Our fine wine dinner group enjoyed another fabulous dinner, this time at the esteemed Olio e Limone restaurant, one of Santa Barbara`s finest. Our wine theme was Super Tuscans and along with many other brings, 12 of us ate and drank with pleasure:
NV VILLA SANDHI PROSECCO CARTIZE VIGNA LA RIVETTA- from a bottle shaped in the fashion of the one used by Taittinger for their Comtes de Champagne, this was more sparkling Sauvignon Blanc like with grassy and herbaceous notes; it was quite dry and yet another expression in the Prosecco family.
2006 MOET & CHANDON BRUT ROSE- I bought a 6 pack of this along with the 06` Brut and it was the first sampling of the rose as was the Brut 2 weeks ago at our last dinner; it had a medium to dark salmon color, aromatics of toast, rose petal and strawberry, a significant taste profile of brioche, ginger, fresh sliced strawberries and a touch of spice along with plenty of acidity which provides a substantial foundation; this is very good and the Brut may be just a tad better.
NV R.H. COUTIER BRUT ROSE- the winner of the sparklers on this evening; the nose was redolent of nice spicy, peppery red fruit which continued on with red raspberry and red cherry most prevalent; it had pleasing texture, bright acidity and a lingering fruity finish; very good bubbly and one I`ve enjoyed before and shall purchase for more consumption.
2014 DOMAINE SAUMAIZE-MICHELIN les COURTELONGS POUILLY FUISSE- this showed quite well; the nose had some spiciness along with citrus notes which continued on with especially lemon notes prevailing and provided a delicious taste treat as well a palate pleasing light creamy texture; it was medium bodied, not serious, but fun.
2010 SAN FILIPPO BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO- it had an inviting nose of spiced cranberry, a taste profile of briary, oak laden wild black cherry/ berry with hints of depth and complexity that will be forthcoming into a much more expressive wine with evolution
2008 SALICUTTI PIAGGIONE RiSERVA BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO- 100% Sangiovese; with a dark rich purple color, this shined ever so brightly with aromatics of talc and leather infused red and black cherry flavors which exploded on the palate making a statement of power and yet there was an element of finesse as well; it was full bodied and had strong tannins to suggest allowance for many years of aging before even thinking of maturity; loved the balance and overall sensory treat; eventually my WOTN although there were some other real winners.
2008 TENUTA di TRINORO LE CUPOLE TUSCANA- 35% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot; an entry level wine for this producer; the nose suggests something way different here with minerals and iron along with wild cranberry/ cherry/ plum fruit and a hit of spice, followed by an ever developing taste of these components expanding over the palate and crescendoing during the long finish; full body, big and bold and a bit clumsy at this stage; time should serve it well to evolve and balance out.
2010 FELSINA BERARDENGA FONTALLORO TOSCANA- 100% Sangiovese; another big and bold brut although this one had somewhat more conventional aromatics and taste notes with generous amounts of spicy, peppery, wild cherry/ berry/ blackberry in the nose and taste which was joined by a nice hit of toasted cherry; lots of energy here which is eased by the smooth mouthfeel and soft tannins; good wine now and much more to come with maturity.
2009 ORMA TOSCANA- Bordeaux blend; nice wine in really good balance; the taste profile came in mild doses with red and black fruit aided by a streak of spice and coffee and presented in a medium body and delivered in a smooth, soft texture; it has youthful exuberance and easy on the palate tannins; needs time and if in my cellar, it shall have it because it`s worth the wait.
2003 TENUTA SETTE PONTI ORENO TOSCANA- a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese; along with the Crognolo, I`ve long been a fan of these wines; unfortunately, this bottle did not follow suit; it was way too Bretty which overwhelmed any attributes that tried to seep through.
2007 TUA RITA PERLTAO del BOSCO TOSCANA- the nose offers a generous amount of fresh red cherry/ berry fruit even more so than in the taste; some spicy blueberry comes in by mid palate; the wine is medium bodied and generally overall pleasant.
1993 TENUTA dell`ORNELLAIA “ORNELLAIA” TOSCANA- 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc; elegance pervades throughout this wonderful bottle; I have to think it`s reached a certain level of maturity that suggests drinking sooner than later; medium body, seamless and even, sophisticated and charming; nice balance an just so pleasing from the nose through the tail.
1988 TENUTA dell`ORNELLAIA “MASSETO” TOSCANA- often hailed as the Le Pin of Italy, this 100% Merlot based wine is such a treat regardless of vintage IMHO; this was the 3rd year it was made and the first vintage I was turned on to and that bottle forever changed my life and all opinions expressed about Merlot from Italy; this was not one of the best bottles; it started out with a bit of funk in the nose which never did totally dissipate, but the wine offered a much better experience once tasted; with time, it seemed to improve and rid itself of some of the initial not so good character; it had a tertiary fruit profile, soft and silky texture and a fairly abbreviated finish; I was happy to just see the bottle.
2010 PETROLO GALATRONA- 100% Merlot; often called the baby Masseto by our group, this bottle was superb; it had lovely violets, chocolate and spiced black cherry, black currant and blackberry fruit, a silky texture and long sustained finish; it was full bodied, serious and yet graceful, full on and yet elegant and in beautiful balance; a good Galatrona and one for storing away and revisiting in about 5 years+.
2000 TUA RITA REDIGAFFI TOSCANA- 100% Merlot; one of my favs over the past few years and frequently appearing in this group whenever we do this wine theme, this bottle offered big time pleasure; the nose was immediately enticing with up front dried cherry, plum and violets billowing out followed by more of a ripe red, blue and black fruit expression with plenty of spices; the mouthfeel was incredibly silky smooth; it was layered with many levels of depth, medium to full bodied and had extended length; great wine and certainly my #1 consideration for WOTN; however, when it came time to vote, I still had the Salicutti on my palate`s mind and went there; the majority of the group got this one as their choice- no problem.
2001 LE MACCHIOLE MESSORIO TOSCANA- 100% Merlot; major oak influences dominate this bottle as I got aromatics of mint, vanilla, wood oak with a slight hint of red and black fruit; the taste profile had more of the same with less fruitiness; the texture was pleasing and the wine being matched up to other Merlots did not stand up as well, of course, we`re talking Masseto, Galatrona and Redigafi, big players in this game.
1995 ROMANO DAL FORNO NETTARE AMATA VENETO- 375ml; the color was a dark amber, the taste had honeyed buckwheat, coffee and clove accented sweetened cranberry served up in a thick, syrupy and almost chewy substance; pretty serious and intense, so much so, a little sip will do ya.
1999 TOMMASO BUSSOLA RECiOTO della VALPOLICELLA Tb- 375ml; blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Corvinone; this was enhanced Smith Brothers Cherry Cough Syrup; need to say any more?
2010 ETTORE GERMANO ALTA LANGA BRUT- blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; when enough was enough and I`m packing up, this came around; pale straw color; it was very dry, with a slight hint of dried green apple; finished a bit musty.
Another great night of excellent wines shared by wine passionate folks, served righteously in the perfect restaurant to compliment our theme and extras. Life continues to be good.