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MWG April 18th tasting (7/9): Sangiovese shoot-out

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IGT Toscana 2010, It’s a game!, Bibi Graetz ($31.50, 11906140)
Formerly a Sangiovese-dominated blend known as Grilli del Testamatta (Testamatta being one of superstar Graetz’s flagship bottlings), this is now a 100% Sangiovese from 25-year-old vines planted in the hills of Fiesole. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and lasted about ten days. The wine was matured in French oak barriques (35% new) for 18 months. 14% ABV.
Initial nose of banana bread gives way to red berries, ink and dried dill. Despite the alcoholic strength, comes across as medium-bodied with intense, clear fruit upfront. Bright acidity and round tannins provide some textural interest. Long with a light, drying astringency. Impressive in its fruit-driven way but short on depth and ultimately a meh. (Buy again? Not when you can get excellent Chiantis for less.)

Vino da Tavola 2011, Rosso, Le Coste ($33.00, oenopole, 6 bottles/case)
A blend of Greghetto Rosso (a local Sangiovese clone) with 5% Colorino, Cannaiolo, Ciliegiolo and Vaiano l’altro from organically farmed vines averaging 40 years old and planted in various parcels in Gradoli. Manually harvested. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Matured 12 months in 18-hl Slavonian oak botti and a few used barriques. Unfiltered, unfined and unsulphured. 13.5% ABV.
Forewarned that the wine was in a reductive phase, we double-carafe it well in advance. Yet two hours later, the nose is still dominated by struck matchstick and burned popcorn aromas. Push through them and you’ll find an array of red fruit (cassis, black cherry, plum) and a little kirsch. In the mouth, the wine is medium-bodied and satiny. The fruit is ripe, juicy and tart, structured by light if taut and drying tannins and shot through with minerals. A leesy note emerges on the long finish. Give this savoury, food-friendly wine a few months to deal with the reduction and it should be its usual loveable self. (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

May 1, 2013 at 16:21

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