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All wine, most of the time

MWG October 3rd tasting (6/7): Mamma Saffirio meets Mâmârutá

with one comment

Langhe 2011, Nebbiolo, Josetta Saffirio ($34.50, La QV, 6 bottles/case)
Nebbiolo with 10% Merlot. The estate’s five hectares of vineyards are organically farmed but not certified as such. As the two grape varieties ripen at different times, they are picked (manually) and vinified separately: pressed, destemmed and macerated eight to ten days, after which point the juice is drawn off and fermented (using selected Barolo yeasts) in temperature-controlled tanks. At the end of malolactic fermentation, the wines are barrel-aged for 12 months, then blended and bottled. 13.5% ABV.
The expected cherry is joined by unexpected bramble as well as tree bark, cinnamon and a hint of tar and rose. Medium-bodied but rich with a plush mouthfeel, lacy tannins, balanced acidity and some oak on the finish. In a tasting populated by so many eccentrics, this relatively conventional wine may have been overshadowed and probably merits another visit. (Buy again? Sure.)

Fitou 2012, Coupe Soif, Domaine Mâmârutá ($25.00, La QV, 6 bottles/case)
Young Marc Castan began making wine on his 13-hectare organically farmed estate in La Palme in 2009. This “thirst cutter” is a blend of Carignan (80%) and Grenache (20%). The grapes are manually harvested and co-fermented in concrete vats and large barrels. Only indigenous yeasts are used and maceration and fermentation times are kept short. Minimal intervention and minimal added sulphur. 14% ABV.
Another funky, natural wine nose – “slate-eating donkey turd” was my initial descriptor – that eventually segued into red fruit (cherry?), spice, turned earth and a hint of leather. It’s a different story in the mouth: thirst-quenching indeed, fluid and bright, straightforward and pure, with a clean, lip-smacking finish. Aérien was how Cyril described it. Delicious was the last word I wrote. (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

October 16, 2013 at 21:28

One Response

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  1. […] Supple tannins and good length. The quaffability quotient is almost as high as for Castan’s Coupe Soif tasted in October. (Buy again? […]

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