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  1. I remember these things quite vividly! Great stuff, and the Giacosas are wonderful people. I also remember the 'incidente' we got into our first full day in Alba. No big deal, just a minor scrape on the bumper, but it did keep me from arriving at Ceretto on time! (good thing for cell phones :))
  2. Vintage Keeper 220 unit for me. I keep about 7 or 8 cases at my Dad's place in another VK220. Mine's almost full, so it looks like I'm going to have to pony up for another cabinet. BTW mottmott, temperature controlled wine fridges keep the cabinet between 48-65 degrees, whatever you set it to. Mine's set to 55F.
  3. I tasted the 2001 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco while at Il Barbaresco a Tavola (I think that's the most times I've ever used the B-word in a sentence :p). I thought it was excellent, and will buy a handful when it gets released here (not likely until next year. Here were my notes: Light ruby red with orange flecks to an oranging rim. Fat legs. Aromas of cherries, earth, orange rind, dried roses, licorice, and truffles. Medium-full bodied with red fruits, violets, and indian spice. Firm, but not overwhelming tannins. Moderate-long finish, ~40-45s with spice and cherry notes. A very nice normale from the Produttori. This bodes well for their single-vineyard Riservas when they are released. 89 points (05/21/2004).
  4. I included LCBO numbers for my fellow Ontario readers/posters. 2000 Chateau de Gourgazaud Minervois La Liviniere Reserve Midi, France $17CAD, LCBO #986083 AC Minervois Dark ruby colour to a pink/dusty rim. Aromas of cherry, raspberry, sweet oak, red plums, and a bit of vanilla. Medium bodied with red currants and plums on the palate. Short finish, ~20s. Fleshed out with air, showing more weight and a longer finish. 87 points (06/25/2004). Not bad QPR @ $17CAD per. 2000 Bodegas Valdelosfrailes Cigales Vendimia Seleccionada Spain $20CAD, LCBO #909457 Medium garnet colour. Aromas of plums, mocha, blackberries, currant, and vanilla. Medium-bodied with plums, pepper, red berries, and a bit of alcohol. Short-moderate finish, ~25s with plum notes. 87 points (06/24/2004). 2002 Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Brolio Tuscany, Italy $23CAD, LCBO #3962 Dark garnet/purple colour, almost opaque, to a violet rim. Aromas of barnyard, black cherry, black licorice, mixed dried herbs, and a hint of vanilla. Medium-full bodied with bramble, black cherry, and black plums. Short-moderate finish, ~20-25s. 86 points (06/26/2004). 1999 Cosimo Taurino Salice Salentino Riserva Puglia, Italy $16CAD, LCBO #411892 Dark ruby colour. Aromas of tar, black olives, violets, and plums. Medium-full bodied; fresh tasting showing nicely integrated tannins. Tar, violets, spice, pepper, black cherries, mint, and red berries on the palate. Solid ~30-35s finish with mint and spice notes. Very nice. Drink now. 88 points (06/27/2004) Quite good QPR. 2000 Terra d'Aligi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Tatone Abruzzo, Italy $15CAD, LCBO #994616 Dark garnet/black colour, almost opaque. Aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate, earth, vanilla, and briar. Medium-full bodied with blackberries, black cherry, black figs, and cedar. Short-moderate finish, ~20-25s with black fruits. Drink now. 87 points (06/28/2004). Also nice QPR.
  5. jmc, I tasted these at a session with the import agent, so I don't actually own any bottles. Here are the CSPC numbers that I could find: 2001 Karl Joh. Molitor Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, #919423 (Sold out) 2002 Aylur Kupp Riesling Kabinett QmP, #919449 (Sold out) 2002 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling Spatlese Bernkasteler Badstube, #727370 (Sold out) 2002 Pieroth Riesling Auslese Dorscheimer Pittermannchen, not available in Ontario For something that's actually in stock that I really liked, try the following: 2002 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA, #995746, $14CAD None left in Toronto, but some in the GTA (Brampton, Mississauga, etc). I gave it an 88. All of the products that are/were available in Ontario were through Vintages.
  6. Brad, I'm quite partial to Champagne as well. I've had every vintage of the Salon going back to the '82, and the '85 is right up there with the best - only slightly below the '90, which was still on its way up when I tasted it last year. I checked the bottle (I keep empties that are special), and it didn't have a date of disgorgement on it. I will say that I bought it 2-3 years ago, so I would imagine it was disgorged not too long before that. It was offered alongside a couple other vintages through our beloved LCBO. As for the '72 PX, I've been told the same thing all week from various sources.
