Archive

Posts Tagged ‘masseto’

Italy’s finest

I had the privilege to attend an exclusive lunch where the theme was as you will read below Italy’s grandest Grand Cru wines. It was more of a Gaja themed line-up of wines completed with some of the most famous and cult like Super Tuscan’s.

All Gaja’s reds from Piedmont region are high priced wines of considerable force and character. Out of their portfolio, 3 wines stand aside even more as they are produced only from 3 separate single vineyards, all being made of 94-95% Nebbiolo with a small touch of Barberba d’Alba that gives them a higher complexity, but on the same time forbids them to carry the Barolo DOCG appellation. These 3 single Cru wines are the highest expression of Gaja’s know how and Nebbiolo’s interpretation coming from this top producer. They also give life to 3 different expressions of terroir diversity that make wine such an interesting beverage.

The red wines line up started with an older mature wine that today at 25 years old is singing, while the rest were very young (2006), powerful and not overly expressive in comparison. As a conclusion these wines need at least 15 years of bottle age to start to open up.

IMG_20150528_152506

We started with a Champagne Jacquesson Cuvee no 737 made of 70% wines from the 2009 vintage the rest older wines, from Premier and Grand Cru vines from Grande Vallee de la Marne and Cotes des Blancs. It is maturated sur lies in big oak barrels. It is 43% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier, disgorged in November 2013. Color is medium gold with intense mousse. Initially very citrus like fruit, fresh dough and biscuit with a razor sharp palate, but after 30-45 minutes it gets softer with complex aromas of caramel, milk and pear, with a rounder and softer palate. Medium finish. (91/100)

IMG_20150528_161352

Gaja Sori Tildin 1990

Ruby red with brick light rim. Pure fresh cedar and mint nose. Extremely expressive. Also black currant buds.
Deep nose, ethereal, rich red fruit, cherries, smoke, game, dry rose petals, balsamic as it aerates. Mineral tones refresh the nose. Rich palate and such a silky smooth mouth feel, lots of red fruits and spices, tar. Very long finish with lingering aftertaste that comes back over and over . Plenty of life ahead, the amplitude of fruit is unbelievable. Very Burgundian like character. 96/100
IMG_20150528_142926
 Gaja Sori Tildin 2006
 Deep dark red color. This seems more closed both on the nose and the palate, very tight actually, red fruits, raspberry, cherry, roses, tar, Asian spices. A warm nose. Fresh cedar. Tight palate, assertive and high tannins, ‎youthful, rich legs on the glass, a fat and heady wine, aromas of red cherry, spices, very powerful, lots of structure. Very unforgiving in its youth. ‎Long finish, assertive tannins. 94/100
IMG_20150528_175203
Gaja Costa Russi 2006
Deep ruby red. Lots of strawberries and raspberries. Spices. Warm nose. Balsamic, a bit ripe. Warm palate. Kind of angular in the mouth and quite unsatisfying for the price. 91-92/100
IMG_20150528_171827
Gaja San Lorenzo 2006
Deep red almost opaque. Very deep nose, lost of fruit, more black fruit than red, blackcurrant, spices. Very concentrated, lush texture, lots of grainy tannins, plenty of sour cherries, plums, very youthful, toasty and tobacco. It is more international and comes along as a modern Barolo. Long finish. A very powerful wine with a mountain of tannins that needs plenty of time to get soft but it does have a certain weightless feeling in the mouth that makes it even more appealing. Real potential here. (95/100)
IMG_20150528_160516
There was also a 1974 Castello di Neive Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano that was cloudy in the glass and unfortunately completely dead.
There were not just any Super Tuscan’s that followed, we are talking about the most sought after investment wines from Italy: Masseto and Sassicaia.
IMG_20150528_180741
2009 was a warmer vintage so Sassicaia is a bit different than the regular style. There is a riper and more ample fruit both on the nose and palate, with softer tannins and richly textured. Plenty of black fruits, spices, charcoal and leather. Velvety tannins, lingering sweet black berry fruit, spices and a spicy paprika touch. Long finish. (93-94/100)
Today 2009 Sassicaia comes along more as the poor relative of the noble family consisting of this famous wines from Gaja.
IMG_20150528_183225
Masseto 2008
Leaving the crazy price aside, Masseto is a wine with its own category. 2008 Masseto has a very dark and opaque red garnet color. Deep and profound nose, very complex and constantly evolving in the glass. There is ripe and sweet black fruit, but there is freshness with cedar and pine needles. Very rich on the palate, dense and concentrated texture, but it has acidity and refreshing velvety tannins that create an amazing balance. Very long and complex wine. The 15.5% alc is just a number here. (97-98/100)
Crazy line up of wines for a regular weekday lunch.

