Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feb 25, 2009. A few tasting notes from a previous dinner

2005 Francois Raveneau Butteaux.
Minerality more covered up by fruit than usual. Try not to overchill this - nice acidity - very nice balance - good finish. Still prefer the 2002 though. 92+pts.

2006 Fontaine Gagnard - Chassange Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St. Jean
Opened for ~30minuts. Denser, brasher, minerality backed up by power. Kept unwinding throughout the night - give this time. 90 pts.

2005 George Roumier Chambolle Musigny
Opened in bottle for ~3.5 hours - needs it. Red fruits laced with a bit of earth and game. Structured, fine tannins - amazing village wine. 90 pts.

2005 Duhart Milon Rothschild
Opened for ~2 hours. Young, full bodied, expansive, cassis, touch of pencil, traces of Lafite but not quite as this is more brawny without the complex aromas. Hey but given the price - no complaints! Serve at room temperature or a bit above ~19-21 C, no problems and may make it a bit less rough on the edges. 92 points.

1999 Chateau Palmer
Opened for ~1.5 hours. Ahhh the 2nd disciple. An amazing achievement in an otherwise lackluster year. Soft, beautiful on the nose, depth without being overly brutish. Silky tannins and decent finish. 94-95 points.

2004 Oremus 4 putt Tokaji ( forgot the vineyard).
Good acidity great with thick creamy deserts - cuts through and gives balance.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dinner with Lodovico Antinori & Tenuta di Biserno

A few years back, I mentioned about a wine that stood out on a trip to Tuscany. That wine was called Isoglio del Cinghiale. After some fact checking, the people behind this winery were none other than Lodovico & Piero Antinori - the previous owner(s) of Tenuta Ornellia. Fast forward almost 2.5 years later and we had a very special treat - dinner with Lodovico in person.

Insoglio is basically their everyday drinking product. Up until 2005, it was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Cab. Franc. Starting in 2006, Syrah was added to the blend and by 2007 I believe Cabernet Sauvignon was completely eliminated. Going forward from the 2007 the blend of varietals have pretty much "settled" in. Given the price point of this wine which is ~ EUR15, no complaints. More than acceptable as an everyday quaffer.

Next up is the Il Pino di Biserno which is a more Bordeaux-like blend and does not contain any Syrah unlike the Insoglio. This is a much more complex wine and also takes things up another level. Starting in 2007 however, there might be a qualitative change as some of the best vine blocks will be going into their next level wine called Biserno.

Biserno - will start with the 2007 vintage and will be their "flagship wine". First shipments will start in 2010. This will be fun to watch as it is probably aimed squarely at Ornellia.

If Biserno is to Ornelia then my guess is that sometime down the road there may be something ultra-rare to match off with Masseto...

2007 Insoglio - More Syrah dominant and even more fleshy.
2006 Insoglio - Syrah introduced a bit more fleshy
2005 Insoglio - Cabernet Sauvignon driven. A Bordeaux ringer.

2005 Il Pino di Biserno
Extremely young. Is it a Puillac or St.Emillion?? It seemed to me however that it was just a bit closed and tight. This will take time.

2006 Il Pino di Biserno
To be released very soon and seems like it is still settling in but looks promising. The balance is there and just a bit more hi-keyed than the 2005 to prop things up here ( though not the sharp acidity in any sense ). Shades of Ornellia here?? This is going to be interesting in a couple of years.