WCC TUSCAN REDS
at Carmine's Restaurant in Albany, NY, (2/3/2005)

The WCC met to taste an assortment of Tuscan wines (with one Umbrian ringer). The wines were served double blind in random order except that I asked people if the wine they brought was older or younger and put the older ones first. I also placed the ringer at the end. Below are my TNs and scores with group rankings as well. If I know something about when it was opened or decanted, I mention it below. The wines were served with large quantities of Italian food at a good local restaurant Carmine's. Generally the food and wine matched well, except for a very spicy pork dish with the 3rd flight.


FLIGHT 1

1978 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Muted nose of dried cherries. Delicious cherries on the palate. Still has some tannins. Medium length, but an exciting wine. Thrilling in a way that's hard to describe. 93 points. Tied for Group #4 WOTN.

1987 Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Largo
[Decanted 24 hours in advance.] No nose. Nice up front. Short, tart cherry finish. 84 points. Group #2 WOTN. Go figure.

1985 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Greppo
Lovely cherry nose. Light, sweet, with a fascinating spice on the finish. Tasty! 92 points.


FLIGHT 2

1988 Castello di Rampolla Sammarco vdt
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Young, tannic, sweet, cherry fruit. Needs 3-5 years. Really good with veal cheeks and root veggies over pasta. 93 points. Tied for Group #7 WOTN.

1988 San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo vdt
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Sweet and yummy. Still has tannins. Needs a couple more years. 92 points. Tied for Group #4 WOTN.

1990 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio allíOro
Heavenly, concentrated, sweet red fruit nose. Thick, rich, wow! Drink now-2015. Meaty. Got better and better though the evening. 94 points. My WOTN and Group WOTN.


FLIGHT 3

1990 Geografico Brunello di Montalcino
Sweet cherry-vanilla nose. Smooth and silky. Tannic finish mellows into sweet cherries. Quite nice. 90 points.

1997 Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico
[Brought by one member because he thought the picture of Verrazzano on the label looked like another member of our group.] Exquisite black currants. Medium length. Lots of cherries. A little thin on the finish. 88 points.

1988 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte vdt
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Structured, yummy! Needs a few more years. Really delicious. Drink now-2012. 93-95 points. Group #9 WOTN.


FLIGHT 4

1990 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino
Smooth, silky, delicious fruit. Wow, what a tasty wine. 93 points. Tied for Group #7 WOTN.

1995 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve vdt
[Decanted 24 hours in advance.] Sweet up front. Long shitty finish. Nauseating. 58 points. Many others really like it. Group #3 WOTN. Go figure?

1997 P. Antinori Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigna
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Sweet strawberries and licorice. Tasty. Needs a lot of time, at least 5 years, maybe 10. 89-92 points.


FLIGHT 5

1997 P. Antinori Tignanello vdt
Youthful! Thick, tarry, sweet, tasty, but a little one-dimensional at this stage. 90-92 points. Group #6 WOTN.


2000 Arnaldo Caprai 25 Anni Sagrantino di Montifalco Umbria
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Incredibly earthy nose. Long and tannic. Needs 8-12 years. 93-96 points. Many liked it, some quite a lot, but it was not included in our WOTN voting.


For me the big surprise was how well the 2 Banfi wines did. I have not had good experience with this producer in the past, but these were both quite good, with the single vineyard riserva being a worthy step up from the very good regular Brunello.

The other big surprise to me what how much the others like the Val di Suga and the Flaccianello, though I have often liked other Falccianellos in the past.

 

 

 


All original content © Ken Vastola