Not an average wine-dinner

October 29, 2013 1 comment

1149183_591970760863933_1611396321_o

I was recently invited to attend the anniversary dinner organized by a good friend celebrating his birthday. A wine geek himself and big fan of red Italian and prestige wines, it was no surprise that the red wines tasted were all from Italy. With one exception the rest of the wines were all a first encounter for me.

Tuna tartar, fresh oysters and lobster salad were served with 2004 Cristal Champagne. A pale yellow lemon color with smooth and rich mousse, that opened up in stages on the nose and palate. Fresh dough, citrus fruit and a hint of crushed stones form the medium(+) intense and well developed nose. Medium(+) body, very acidic on the first sip, it opens up with air and becomes rounder, mellower and more enjoyable. Medium(+) finish, with bright citrus fruit, Granny Smith apple acidity and lingering hints of minerals. (92/100)

1401574_591914330869576_679330061_o

Served with fresh pasta with butter and white truffles it was 2009 Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Leognan). It ranks in the first Top 3 white wines I had this year. The color is pale yellow lemon. The nose shows great Pessac-Leognan typicality with generic smoked vanilla and tropical fruits, but it starts up gradually in intensity. The first nose is shy and it takes about 2 hours to fully reveal its intensity. It’s a different story on the palate: the level of flavor concentration it’s outstanding, you can literally taste fresh vanilla, smoke, fresh tangerines, mango and papaya, pears, peaches and white apricots. Flawless mouth-feel, medium acidity (that’s a surprise and probably that’s why is so enjoyable now), balanced and intense. Long finish, fresh and flamboyant, with plenty of exotic and tropical fruits. I fell in love with it. (97-98/100)

1073942_591914364202906_737030475_o

Shifting to reds, the menu moved towards red meat: medium-rare tuna steak with grilled vegetables. Served in parallel there were 2006 Trinoro from Tenuta di Trinoro and 2007 Masseto from Ornellaia. 2006 Trinoro has the nose and mouth-feel of an Amarone. The color is deep dark red garnet. The nose is medium(+) intense, well developed and rich, with unusual Amarone like aromas: chocolate, rum and over ripe black fruits: blackberry, black cherry, cranberry and leather. The taste is full bodied, rich and concentrated, with medium polished tannins, with juicy blackberry, rum and chocolate. Medium(+) finish, black fruit liquor and sweet feel. (89-90/100)

1410946_591914474202895_897706761_o

2007 Masseto is a totally different ball game. Tasted blind this could go for a sunny Pomerol. The color is medium red garnet color. Pronounced, elegant, well developed and complex nose, it takes time to open up. A mix of black cherry, plums, chocolate, cedar and graphite are just a few aromas of the complex nose. Full bodied, yet supple and elegant, the wine is a  monument of balance and complexity. The high level of polished tannins, the richness and concentration are outstanding. The 15% alcohol is just a number in this case, because the wine has freshness, elegance and a weightless mouth-feel. Long and pronounced finish, with fresh red fruits and coffee. (98/100)

883728_591914554202887_1829909937_o

A 2008 Trinoro was also served to see if it has a similar profile of an Amarone like 2006. The color is deep red garnet. The nose is well developed, pronounced, intense and sweet. The ripe black fruit profile is there but manages to preserve freshness and hints of coffee. Full body, high polished and sweet tannins, sweet and juicy blackberry and cranberry, dark chocolate, plums, but still fresh. Long finish, lingering juicy black fruits. (93/100)

1397731_591914457536230_526016589_o

Dinner was finished with a NV Billecart-Salmon Rose to wash the palate. Pink salmon color, intense mousse. Biscuit, bright red fruits and grapefruit, fresh and citrus palate, medium finish. (90-91/100)

1402227_591914370869572_512966183_o

1396737_591914440869565_1534520468_o

%d bloggers like this: