Castello Fonterutoli 2007
Significantly showed the difference of having more oak than the sangiovese samples, and also the small addition of cabernet sauvignon. On the nose it combined roasted red capsicum with black cherry and red currants, and on the palate showed very youthful power and texture, looking very masculine.
Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2009
Had an interesting floral black fruits nose, very good concentration and balance, a clean finish with nothing sticking out.
Siepi Toscana IGT 2007
A very dense mature nose, and on the palate was soft and plum jammy, very fruit sweet and warm and quite bold in fruit and oak.
Belguardo Serrata 2009
Blend of 80% sangiovese and 20% Alicante. Wasn’t showing anywhere near as well as the 2008 did when I sold it back in Australia.
Tenuta Belguardo 2007
Very soft and full, but still elegant and structured, with expressive blackberries and powerful breadth.
Belguardo Vermentino 2007
Very big aromatics somewhere between riesling and pinot grigio, but on the palate looked like a fruit-driven viognier.
From the Sicilian property was quite dull and lifeless, also not a patch on the 2008.
It becomes necessary to attempt to remove all expectations and preconceived notions when arriving into a new region and new producers. There is always going to be some flow-through from the previous region, we naturally compare an experience to the most recent one. Thus on my journey I am constantly having to readjust to each new place I visit and make no assumptions or judgements about such things as production volumes, estate sizes, yields, varieties or practices. What the important (and difficult) thing to ascertain is whether or not the philosophies and subsequent practices are right for that particular place. Whilst the nebbiolo grape is ideal for the elevated and cool hills of Piedmont, it is the sangiovese grape which performs exceptionally in the undulating and warmer landscape of Tuscany. Further to this, nebbiolo is a grape that necessitates small yields and small volumes to produce great wine, as it is notoriously difficult to handle both in the vineyards and in the cellar. Sangiovese needs a careful eye to be sure as it has very high yielding potential, but similar to the syrah grape is quite adaptable to site and you can easily make great wine in more generous volumes. The fact that I am visiting wineries that annually produce approaching one million bottles should therefore not mean they are not great wineries; they just couldn’t be great in Piedmont. After a very restful night and a couple of café lattes with breakfast, I adjourned to the winery of my hosts for the previous night.
|Budburst has most definitely begun