines of the Avignonesi portfolio. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. A standout among them was the 2011 Avignonesi Rosso, which is an incredible value at a retail of $19. The 2011 Vino Nobile was intense and a great follow-up to the 2010. This was also the first chance I had to taste the Desiderio and Grifi. These were all great wines, but I would strongly urge readers to look at the Rosso and Vino Nobile. In a world where we pay $50 - $100 for the average Brunello, a 100% Sangiovese-based Vino Nobile can be a strong contender, and at $30 retail, a no brainier.

On to the wines:

2011 Avignonesi Rosso di Montepulciano (94% Sangiovese / 6% local varieties) – The nose showed ripe wild berry, sweet spice, hints of crushed blackberry, violet floral tones, and a hint of animal musk. On the palate, it was juicy with dark red fruits, yet soft and velvety, giving way to earth and spice with a vibrant acidity, which kept the mouth watering. The finish was impressive for its persistence as red berry, undergrowth and soil lingered on. The Avignonesi Rosso was a pleasant surprise, not overdone, yet fun with enough depth to keep it interesting throughout. (90 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

2011 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (100% Sangiovese) – The nose alone was intoxicating with perfumed dark-red fruits, sweet Tuscan spice, violet floral notes, and the slightest touch of oak. On the palate, it was intense and robust, with concentrated dark red fruits, balsamic notes and black licorice. The fruit nearly covered this wine’s impressive structure, finishing with brisk acidity and remnants of red fruit. This was a massive wine which can be enjoyed now, but it should be even better in a few years’ time. (92+ points) Find it on Wine-Searcher! (Soon to arrive in the U.S.)

2010 Avignonesi Desiderio Cortona (85% Merlot / 15% Cabernet) – The nose was dark and brooding, yet inviting and sensual, showing mixed berries, undergrowth, spice and a hint of oak. On the palate, it was velvety and plush with black fruit, herbs and intense acidity. The finish showed cranberry and minerals against this wine’s youthful structure. Yet the fruit persisted. This is a very young wine in need of time in the cellar. (92 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

2010 Avignonesi Grifi Toscana IGT (60% Sangiovese / 40% Cabernet) – The 2010 Grifi was as dark as night with notes of plum, black cherry, dark soil tones and herbs. With time in the glass, hints of sweet wood spice and floral tones came forward. It was large-scaled and silky smooth on the palate, yet it’s youthful nature quickly took control with an intense, tightly wound expression of massive dark fruit, soil and minerals tones. Hints of violet, bitters and dark fruit lasted through the finish, even with this wine’s impressive structure. It was a beautifully balanced wine which simply needs time to come around. (93 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

Producer website: Avignonesi