  7. Thanks for the comments and correction, Brad. The Merlot statement came from the person who brought the wine. I guess that's why I didn't think it tasted like Merlot! I'd like to try it again sometime, however, if you think it was an off bottle. I'm sure this sold out in the province some time ago though. Alberto, $50USD is a good price then. I purchased it on release here for $75CAD, which is a little higher than down south. I passed on the '98 at $85CAD.
  8. I attended a couple wonderful dinners over the past week and wanted to share my notes on the Italians. Notes on non-Italian wines were posted in another thread. 1983 San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio Rosso Dark garnet colour to a browning rim. Aromas of anise, raisin, spice, mushroom, and rubber. Medium-bodied with cherry, anise, spice, and taffy. Moderate finish with mushrooms and earth. Surprising amount of life left in this wine. 87 points (06/19/2004). 1996 Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo Dark garnet colour. Aromas of cherry, earth, truffle, and anise. Slightly restrained on the nose, however. Full-bodied. velvety wine, with cherries, spice, and earth. Nice finish, ~35-40s with spice notes. 89 points, but would merit a point or two more if the nose wasn't muted. (06/19/2004). 1990 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino La Casa Dark garnet colour. Aromas of violets, anise, earth, and coffee. Medium-full bodied, with cherry, earth, spice, and a bit of mint. Soft in the mouth; shows well-integrated tannins. Delicious wine with nice structure. Drinking well right now. 91 points (06/19/2004). 1995 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso Ca' del Merlo Medium ruby/garnet colour. Aromas of bleu cheese, cherries, alcohol, and herbes du Provence. Sweet cherries, mild tannins, strawberries, and floral notes on the palate. Nice finish, ~30-35s. Nothing in this wine says Merlot or Italy in it. 88 points (06/19/2004). 1971 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Pale garnet with bricking to the orange rim. Aromas of spice box, tar, wet leather, and mushrooms. Medium bodied with the tannins completely gone. Cherries, mushrooms, and orange rind on the palate. Nice finish, ~30s. I'm amazed that there is still life in this wine. 87 points (06/23/2004). 1979 Ceretto Barolo Bricco Rocche Brunate Medium ruby colour to a bricked rim. Aromas of tar, spice, cherry, finocchio frawns, plums, anda hint of creaminess. Opens to show black licorice notes with time in the glass. Medium-full bodied with tar, spice box, and red fruit. Moderate length finish, ~30s with cedar and red fruit. Quite tasty. 91 points (06/23/2004). 1985 Ceretto Barolo Bricco Rocche Brunate Medium garnet colour. Aromas of vanilla, spice, orange rind, mushroom, and a bit of acetate. Medium-bodied with spice and cherry notes. Moderate length finish, ~30s with cherry and earth. Very tasty! 90 points (06/23/2004). 1997 Allegrini La Poja 100% Corvina. Dark ruby/black colour. Aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cinnamon, cherry, black licorice, vanilla, and raisins. Full-bodied, lush wine, with cinnamon, spice, blackberry, and black licorice. Tannins are quite chewy, but everything is in balance. Long finish, ~45-50s with spice and pepper notes. Beautiful wine that can easily go another 5-8 years. 94 points (06/23/2004).
