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MWG November 22nd tasting (4/5): Tre rossi eclettici

with one comment

Sicilia IGT 2011, Frappato, Terre di Giumara, Caruso & Minini ($16.65, 11793173)
Caruso & Minini is a Marsala-based producer of a wide range of wines made from Sicilian and international grape varieties. Could find no technical information about this Frappato, which isn’t even mentioned on the winery’s website, nor have I learned which agency represents it in Quebec. The SAQ also carries one of C&M’s white varietals, the tasty 2011 Grecanico ($16.65, 11793181), whose constituent grape DNA profiling has shown to be the same as Soave’s Garganega. Both it and the Frappato are 14% ABV.
Dusty cherry, a hint of black licorice, faint herbs and not a lot else. Quite extracted but avoiding heaviness. The ripe fruit has a candied edge, though the wine is dry and savoury, with supple tannins and just enough acidity. Dried herbs mark the finish. Easy-going and affable if far from profound. Comes across as a warmer-climate take on the grape than Occhipinti’s and COS’s supreme – and, yes, much pricier – interpretations. A fairer comparison might be the Frappato from Tami, Occhipinti’s négociant label, which beats this on elegance and quaffability but not on fruity/juicy exuberance. (Buy again? Sure.)

Cesanese di Olevano Romano 2008, Cirsium, Cantine Ciolli (c. €20, importation valise)
100% Cesanese di Affile from a vineyard planted in 1953 and located about 40 km east of Rome. Manually harvested. Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with frequent punching down. Macerated ten days, then racked into barrels for malolactic fermentation. Aged in barrels for about one year, bottled unfiltered and aged another two years before release. 14% ABV.
Savoury, even earthy nose: horse, graphite, dried herbs, tobacco. Medium- to full-bodied, more silky than velvety, dry. The dusty red fruit is pure and intense if not remarkably deep. Rough-hewn tannins and bright acidity make for an angular structure. Good length. An appealingly rustic wine that tastes like it might benefit from a couple more years in the cellar. (Buy again? Yes, if I could.)

Barolo 2007, Fratelli Alessandria ($40.25, 11797094)
100% Nebbiolo from six vineyards. Manually harvested. Fermented and macerated from 12 to 15 days in temperature-controlled tanks. Matured 32 to 34 months in large Slavonian and French oak casks, two months in stainless steel tanks and six or more months in the bottle. 14.5% ABV.
A bit of bricking at the rim suggests quick evolution. Raspberry rose, old wood and a hint of tar on the nose; silky, savoury red fruit and dried herbs on the palate. Somewhat austere despite the ripeness, and the tannins are still a little rebarbative. The long, aromatic finish shows some heat. Relatively approachable for a Barolo of this age, though a few more years in the cellar will do it no harm. If drinking now, carafe it at least a couple of hours before serving. (Buy again? If I weren’t so distracted by the Produttori del Barbaresco single-vineyard 2007s…)

Written by carswell

December 3, 2012 at 23:07

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  1. […] in November, the Mo’ Wine Group tasted a Frappato made by Marsala-based Caruso & Minini, a decent buy at $16.65. Another of the producer’s […]

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