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All wine, most of the time

MWG January 10th tasting (6/7): Two Italian reds

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IGT Veneto 2011, Rosso Giaroni, Davide Spillare ($26.40, La QV, 12 bottles/case)
Natural. 100% organically farmed Merlot. Spontaneous fermentation in open vats for two weeks with regular punching down. Matured in 500-litre barrels for about a year. Unfiltered, unfined. No added sulphur. Vegan-compatible.
Umami nose: beef bouillon cubes, dark soy sauce, sweet spice, sawed wood. Supple, medium-bodied. The sweet red fruit has a fresh, herbaceous streak, enough acidity and light, velvety tannins. Seemed anonymous at first but developed in interesting ways over the course of an hour or two, gaining complexity, depth, breadth, personality and even allure. (Buy again? Yes.)

IGT Toscana 2007, Jassarte, Podere Guado al Melo ($35.70, La QV, 6 bottles/case)
A crazy blend of 30-odd Mediterranean and Trans-Caucasian varieties from a sustainably farmed vineyard planted in 1999 and located in the Bolgheri DOC. Manually harvested, fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, matured 24 months on the lees in small oak barrels (10% new) and at least 24 months in the bottle.
Unlike the bottle tasted at the private import show, ours initially had a skunky smell that Cyril associated with mercaptan. That quickly blew off leaving an unfathomably complex nose (plum, wood, fresh herbs, graphite, smoke, nuts, chocolate and more). Smooth and fluid in the mouth with a silky texture. Dry though the fruit is sweetly ripe in the manner of warm-climate reds. There’s a Bordeaux-like balance between extract, tannins and acidity. Not particularly deep or Italian-tasting but broad, long and dapper. (Buy again? Possibly.)

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Written by carswell

February 2, 2013 at 11:13

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