  9. I attended a couple of dinners over the past week where some outstanding wine was poured. Here are the notes on non-Italian wines. For anyone wanting to read about the Italians we had, I posted them in a separate thread. 1985 Salon Blanc de Blancs Brut Le Mesnil Champagne Pale golden colour. Very lively, almost explosive streams of bubbles. No fewer than 8 streams in the glass. Intense aromas of oatmeal biscuit, caramel, jasmine, white flowers, cream, pear, orange blossoms, apple, creme brulee, lychee, and dried figs. Full-bodied, rich wine; like velvet on the palate. Outstanding mouthfeel - the bubbles dance on your tongue and around your mouth. Citrus, cream, caramel, apple, pear, oatmeal biscuit replays on the palate. Long, lingering finish that lasts for minutes, showing citrus, pear, oatmeal, spice, and walnut notes. Very focused, beautiful wine. Outstanding. 96 points (06/17/2004). 2002 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Pale yellow colour. Aromas of asparagus, grass, grapefruit, and lime. Medium-full bodied, crisp, with grapefruit, minerals, and grass notes. Moderate-long finish, ~35-40s. 90 points (06/19/2004). 2000 Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Domaine Saint Claire, Burgundy Pale yellow colour. Aromas of minerals, green apple, oatmeal, smoke, butterscotch. Medium-bodied with minerals, lime, and a steely vein to the wine. Moderate-long finish with lemon notes. 88 points (06/19/2004) 1999 Inniskillin Pinot Noir Founder's Reserve, Niagara, Canada Served blind. Medium-dark garnet colour. Aromas of red berry fruit and smoke. Medium-full bodied with red fruit, spice, cherry, and earth. Moderate finish, ~25-30s with cherry notes. 86 points (06/19/2004). 1998 Chateau La Croix du Casse, Pomerol Dark garnet colour to pink rim. Aromas of green pepper, vanilla, and cassis. Medium-full bodied with cassis and green pepper replays from the nose. Dry, with present tannins, and not much else. Moderate finish, ~20-25s. 85 points (06/19/2004). 1998 Chateau Les Cabannes, St. Emilion Dark garnet colour. Aromas of vanilla, cassis, and black cherry. Full-bodied with tobacco, cassis. Dry, with slightly resolved tannins. Opened with time in the glass. Dry finish, ~40-45s. Nice wine. 91 points (06/19/2004). 1998 Chateau Pipeau, St. Emilion Dark garnet colour. Aromas of mocha, cassis, vanilla. Full-bodied with currant and tobacco notes. Dry finish, ~20-25s. 86 points (06/19/2004). 1983 Chateau Pichon-Lalande-Longueville, Pauillac Dark garnet colour. Aromas of tobacco, herbs, raspberry, cassis, animal, lead pencil, old saddle leather, cedar box/cigar box. Full-bodied with cassis and briar notes; rich wine. Long finish with tobacco notes. 93 points (06/19/2004). 1997 Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan Dark garnet colour. Aromas of herbs (sage), cassis, and vanilla. Full-bodied with a pleasant herbaceousness and replays from nose. Moderate finish, ~35-40s. Typical Haut-Brion. 89 points (06/19/2004). 1999 Montirius Gigondas, Rhone Dark garnet colour, almost opaque. Aromas of candy, cherry, herbs, grilled meat, raspberries. Full-bodied with cherry, raspberry, pepper, spice, and grilled meat. Dry, with a good 40-45s finish showing currant notes. Needed every minute of the 4 hours air it was given to open up. Let this sleep. 92 points (06/19/2004). 1997 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, California Aromas of cassis, caramel, and blackberry. Full-bodied with cassis, cream, vanilla, and pepper. Moderate-long finish ~45-50s. Drinking wonderfully right now. 91 points (06/19/2004). 2001 Landmark Overlook Chardonnay, California Golden yellow colour. Aromas of vanilla, oak, pear, white peach. Full-bodied, creamy, with pear, vanilla, and spice. Not overly buttery. Moderate-long finish, ~35-40s with pear and spice notes. 90 points (06/23/2004). 1999 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Valmur Pale yellow colour. Minerals, citrus, and a bit of cream on the nose. Medium-bodied with cream, mineral, and citrus replays from the nose joined by apple and flint. Moderate finish with lemon, lime and pear notes. 89 points (06/23/2004). 1986 Chateau Cos-d'Estournel, St. Estephe Opaque garnet/purple colour. Aromas of cedar box, plums, cassis, vanilla, glyercin, and cigar box. Medium-full bodied with cassis and vanilla. Short-Moderate finish, ~25s. This was decanted for almost 8 hours, and it was suggested that this wine might have seen too much air. Still tasty, if a bit short on the finish. 91 points (06/23/2004). 1986 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan Not decanted. Dark garnet colour to rim. Beautiful legs. Incredible nose of barnyard (blew off with air), bramble, cedar, spice box, cassis, and tobacco. Medium-bodied with cedar, plums, cassis, spice, and abit of minerality. Beautiful finish, ~40s that is quite complex. Lots of life ahead of this wine, and it continued to open in the glass over the hour the bottle was consumed. 96 points (06/23/2004). 1975 Bodegas Toro Albala Don Pedro Ximinez Gran Reserva Sherry, Spain Aromas of prunes, raisins, milk chocolate, walnuts, cream, and christmas cake. Full-bodied, rich sherry, showing raisins, spice, toffee, coffee, and walnut on the palate. Wonderfully long finish, ~70-75s. 91 points (06/23/2004).
