Thursday, May 20, 2010

Morellino di Scansano

Hoping now to start anew with more frequent posting, I return to that region with the red wines that most closely hold my heart: Tuscany. But on this occasion a somewhat unusual Tuscan: Fattoria Le Pupille, Morellino di Scansano 2004. Some background: Morellino di Scansano, recently upgraded to DOCG in 2007, is found in Maremma on the Tuscan coast. Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese, and with Brunello/Rosso di Montalcino, it is one of only two Tuscan wines required to be composed of 100% Sangiovese. I don't have a lot of experience with Morellino, but my limited sample suggests two distinctive characteristics: a ripe style of fruit, and very prominment earthiness. What's unusal about this particular wine is that, while having some distinct Tuscan characteristics if you had given it to me blind, I might very well have guessed it was from the Languedoc!

Fattoria Le Pupille, Morellino di Scansano 2004
Pure, juicy black cherry uprfront, with plum, hints of citrus rind and tomato, and prominent baryard-style earthiness, with herbs on the finish, the whole also having a pleasant "sea air" salty quality. Medium-full bodied with a ripe style of fruit (but not overly ripe), and a sharp style of acidity (but not unpleasant). White the citrus rind, tomato, and herbs mark it as Tuscan, the overall style of the fruit and the baryard remind me as much of Minervois in the Languedoc as they do of Tuscany, or within Italy, perhaps of Salento in Puglia. Whatever the case, this is quite a nice wine, perhaps now at its mature zenith, and should be drunk now or in the next two years. Excellent (87 -90) [5/8/10]

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Surprising Gatinara - 1997

Travaglini, Gatinara Tre Vigni 1997
A pleasent surprise from the mostly unknown Gatinara DOCG in Piedmont, Italy. Reading the reviews, I was afraid that this wine might not be a perfect choice for celebrating our 13th anniversary. But, this wine proved (again) that reviewers might be wrong. It was an excellent Nebbiolo expression: Opening with red berries, light earthy notes and a silky long ending, it developed in the glass to have leather, mushroom, more black fruits and great acidity. It is at its peak. Excellent / Exceptional (89 - 91)
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