Les Tastevins du Lac is dedicated to camaraderie in pursuit of joie de vino! This blog serves as an informal forum on wine, food and travel.... Cheers! Steve Adams


Saturday, November 16, 2013

1990 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale

The '90 Ruffino CCR was very nice ... a testament to one of the biggest vintages of the 20th century.  A tasty sweetness to the black cherry palate, hints of creosote and an attractively faded floral nose... smooth acidity, but the tannins were slightly heavy and not as well integrated .. it does not have the balance and allure of  a 1990 Badia CCR (http://lestastevinsdulac.blogspot.com/2013/11/sangiovese-at-its-best.html)

1990 Badia a Coltibuono Sangioveto

This is a mind-blowing, big wine for being an older vintage Sangiovese ... smoky black cherry with a complex, multi-dimensional finish and perfectly balanced acidity. Dense, dark ruby color with balsamic floral nose.  Fruit is harvested from the oldest estate vineyards planted in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Produced only in better vintages ... '82, '85, '88, '90, '95, '97, '01, '06...

1985 Prunotto Barolo Cannubi

Uncorked four hours ahead of dinner and left the wine in the bottle to breathe slowly.  Asiago cheese was a perfect foil as I followed the progress of the Cannubi throughout the afternoon prior to the dinner.  Interesting plum aroma when first uncorked that dissipated after around 10 minutes... mellow black fruit with gossamer tannins ... pale garnet translucent color ... the palate was quite subdued at first , then blossoming beautifully over the afternoon with classic mouth-watering acidity accompanied by delicate rose petal and tar notes. It was absolutely forthright and peaking around dinner time.  Overall impression of the Cannubi for the evening was pure elegance revealed.
Provided valuable insight and a reference point for how great Barolo can be... Reminded me of my first experience with 1982 La Mission Haut-Brion, which is one of my all-time favorite wines...

Interesting side note about cheese pairings with older vintage wines ...in Richard Olney's classic book, "Romanée-Conti", he chronicles marvelous tasting luncheons and dinners at the Domaine.  Often the pièce de résistance (usually older vintages of Romanée-Conti or La Tache) were showcased at the end of the meal during the cheese course.

Main course for dinner was lamb chops grilled over cherry-wood coals, mushrooms oreganata and spinach sautéed with garlic...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sangiovese at its Best

A fascinating comparison over dinner...
The '90 Badia was perfect, indicative of why the 1990 vintage is a great one. Knew it was going to be an outstanding wine when the fruit bouquet leaped from the bottle upon uncorking it.  To me, this is what Sangiovese is all about.  I have had 1990 Brunellos that didn't age as well as this CCR... Earthy black cherry and cedar with incredibly mellow-aged tannins.  Lovely balance of fruit and acidity... pretty bricking of the color.  Everything comes together nicely ... this wine is still in its peak drinking window if you like older Sangiovese (officially with 10% Canaiolo).
The '09 Cepparello represented the younger end of the Sangiovese spectrum very well.  I was surprised at how approachable this wine is right now. It clearly has a long life ahead with blockbuster yet oh-so-refined fruit and smooth, polished tannins... The nose was a bit reticent but continued to develop with air ,,, hints of anise began to come into play later on toward the end of dinner.
I continue to be impressed at how well the Badia a Coltibuono wines age... their 1990 Sangioveto is delicious, although the 1990 Badia CCR is softer and a bit more luscious at this juncture.  More to come on Badia wines including a review of the 1985 Badia Sangioveto....