  10. Wonderful! It will be nice to chat with him on a regular basis. The early Saturday phone call to Andrea when we were leaving Alba was quite funny. He was already out in the vineyards working away.
  11. Craig, The food was very good at Antine, but it was a set menu created by the Barbaresco group. I'm told that Chef Andrea's regular menu is even more stellar. I'll post notes/menus/etc for all the meals I had in Italy in the appropriate forum when I get a chance to type them up. I agree that these wines would have improved over a couple days, or even an hour in a decanter. They are very tight and tannic, which makes them difficult to analyze at times. I can't comment on your last point, however - nothing I tasted at an estate was also poured at Antine. With respect to the 2001 Roncoglie, I understand your stance. Believe me, I was really looking forward to drinking this wine, especially after reading your comments on it coupled with the fact that I like Colla's wines. It was the third or fourth wine of the night that I tasted, and only traditional wines preceded it. I wanted to revisit the wine later in the evening from the other bottle, but it was empty. I would like to try this wine again, so hopefully I'll be able to buy a couple bottles when it arrives on store shelves in a year or two (don't ask). It will likely be more expressive at that time due to the extra bottle age. From what I tasted, I agree with your vintage assessment. The 2000s will be approachable sooner due to their opulent fruit, whereas the 2001 will age more gracefully due to the better structure and balance.
  12. lol, Sorry Craig, it's been kind of busy, and it takes a little more time to post notes in bulk than individually. The trip was outstanding. I can't stress that enough. The weather, food, wine, people - everything. Sottimano's wine were excellent, and they will likely warrant a higher score with some bottle age. I could definitely sense the direction they were going after tasting the 2000 Pajore and 1999 Curra. Indeed it was interesting to taste the characteristics of the vineyard. Andrea took us through the wines in order from closest to farthest from his house, and even the wine produced from vineyards a half kilometer away was distinct. Tasting so many young Nebbiolo wines in a short period was difficult. As a grape that traditionally needs time to show its elegance, the young wines were more powerful, and sometimes almost harsh. A lot of them were quite puckering in the mouth and it took a lot of focus to really see behind the wall of tannin and primary fruit to what the wine will likely develop into with time. I really enjoyed visiting/tasting in the region and visiting the vineyards. Understanding the soil, climate, grape, vinification and aging processes (and experiencing them first hand) allow me to better comprehend the "soul" of the wine and where it comes from. In my opinion, I "got" Nebbiolo wine before my trip. Now I understand the essence of it and what makes it so special.
  13. Unless you live in Ontario, however, when there is rarely anything called a "wine sale," regardless of inventory levels. Actually, I was just reading that if the LCBO decides to delist a product, they bill back the producer 25% of the value of remaining stock in their inventory before decreasing the cost a couple dollars per bottle.
  14. Last batch of tasting notes for my trip. When in Toscana, I visited Podere Poggio Scalette, Il Tagliato, Fuligni, Costanti, Poggio Antico, and Col d'Orcia. Here are my notes from these visits plus any other miscellaneous notes from dinners I had in the area, etc. 2001 Podere Poggio Scalette Piantonaia 100% Merlot. Only available at Enoteca Pinchiorri on their wine list for 195 Euro. 2,000 bottles produced. First vintage was 1999, and is aged in 100% new French oak 225L barriques. Deep garnet/purple colour; opaque, right to the rim. Fat, thick legs, and stains the glass when swirling. Amazingly rich nose, constantly expanding, showing both power and elegance. Aromas of cassis, blackberry, raspberry, vanilla, cream, blueberries, white pepper, peaches, mocha, black cherry, and black figs. Full-bodied, very refined wine. Unctuous in the mouth, showing excellent structure and fruit. Raspberry, black cherries, vanilla, balsam, cassis, and violet notes on the palate. Long finish, ~45-50s, with black cherry, raspberry, and cedar notes. Simply outstanding. Should have the ability to cellar for many years. 