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Noir and Nerello

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Beaune 1er cru 2011, Les Chouacheux, Domaine Chantal Lescure ($53.95, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir from a 1.5-hectare vineyard of organically farmed vines averaging 50 years old. Manually harvested. After destemming, the uncrushed grapes are gravity-fed into stainless steel vats for cool semi-carbonic maceration. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts and occasional punch-downs. The grapes are then pressed and the wine transferred to oak barrels (25-30% new) for 16 months’ maturation. One or two months before bottling, the wine is racked. Blending and bottling are done at lunarly favourable moments. Unfiltered and lightly sulphured. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Bambara Selection.
Cherry (the fruit and the wood), mushroom and a hint of “Dutch process cocoa,” as one taster put it. Pure silky fruit, fine tight tannins, supple acidity and a caressing finish. The oak is discreet and perfectly integrated. Not the most dimensional Burgundy you’ve ever drunk but elegant and accessible (though surely able to evolve and improve over the next five to 10 years). (Buy again? Yes.)

IGT Sicilia 2008, Reseca, Gulfi ($57.50, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Gulfi’s only Etna wine. 100% Nerello Mascalese from unirrigated, organically farmed old vines. Manually harvested. Macerated and fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks. After malolactic fermentation has ended, the wine is transferred into 225-litre French oak barrels for around 24 months’ maturation. Bottle-aged another two to three years before release. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Bambara Selection.
Expressive, savoury nose of red plum, dried cherry, clay, spice bread and “roasted dried seaweed.” Rich but not heavy, ripe but dry, with fragrant, chewy, bordering on brambly fruit, velvety tannins, suave acidity, a dark mineral substrate and a long, kirsch-overtoned finish. The combination of warmth and freshness is special indeed. (Buy again? Yes.)

MWG October 23rd tasting: flight 4 of 6

Written by carswell

November 20, 2015 at 13:44

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