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MWG June 20th tasting (8/8): Two savoury reds

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Dâo 2008, Reserva, Àlvaro Castro ($25.20, 11902106)
Touriga Nacional (65%) and Tinta Roriz (35%). Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Transferred to old French oak barrels for 14 months for malolactic fermentation and maturation. 13% ABV.
Coffee, plum, blackberry, spice, background herbs. Smooth, rich and dry – the fruit is ripe but not sweet or heavy. Fine-grained tannins, firm acidity, some subtle slate and a long finish. Remarkably balanced and pure. Perhaps a shade less impressive than its white sibling, this is still one of the most elegant red Dâos I’ve tasted. Sr. Castro’s got talent. (Buy again? Yes.)

Faro 2010, Rosso, Azienda Agricola Bonavita ($37.50, oenopole, NLA though found on resto wine lists)
Faro is a DOC located between Messina and Mount Etna on Sicily’s northeast coast. This is a blend of organically farmed Nerello Mascalese (60%), Nerello Cappuccio (30%) and Nocera (10%) from six- to 50-year-old vines. Manually harvested. The winemaking is non-interventionist: spontaneous fermentation, no additives, long maceration with manual punch-downs, gentle pressing in a basket press. Matured 16 months in neutral oak botti and four months in the bottle. 13.5% ABV.
Complex, wafting nose of red cherry, faint rubber, cut wood, dried herbs, dried ink and eventually cheese. Medium-bodied and fluid but with a dense core of ripe, balsamic- and anise-accented red fruit. Tannins and acidity are firm, though more deep-running than upfront. The bitter-edged finish is long and savoury. A pleasure to drink, this would make an interesting ringer in a flight of terroir-driven Etna wines; I suspect it would come across as rounder and earthier but no less fresh or delicious. (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

July 6, 2013 at 14:33

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