95 points (05/24/2004). 2000 Castelluccio Ronco del Re 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Emilia-Romagna. Golden yellow colour. Aromas of cream, honey, peaches, minerals, and white flowers. Medium-bodied; very fresh in the mouth, with white peaches, minerals, and white pepper. Nice, clean finish, good minerality with apple hints. 87 points (05/24/2004). 2002 Il Tagliato Balze d'Istrice 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot. From barrel. Medium-dark ruby red, crystal clear to rim. Aromas of red fruit, plums, and vanilla. Medium-bodied with red fruits, blueberry, cherries, and earth. Balanced wine and approachable. Moderate finish, ~30s. Fresh tasting. Will be better in bottle with a year to settle down. Not a long term ager. 86 points (05/24/2004). 1999 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Tasted the final blend from blending tank; to be bottled in June 2004. Deep garnet/ruby colour to a violet rim. Aromas of raspberry, vanilla, plums, dark chocolate, lavender, and blackberry. Full-bodied and fresh tasting with very fine tannins. Black fruits, figs, vanilla, and chocolate on the palate. Long finish, ~50s. Needs a lot of time. Roberto Guerrini said he prefers his '99 normale to the Riserva. This is outstanding, so I can't wait to drink the base bottle after several years in the cellar. Not as good as the '97 Riserva, but that's a difficult feat to match. 94+ points (05/22/2004). 2000 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Tasted final blend from blending tank. Ruby red to oranging rim. Aromas of mocha, cherries, and earth. Traditional on the palate showing medium-full bodied weight with vanilla, plum, earth, and raspberries. Nice finish, ~30-35s. More like the '98, and will mature sooner than '97 and '99 offerings. Very tasty. 91 points (05/22/2004). 2002 Fuligni Rosso di Montalcino Dark ruby colour. Aromas of currant, mint, mocha, and plums. Medium-full bodied with red and black fruits. Lovely finish, dry, with roses and cherries. Great Rosso. Buy all of this that you can, since all the grapes usually used for Fuligni's Brunello have been declassified and were put into the Rosso (no Brunello in 2002 due to the weather. They did not want to bottle an inferior Brunello so they just didn't make one). 88 points (05/22/2004). 2001 Fuligni S.J. 80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot. Ruby red with violet tinges to a pink rim. Aromas of cherries, dried flowers, small wild red berries, and orange rind. Medium-full bodied with sliced red plums, earth, blackcurrant, and herbs. Nice finish, ~30-35s, with violets, and currant. 89 points (05/22/2004). 1998 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Dark ruby red colour; crystal clear with garnet tinges. Aromas of plums, currant, spice, and mocha. Medium-bodied with red fruits and herbs. Very nice wine with a solid ~40s finish. Already drinking nicely. 91 points (05/22/2004). 2000 Costanti Ardingo 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot. Dark garnet/purple colour to a violet rim. Aromas of cassis, vanilla, and black cherries. Kind of flat, slightly oxidized, showing red and black berry fruits and a bit of spice. Short finish, ~15-20s. 86 points (05/25/2004). 2000 Costanti Vermiglio 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot. Medium-ruby red colour to a dusty rim. Aromas of cherry, earth, and mint. Medium-bodied with red fruits and earth. Moderate finish with cherry notes, ~30s in length. 87 points (05/25/2004). 2001 Costanti Rosso di Montalcino Medium ruby red/garnet colour. Aromas of violets, cherries, and anise. Medium-bodied with good red fruit. Nice, dry ~30s finish with cherry and mocha notes. 87 points (05/25/2004). 1999 Costanti Brunello di Montalcino Medium ruby/garnet colour to rose rim. Aromas of violets, dark chocolate, black cherries, and earth. Dry; medium-full bodied and fresh tasting with violets, cherries, and spice. Moderate-long finish, ~40-45s, with cherry, earth, and white pepper notes. Needs at least a few years in the cellar to come together. 92 points (05/25/2004). 2002 Poggio Antico Rosso di Montalcino Medium-dark ruby colour. Aromas of red fruits, plums, cherries, and earth. Medium-bodied with red fruits and strawberries. Short finish, ~20s, with cherry notes. Nose opened up with more air, begins to show some orange blossoms. 