On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Visit to La Braccesca (Antinori) in Italy

16 Mar 2017

Dinner and a tasting of four vintages of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva – Vigneto Santa Pia … all wines are aged in barrel for 18 months and 18 more in bottle:

Arrival at the estate ...

 

The Tasting Set-up ...

 

The Wines and How They Stack Up ...

2007 Vigneto Santa Pia
Aromas – Charcoal, smoke and ash
Palate – soft, big, frim, dark fruit: cassis, blackberry with graphite, smoke, and herbal notes; acidity is quite high and the tannins bite back

2008 Vigneto Santa Pia (my favourite)
Aromas – cassis, strawberry, balsamic and tobacco
Palate – lovely, fresh red fruit with tobacco and mineral; the tannins need taming but it does have a long elegant finish

2009 Vigneto Santa Pia
Aromas – coffee, licorice, strawberry but with a strange underlying note of turpentine
Palate – rich, full and spicy with notes of cassis, plum and black cherry; it also has a thick almost chewy finish

2010 Vigneto Santa Pia
Aromas – vanilla, cedar, with black and blue fruit
Palate – smoky, cherry, cassis, blackberry, big fruit but still needs to evolved because it is mildly aggressive with tannins and a good amount of acidity

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Also tasted the 2011 Bramasole Syrah from the Cortona region for those who don’t believe Syrah and Italy belong together – think again ...

2011 Bramasole Syrah (Cortona)
- 12-14 months in a mix of 60% new French oak and 40% one year old oak -
cassis, raspberry and other dark fruits with white and black pepper;
fresh and just a beautiful bottle made from select parcels – (~50,000 bottles made) … Rating: ****+

 

Vino Nobile Anteprime 2017: Good Better Best

22 Feb 2017

(February 16, 2017) ... MONTEPULCIANO - Continuing on with my “rule” of not scoring unfinished wines (aka: barrel samples), I present to you my impression of the Anteprima del Vino Nobile de Montepulciano:  

At a tasting where almost half of the wines are barrel samples it might seem hard to get an idea of the vintage, but it is possible.  2014 shows a lot of acidity, seemingly more than in past years, and while that might be a good thing in many wines, managing it is another story, and so is the extraction of fruit; because fruit and acidity are not mutually exclusive – too much acidity can overwhelm the wine, while too little can create something flabby and, at first, seemingly hedonistic, but not when you’re asked to have a second glass, then it just feels weighty in the mouth and tires it out.  There were some really good examples from the likes of La Braccesca (the Antinori property in the region), who had two of my top wines as well as Tenuta Valdipiatta, both producers seemed to understand the need to reign in that acidity and present a more upfront fruit characteristic in this exceedingly acid-heavy vintage; their use of oak also did not mask the wine’s true nature – which can also be a problem in vintages like this.

As mentioned above I do not score unfinished wines, too much can go wrong between tank/barrel and bottle that can compromise or otherwise change the wine that I have I tried as a “sample” …  At Anteprima del Vino Nobile di Montelpulcino I was in the same boat as I was at the Chianti Lovers and in San Gimignano: there were a lot of unfinished wines which I decided to rate for their potential for the future (there were also a number of wines that were finished and already on the market) … below I will be rating the wines on future potential on a scale of Good – Better – Best ... plus at the very bottom of the page are the scores for some of my favourite finished wines.  I have also linked up some reviews for you to get a fuller picture of that wine and it’s potential for purchase and cellaring.

Good Potential

Contucci 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Dei 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Bossona”
Fanetti 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Fassati 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Icario 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Le Badelle 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Lombardo 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Palazzo Vecchio 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva
Salcheto 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, Selezione “Salco”
Salcheto 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Better Potential

Boscarelli 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Fattoria del Cerro 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Gattavecchi 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Poggio alla Sala”
Icario 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vitaroccia”
Il Conventino 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Le Badelle 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Rubeo”
Montemercurio 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Messaggero”
Nottola 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Best Potential

Il Macchione 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Scored (Finished) Wines …

Antinco Colle 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (*** ½+)
Barbanera 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Duca di Saragnano” … (*** ½+)
Bindella 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva “Vallocaia” … (*** ½+)
Boscarelli 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (****)
Carpineto 2009 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, Selezione “Sant’Ercolano” … (*** ½+)
Dei 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Fassati 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, Selezione “Gersemi” … (*** ½+)
Fattoria della Talosa 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½+)
Fattoria della Talosa 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Fattoria del Cerro 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½)
Fattoria La Braccesca 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (****+)
Fattoria La Braccesca 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****+)
Le Berne 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****)
Le Berne 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva … (*** ½+)
Metinella 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Burberosso” … (*** ½+)
Podere della Bruciata 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Cesiro” … (****)
Priorino 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Viola” … (****)
Tenuta Valdipiatta 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano … (****+)

 

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