Un Litro 2014
Cleaner lighter, fresher but with the same purity. Will be interesting to see it once in bottle and arrived in Australia.
Lighter on the nose, more subtle, tight lean focused but not quite the same, a bit too safe?
Purity focus crunchiness, potent. Fine bright carbonic notes, tight lean tannins, not the same as 2013.
Cabernet Franc 2014
Very intense varietal nose, herbal, bright tight. Light lean a bit dirty on the back in a nice way, not as varietal on the palate. Reasonable amount of tannin.
A lot more shy on the nose, but still nice pure focus and subtle dark fruits. Oak a little too prominent at the moment, adding quite a bit of tannin to the mouth feel, needs a bit more depth of fruit, needs some more time perhaps?
Simona Spinelli from Ampeleia
Last year was a particularly good year for drinking for me, I have to admit it. Thanks to all the fantastic people I met and venues I discovered, who all work with some beautiful products, I got to both taste and drink (sometimes a bit too much) some amazing stuff. Some of these wines were tasted at events or trade tastings, some at my favourite bars & restaurants, and a few were tasted at wineries I visited (which was too rare in 2014). You’ll notice that many of these wines are Italian which very much reflects where I was at this year working for an importer of Italian wines, and also visiting Italy in June.
Let me know what you think, and tell me in the comments what were your highlight wines for 2014.
2014 was a momentous year as it was the first time I tasted Claret!
Honey herbal volatility. Exceedingly fresh, complex, just a bit of dirtiness on the back. Classic skin contact style, wild salty texture.
Very dark for a rosé. Unbelievably complete, complex and long, dark fruits, spice herbs. Unbelievably perfect and yet haunting.
La Querciola 2010
Dark earthy, seeing some volatility. Very very complex, intense dark earthy, very intense tannins.
Smells a bit more raw and wild than the 2012 vintage, reminds me of cru beaujolais. Wonderful freshness acidity tightness and focus, lovely light savoury notes, spectacular wine.
Very floral with a bit of mint, still see the soils coming through. Tighter leaner more focused, nice bright fresh red fruits, more interesting expression.
Deep dark focused, interesting talky quality. Good intensity and freshness, bright and focused.
Looking a little green on the nose, very vintage specific but I like the evolution of style.
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.
A blend of 95% sauvignon blanc and 5% gewürztraminer, and had a classic sauvignon aromatic sweat coupled with bright fresh herbaceous kiwi and guava fruit sweetness.
Tre Rosso 2010
A blend of the three estates, and is composed of sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. A very bright colour but is very light, showing dark ruby plummy aromas, fresh and tight fruits and tannins, with very little oak to overcomplicate.
Chianti Classico Riserva 2009
Had a very intense and fruit-driven nose, was focused and tight on the palate with full yet approachable personality.
Il Blu 2008
Made up of the two Chianti Classico DOCG estates, a blend of 50% sangiovese, 45% merlot and 5% cabernet sauvignon, and is Barbara’s original ‘super tuscan’. Had a wonderful dark currant and savoury chocolate nose, with some dusty and plummy fruit notes, fine yet firm and focused tannins and wonderful ageing potential.
Comes from the Maremma estate, a blend of 40% cabernet, 40% petiti verdot and 20% cabernet franc, is decidedly softer and more mellow than the Il Blu, but with wonderful length and elegance.
The bright cellars of Brancaia
So far on my journey it’s been a wonderful experience meeting people from each winery and discovering their similar but also different philosophies. Peoples’ philosophies may relate to the management of their vineyards, such as whether they use sustainable practices, are organic or biodynamic. In the winery they may change how they use equipment and additives, what their maturation program is, and how they have designed the layout of their facility. Wineries have different approaches to how they brand and communicate their wines, and also how they welcome visitors to their wineries. The thing to remember is that no one philosophy is the best or right one, as every country, region, producer and audience/market is different. What is most important is to select the right approach for that winery and place, and this is how I have determined to assess whether the philosophy has been successful. Within the space of one day I visited four wineries that had similar but different philosophies, but were all successful in themselves and offer something different. Between the first and last winery I had covered a fair amount of ground, leaving very early and finishing late.
|The Black Rooster greets every day in Chianti Classico