84 points (05/26/2004). 2001 Poggio Antico Madre 50% Sangiovese, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the first vintage for this wine; about 12,000 bottles produced. Dark garnet/purple colour to violet rim, almost opaque. Aromas of vanilla, blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry. Medium-full bodied, not heavy at all. Dry, showing vanilla, oak, berry fruit replays from nose. Good structure. Moderate finish with vanilla, oak, and berry, ~30-35s. Needs time to settle down and integrate. Try again in a couple years. 87 points (05/26/2004). 1997 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Altero Aged 24 months in 500L French oak barrels, then two more years in bottle. Medium-dark ruby/garnet colour to violet rim. Aromas of black licorice, roses, dark chocolate, raspberry, cherry, and earth. Medium-full bodied with red fruits, black cherry, blackberry, and spice. Shows good structure, but not much power at this point. Still in a slumber for the most part on the palate. Let this one sleep another couple years before revisiting. 88 points for now (05/26/2004). 2003 Col d'Orcia Rosso Degli Spezieri 70% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, 15% Ciliegiolo. Medium ruby colour with violet tinges. Aromas of cherries and small red berries. Simple table with with few tannins. Light bodied with red fruits. Short finish, ~10-15s with cherry notes. Drink now. 77 points (05/25/2004). 2002 Col d'Orcia Rosso di Montalcino Not a declassified Brunello, as Col d'Orcia is making a Brunello di Montalcino in 2002. Ruby red/garnet colour to pink rim. Aromas of red cherries, alcohol, vanilla, and small red berries. Light bodied with cherries and earth. Simple wine with a short finish. 83 points (05/25/2004). 2001 Col d'Orcia Rosso di Montalcino Banditella Aged 14 months in barrique. Dark ruby colour with garnet tinges to a violet/dusty rim. Aromas of vanilla, balsamico, black cherry, and raspberry. Medium-bodied with red berries and vanilla. Slightly watery in the mouth. Moderate length finish, ~30s. 80 points (05/25/2004). 1999 Col d'Orcia Cabernet Sauvignon Olmaia Aged 18 months in new French barriques. Dark garnet colour with purple tinges to a violet rim. Aromas of vanilla, blackberries, raspberry, blueberry, and black licorice. Medim-bodied with black cherry, vanilla, oak, and pepper. Moderate finish, ~30s, with black cherry fruit. 86 points (05/25/2004). 2000 Col d'Orcia Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena From 375mL. Pale golden colour. Aromas of honey, peaches, indian spice, white pepper, orange blossoms, and orange rind. Medium-full bodied, medium-sweet wine with honey, spice, pear, butterscotch, vanilla, and peaches on the palate. Good acidity to offset sweetness; doesn't seem heavy in the mouth at all. Moderate-long finish with honey, spice, and pear notes. 88 points (05/25/2004). 2001 Fontodi Chianti Classico Had this a few times during my trip, and here are notes on the last two bottles: Dark garnet colour to violet rim with violet tinges. Aromas of black cherries, earth, and herbs. Medium-full bodied, fresh tasting, with blackcurrant and black cherries. Moderate finish, ~30-35s. Slightly off (muted), but only very slightly. Not as good as the bottle I had yesterday, but still very enjoyable. 87 points (05/23/2004). Deep garnet/purple colour. Aromas of black cherry cough syrup, vanilla, and cassis. Medium-full bodied, somewhat resolved tannins, showing black cherry, vanilla, cassis, pepper, and plums. Moderate finish, ~30-35s, with black fruit notes. 88 points (05/26/2004). 2001 Fattoria Le Pupille Solalto Sweet wine from Le Pupille. 40% Traminer, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon. Pale yellow colour. Aromas of honey, lychee, apricot, orange blossoms, and lemon. Medium-full bodied with good acidity to support the sweetness of the wine. Show almonds, honey, apricot, lychee and spice on the palate. Nice 30s finish with honey and apricot notes. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Banfi Rosso di Montalcino From 375mL. Dark garnet colour to violet rim. Aromas of cherry, alcohol, earth, violets, and a whiff of barnyard. Medium-bodied with cherries and red berry fruits. Short finish, ~20s. Drink now. 85 points (05/25/2004).
