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MWG February 13th tasting (5/5): Vins de beauté

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Patrimonio 2009, Clos Signadore ($46.00, 11908129)
100% Nielluccio from 50-year-old vines in a four-hectare plot called Morta Plana (the estate officially began converting to organic farming in 2010 and was certified in 2013). Manually harvested. Macerated and fermetened with inidigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks for 45 to 60 days. Matured in neutral demi-muids for 24 months. Sulphur is added only at bottling. 13.5% ABV.
Effusive bouquet of sweet spice, wood and graphite against a backdrop of red fruit. In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied, fluid and impeccably balanced. Limber tannins provide a supple structure. Spice colours the rich fruit, which persists well into the long finish. Sleek, even a little glossy and definitely the least unconventional of the trio but undeniably a pleasure to drink. (Buy again? Sure.)

Patrimonio 2010, Carco, Antoine Arena ($40.50, 12039560)
Arena doesn’t appear to have a website; see here for a short profile. 100% biodynamically farmed Nielluccio from the Carco vineyard. Macerated and fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled (27-30C) tanks for six to nine weeks with regular punch-downs. Long maturation (up to two years for some cuvées). Minimally sulphured. Unfiltered and unfined. 14% ABV.
Closed but evolving nose: plum, earth, spice, eventually cocoa husks and a faint musky/animale note. Closed but promissing on the palate. A dry, savoury, smooth-textured middleweight. The fruit is ripe, dense and a bit cooked, though more roasted than stewed. Brisk acidity adds welcome tension and brightness; fine albeit pervasive tannins add structure; dark minerals add depth. The finish is long and velvety. Alive, even a little wild yet somehow quite elegant. (Buy again? Yes.)

Vin de table (2011), CN, Domaine Comte Abbatucci ($62.00, 11930140)
The second vintage of this wine, which doesn’t meet the appellation’s grape variety requirements and so is classified a vin de table and not entitled to mention the vintage or the grape variety on the label (Abbatucci prints the vintage on the cork). 100% biodyanmically farmed Carcajolo Nero (aka Carcajolu-Neru) from vines average six years old. Hand-picked, crushed by foot. Maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts last 15 days. About one-third of the wine is then matured in neutral 600-litre demi-muids and the rest in stainless steel tanks for eight to ten months. Unfiltered and unfined. 13% ABV.
Pale, clear red, approaching the kind of rubis you sometimes see in Jura wines. Appealing nose of red currant, leather, cedar, maquis and a possibly reductive note that one taster described as “balloon animals.” Medium-bodied, silky textured. The fruit is juicy, like fresh squeezed mulberry, overtoned with sandalwood, buoyed by soft acidity. The supple tannins turn astringent on the long, chocolate-noted finish. Complex if not particularly deep but unique and fascinating all the same. (Buy again? Would love to.)

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Written by carswell

March 26, 2014 at 13:55

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