From the Cellar

Just because I started a website called OntarioWineReview.com doesn't mean it's All-Ontario-All-the-Time. When I kick back at night my mood (and sometimes my curiosity) decides my wine of choice. And the title should read, "Uncorked and Un-Screwed Tonight" ... but that just sounds wrong.

D'Alessandro 2003 Il Bosco - Cortona Syrah (Italy)

03 Aug 2021

Cortona Syrah

 

(January 1, 2021) ... First bottle of the new year, if you don't count the bubbles I had at midnight ... I had written an article about Cortona Syrah a few years back for Quench magazine, so now I was interested to see how these wonderful wines age.

This bottle started with lots of dark fruit and spice, and still shows a nice vibrancy and liveliness - I then decided to try a little experiment with this. I noticed that at room temperature it was fairly muted, but not unattractive, showing notes of cassis, blackberry, smoky, and white pepper; there's even a nice dustiness to the finish - but here's where the experiment comes in, I decided to grab one of my "water wings"-like chilling sleeves to give the bottle a little cool down; the outcome was a palate that came across with more dark fruit character. After about an hour to an hour and a half it dries out considerably, sure there's still a nice dark fruit core, but its back-end has become dusty dry and chalky - but that first hour was a revelation in age-ability of these wines.

 

Bersano 2000 / 2017 Barbera D'Asti Costalunga (Italy)

22 Jul 2021

 

Bersano(December 27, 2020) ... So I tried the 2017 version of this wine recently and while traipsing thruough my cellar I noticed I had a 20 year version of the same wine ... so it just demanded I give the wines a go side-by-side.

2000 Costalunga ... To be expected the wine showed immediately the signs of its age: forest floor, licorice, smoke, harsh acidity and earthy undertones. It was a little long in the tooth, the fruit was gone and in its place were the secondary and tertiary characteristics - it even delved into the realm of "quarterly" aromas and flavours as things began to smell and taste burnt, like  ground and used coffee beans and burnt chocolate. Sorry Bersano, this one was not built to last this long - heck I would have been totally surprised if it had survived; but then I'm the guy who held it this long.

2017 Costalunga ... Now, this is a real treat and treasure, granted it is the current vintage that I could find around me (and I was sent and tasted a bottle earlier the previous month): red fruit galore backed with good acidity to balance out that fruit. Obviously, when compared to the above it was much fresher with lots of currants and cranberry, spiced-sour-cherry and even some pencil shavings to contrast that fruit. After being opened for an hour the red fruit really exposes itself brilliantly and that acidity packs the punch to beat it back so that it knows its place. Find some and buy some, but don't wait 20 years to drink 'em.

Moral of the story ... drink these wines younger than older, you'll get more out of them: 10 years maximum.

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