  15. The 8th edition of Alla Corte del Vino was held at Fattoria Le Corti in San Casciano Val di Pesa on the 22nd and 23rd of May, 2004. Open to the public, tickets are 15 Euro at the door to taste wine from over 50 producers. There are also seminars (some free, some not). I attended on the Sunday afternoon. There were many wines I didn't get to, but overall, the quality of what I tasted was quite good. I was surprised by the 2002s most of all, after hearing nothing but bad press about the vintage. Don't write the whole year off. If you're selective, there are some very nice wines to be found. The notes: 2002 Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino Medium ruby colour. Simple nose of earth and red fruit. Medium-bodied with spice and red fruit. Short finish, ~15-20s with red fruit continuing through. 85 points (05/23/2004). 1999 Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino Medium-dark garnet colour. Aromas of vanilla, cherry, mocha, and violets. Medium-full bodied with red fruits, cherry, earth, and a hint of pepper. Violets show on the 35-40s finish. Will continue to develop with time. 90 points (05/23/2004). 2002 Argiano Rosso di Montalcino Light garnet colour. Aromas of cherries, earth, milk chocolate, and basil. Medium-bodied with good red fruit and herbs. Good clean finish of ~30s. 87 points (05/23/2004). 1999 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Light ruby red colour. Aromas of cherries, mint, chocolate, and earth. Medium-full bodied with violets, figs, and black fruits. Moderate finish, ~35s. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Argiano Solengo Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Dark garnet colour with purple flecks. Aromas of black fruit, vanilla, mint, and earth. Full-bodied with black crushed fruit, vanilla, and herbs. Moderate length finish continuing from palate, ~30-35s in length. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2000 Avignonesi Desiderio 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark garnet colour. Aromas of cherries, wet earth, smoke, and a hint of dark chocolate. Full-bodied, dry wine, showing black fruits, violets, and licorice on the palate. Nice finish, ~35s. This wine is a glass and teth stainer. Give it a few years cellar time. 90 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Medium-ruby colour to a pink rim. Aromas of barnyard, smoke, cherries, and herbs. Medium-bodied with red fruit (plums, currant) and spice. Solid finish, ~30-35s in length. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2000 Il Tagliato Balze d'Istrice Small production, only about 8,000 bottles from a producer in the small town of Ruffoli. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot. Deep ruby colour to rose rim. Aromas of McIntosh apple, cedar, cherries, and earth. Medium-full bodied with replays from the nose, especially the apple notes. Short-moderate length finish, ~20s. 85 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Il Tagliato Balze d'Istrice Small production, only about 8,000 bottles from a producer in the small town of Ruffoli. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot. Deep garnet colour to a pink/violet rim. Aromas of blackcurrant, black cherry, herbs, and chocolate mint. Medium-full bodied with red fruits on the palate. Slightly dry, but very nice finish, ~30s. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico Riserva Casasilia 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Light-medium ruby/garnet colour to a dusty rim. Aromas of black cherries, earth, dried flowers. Medium-bodied with black cherries, licorice. Moderate length, clean finish with cherry notes. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2002 Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico Light ruby red colour to pink rim. Aromas of cherries, and earth. Medium-bodied with red berries, cherry, and earth. Nice 30-35s finish, with red berries. Nice Chianti. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2000 Poggio al Sole Seraselva 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet colour. Aromas of vanilla, blackcurrant, violets, and red currant. Medium-full bodied with replays from the nose. Finish of ~30-35s with plums and black licorise. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2000 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione 100% Sangiovese Lamole from 70 year old vines. Garnet red colour to violet rim. Aromas of cherries, violets, and mocha. Full-bodied and lush in the mouth, with violets, and red and purple fruit. Long finish, ~40-45s, with red fruits. Still needs more cellar time. 91 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione 100% Sangiovese Lamole from 70 year old vines. Deep garnet colour with purple tinges to a violet rim. Aromas of black cherries, blackcurrant, dark chocolate, violets, earth, minerals, and licorice. Full-bodied with black fruits, figs, and vanilla. Present, but fine, integrated tannins. Long, 50+ second finish showing violets and blackcurrant. Outstanding, but needs at least a couple more years to show its full potential and will hold for many years after that. 93 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Deep garnet with black tinges. Aromas of vanilla, blackcurrant, figs, and violets. Full bodied with black fruits and vanilla. Very nice with pepper noes on the ~40s finish. 89 points (05/23/2004). 2002 Feudo Maccari Nero d'Avola Saia A new property in Sicily owned by Tenuta Sette Ponti. Garnet colour with violet tinges to a violet/rose rim. Aromas of cherries, plums, minerals and herbs. Medium-bodied with red fruits. A finish with some impact, continuing with red fruit. 86 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Poggio al Lupo Maremma Another new property for Tenute Sette Ponti this time in Maremma. