Our bi-weekly fine wine dinner group had its most recent outing at the equally fine Olio e Limone restaurant with a theme of Super Tuscans. As always, wines to help balance things out are welcomed and contributed.
Eight of us enjoyed great table conversation, adequate pours, personally selected menu choices and the following wines:
A starter champagne:
NV DIEBOLT-VALLOIS BRUT BLANC de BLANC- magnum; brought by one who`s wife just gave birth about a week prior, we celebrated with this lovely bubbly; this was medium bodied with bright acidity and fresh floral and fruit notes including spicy grapefruit, pear and citrus; it had an elegance that graced the palate all the way to the back end; a great start and enough left over for all to re-visit later on.
First flight of 3 whites:
2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY les NARVAUX MEURSAULT- the nose picks up minerals, green apple and citrus, the taste gets more lemon, grapefruit, lime and green apple; it had a creamy great mouthfeel, bright acidity and nice balance; soooo good.
2011 DOMAINE LEFLAIVE CLAVOILLON PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- the aromatics are seriously inviting and I obliged and dove into an abundance of goodness as this bottle offered spicy, ginger, mineral and honey coated golden delicious apple and ripe pear being delivered over the palate in a creamy smooth substance; layers after layers unfold, each one giving a bit more of the essence before it; the long finish completed the deal; my #2 WOTN.
2013 DOMAINE LATOUR-GIRAUD MEURSAULT CHARMES 1ER CRU- after a cursory whiff and then another for confirmation, my first remark was “have you had your flint fix yet”; the nose especially and also to a lesser extent in the taste is redolent with flint on top of flint; also in between there`s some lemon zest, apple and a bit of spice and a touch of just perceptible ginger; this could be a go to wine in Flint, MI.
Second flight of 3 super Super Tuscans:
1998 ANTINORI SOLAIA TOSCANA- 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc; surprisingly, we had 2 bottles show up and the first one was corked; this one more than made up for the loss; the nose was very fruit forward with an abundance of spiced cranberry, black currant and black cherry with some oak influence; all carried on with vanilla and black raspberry showing up in the taste profile; it was silky smooth and beautifully balanced with a long welcomed finish; in a great place now and structured for many years to come; my WOTN.
2003 BRANCAIA IL BLU TOSCANA- 50% Sangiovese, 45% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; fabulous enticement comes from the aromas which include spicy, cedar inundated dark fruit followed by a taste profile of generous portions of cranberry, cherry, berry expressed in a full body and over a long finish; it is big, bold and powerful with enough finesse to soften the thrust; there`s some obvious firm tannins that are nearing integration; this has serious complexity and concentration.
2007 TENUTA dell`ORNELAIA “ORNELLAIA” BOLGEHRI SUPERIORE TOSCANA- 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot; this youngster was a big boy just having experienced puberty being full of energy, vibrant and exuberant; it readily gives up fresh, ripe fruitiness with a dominance of sweet black cherry with lesser but distinct black currant, blackberry and plum embellished with sandalwood, cedar, chocolate and licorice accents and a hit of talc at the end; it was surprisingly silky smooth and eventually charming although it took some time to get there.
Third flight of 2:
2013 TENUTA SETTE PONTI ORENO TOSCANA- from the youthful color on, this exudes a playfulness only a hyper active child could perform; it is highly energetic, offers a different fruit profile from moment to moment, runs wild by mid palate and leaves one with the begging question of where will this land once it settles down and grows up; intense dark chocolate flavored dark fruit starts it out in the nose and follows on with massive, full bodied energy which crescendos requiring me to take a breath; let this graduate from college and re-visit in 10 years; 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot.
2006 TENUTA SETTE PONTI ORENO TOSCANA- perhaps with a high school diploma, this wine has evolved into a treasure trough of goodness to graduate with honors; with a deep, dark rich purple color, the aromas give off an abundance of mineral infused, spicy blueberry and black cherry notes; the taste has more of the same plus some licorice, cedar and leather accents along with blackberry coming in; this was medium to full bodied and had nice length, the tannic structure suggest it can go on to college and beyond with a successful career; double decanted.
Fourth flight of 3:
2008 IL MARRONETO BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO- 100% Sangiovese; immediately there`s a hit of nice spicy, leather inundated red cherry and red raspberry which is joined later on by a generous amount of licorice and leather cranberry fruit; it had such a great start and then the finish is quite mysterious in that everything dissipates and a very strange compound appears and leaves something other than a good impression.
2010 TENUTA di TRINORO LE CUPOLE TOSCANA- a Bordeaux blend; this bottle seemed flawed with an obvious stewed veggie character; it was highly suspect for having been cooked; it starts out with this aroma and then there is more in the taste.
2008 IL MARRONETO BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO- 100% Sangiovese; there`s a fair amount of wood spice here along with coconut and talc in the aromatics as well as sweet cherry notes all continuing on; even though the oak influence has not fully integrated, the mouthfeel and fruitiness are redeeming qualities.
Fifth flight of 2 dessert wines:
2012 JAFFURS LATE HARVEST VOLGELZANG VINEYARD VIOGNIER- 375 ml; honeyed super ripe pineapple and stone fruit notes are served up in a creamy thick substance coating the palate and holding on for a delicious treat.
TOMMASO BUSSOLA RECIOTO TB [TRE BIOCHIERIS] della VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO- this was a thick, syrupy nectar of maple flavored sweetened prunes and black cherry; a half of teaspoon was enough for this wimpy soul.
As stated so many times, this group does it up right on a consistent basis and it is a joy to participate in sharing the fruits of the vine as well as journey to many of the finer restaurants in the Santa Barbara area of which there is an abundance.