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 15% Alicante. Dark ruby/black colour to a ruby rim. Aromas of vanilla, figs, rosemary, barnyard, and blackberries. Full-bodied with green pepper, black fruits and vanilla. Nice finish, ~40s with vanilla and fig notes. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2002 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Leone Rosso 60% Sangiovese, 40% Merlot. Medium-garnet colour to a dusty rim. Aromas of red licorice, red fruit, and vanilla. Medium-bodied, nice mouthfeel with red fruits. 20-25s finish. 86 points (05/23/2004). 1999 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino Medium-garnet colour. Aromas of pretzels, cherries, mocha, and earth. Medium-full bodied with red fruits, roses, and earth. Nice wine with a 35s finish. 90 points (05/23/2004). 1999 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne Medium ruby with garnet tinges. Aromas of cherries, cola, and flowers. Medium-full bodied, fresh tasting, with red fruits. Nice wine, ~40s finish. Needs several years of cellar time. 92 points (05/23/2004). 1998 Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio Deep garnet colour with aromas of vanilla, black cherry, earth, and black fruit. Medium-full bodied with black cherry, spice, earth, and black fruit. Nice 30-35s finish. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2000 Barone Ricasoli Casalferro Sangiovese and Merlot. Dark ruby/garnet colour with pink tinges. Aromas of figs, vanilla, mint, violets, and roses. Full-bodied, lush wine with figs, vanilla, violetes, and black berry fruits. Nice finish, ~35-40s with floral notes. Needs 3-4 years to start to see its full potential. 90 points (05/23/2004). 1999 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Medium-dark garnet colour to a bricking rim. Aromas of cherries, earth, violets, and roses. Medium-full bodied and fresh tasting, showing violets, cherries, currant, and roses on the palate. Nice finish, ~40-45s, with currant notes. 90 points (05/23/2004). 1998 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Vigne del Fiore Medium-garnet colour to a bricked rim with tinges of orange. Aromas of minerals, cherry, earth, yellow flowers, and nuts. Medium-bodied showing red fruits, mint, and earth. Moderate length finish, ~30-35s, with cherries and currants. Not as good as the '99 normale. 87 points (05/23/2004). 1999 Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Medium-light ruby colour. Aromas of balsamico, cherries, earth, violets, and red licorice. Medium-full bodied with replays from nose, especially balsamico. Nice finish, ~35s with red fruits. 89 points (05/23/2004). I tasted this again at the winery a couple days later and was less than impressed with the second bottle: Medium-dark garnet colour to a dusty rim. Aromas of cherries, earth, alcohol, roses, and lavender. Medium-bodied with cherries, earth, and finocchio. A little simple in the mouth; not showing as well as on Sunday. Seems like a completely different wine. Diluted cherry finish lasting 20-25s. 85 points (05/25/2004). 1997 Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio al Vento Garnet colour with rose tinges. Aromas of cherries, earth, orange rind, mocha, and cherry blossoms. Medium-full bodied with red fruits, mocha, violets, and lavender. Nice finish, ~30-35s, with violet notes. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2000 Col d'Orcia Nearco 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah. Deep garnet colour to a violet rim. Aromas of vanilla, mint, figs, blackcurrant, cassis, and grilled meat. Full-bodied with vanilla, spice, and black fruits. Finish of ~40s with spice, pepper, vanilla, and violets. Very nice. 90 points (05/23/2004). 1999 La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino Dark garnet with black tinges. Aromas of black cherry, wet earth, blackberries, and a hint of vanilla. Full-bodied but fresh tasting showing figs, blackberry, vanilla, earth, and spice. Nice finish with blackberry and violet notes. Very nice; will improve with cellaring. 92 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Fattoria di Bagnolo Capro Rosso Sangiovese, Colonino, Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Dark garnet colour with black tinges; almost opaque. Blackberries, oak, vanilla, and black cherries on the nose. Full-bodied with black fruits, minerals, and herbs on the palate. A little austere, but pleasant. Dry finish. 87 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Fattoria di Bagnolo Chianti Classico Riserva Dark garnet/black colour to violet/rose rim. Aromas of black cherry, raspberry, earth, and brown sugar. Medium-full bodied with black fruits, blackberries, and black cherries. Nice finish, ~30-35s, with black fruits. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2002 Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot. Dark garnet colour with black tinges showing to a violet rim. Aromas of black cherry, barnyard, and minerals. Medium-full bodied with black cherry, raspberry, and vanilla. Nice finish, ~35s. Can see where this is going after tasting it in 375mL format earlier in the day. Not as evolved in 750mL format. Give this a couple years. Great effort in a difficult vintage. 88 points (05/23/2004). 2001 Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Riserva Castello di Fonterutoli 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark garnet colour, with black streaks. Aromas of black cherry, white pepper, orange rind, and earth. Full-bodied with vanilla and black fruits. Slightly herbal on the finish. Needs time to flesh out, and will improve. 89 points (05/23/2004).
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