I had four wine events over the weekend so I was a busy body. The Saturday lunch and dinner were held in Baltimore and being a father of two young boys meant driving twice to Baltimore from Fairfax, Va but it was well worth it.
Eight of us got together at Bluegrass. The food and wine service were excellent once again. Perhaps the best charcuterie that I had in DC area.
A champage and whites
- 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
Perhaps this is a good example of the flaw in believing 100 point wine. The last bottle was singing and I rated 99 points. This bottle came from the same source and cellared in the same condition. Initially served a bit too warm, it was very tight. The nose is like a closed Les Clos, a hint of lemon oil but dominated by the mineral expression. I tried this two hours later and a hint of Chardonnay fruit and richer mouthfeel but still not expressive. (95 pts.)
- 1999 Azienda Agricola Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo - Italy, Abruzzi, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
The nose is very unique and tells me a wine that is au natural. Upon opening, a hint of reduction in the nose, grapy, pepper, anise, coriander seed and wax with only a hint of white to yellow fruits. Chewy palate, wet stone and bright acidity. Constantly changing nose, first smoke then becoming really meaty which is really rare in a white wine. Although the fruit expression differs significantly, this reminds me the 05 Clos Rougeard Breze in the complexity, density and broad mouthfeel. This is an exciting and very different/esoteric wine. I would definitely recommend decanting. Started as 92 pointer but got to at least 94 points. (94 pts.)
- 2006 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Singerriedel - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
This is a BIG wine. Based on the initial nose, I would have guessed as an Alsatian Pinot Blanc for its richness and a hint of lychee fruit. Pineapple, rose, limestone, seashell and clove. The concentrated ripe gives the wine very sweet impression but the finish is dry. Chewy unctuous palate with excellent mineral components, bright acidity and structure. Very impressive to say the least. (94 pts.)
I was truly impressed by how well the 85 and the 88 Pertimali showed.
- 1985 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Pop and pour, expressive nose displays , rose, light caramel, anise and brandy dipped cherry. Fully matured beautiful silky palate, bright acidity and nicely integrated tannins. This is warmer, rounder and more expressive than the 88. Beguiling wine. Drinking beautifully right now. (95 pts.)
- 1988 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
The color is noticeably darker than the 85. Very youthful nose, initially shy but with air reveals dry cherries, rose, tar, spicy spices and root beer. Good concentration, youthful sweet fruit expression and excellent finish. This is more masculine than the 85. For me, both of the wines showed great and more enjoyable than the 97, 99 and 01 riservas at the moment. (95 pts.)
- 1985 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggio - Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico
TCA tainted. NR (flawed)
- 1988 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggio - Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico
Tight, black fruits, raisin, earth, mushroom and pepper. Medium concentration and slightly hollow mid-palate. This is a lot earthier and also angular than the 88 Pertimali. (91 pts.)
The 90 Le Pergole Torte is a profound wine.
- 1990 Azienda Agricola Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Very youthful blue hue. The expressive and complex nose displays white truffle, sweet blue fruits, tar, butter, light caramel, mint and cedar. Beautiful rich palate, tar, bright acidity and nicely integrated tannins. This bottle displays incredibly complex nose while maintaining very youthful bright fruit expression. A great surprise and makes me to wonder how great the 90 Riserva would be. (97 pts.)
- 1995 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Annata - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Fresh round red fruits, anise, petrol, scorched earth and cola. Bright acidity, youthful fruit expression and nicely integrated tannins. Quite fresh and bright. I was expecting a tannic monster with shy dry cherry fruits but instead I got a really nice wine with delicate Burgundian fruit expression. (94 pts.)
- 1997 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Certainly bigger than the nomale but not showing better at the moment. Black fruits, bitter chocolate and charred meat. This is a big scale wine with nice round mouthfeel. The fruit is not too expressive at the moment and I am hoping that with a few more years of cellaring it will turn out like the 85 and the 88 nomale. (93 pts.)
- 1999 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
This is extremely ripe not unlike very ripe examples of the 03 Burgundies. Prunes, chocolate dipped cherry and soy. Sweet and slightly disjointed palate at the moment. Ten more years of cellaring will better integrate the overripe fruit expression. If you don’t own any, perhaps the wine to avoid. (90 pts.)
- 2001 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Very fresh, crushed blackberries, grilled meat and bacon. Also noticeable Brett that bothered some tasters. Some fizziness and excellent concentration. Neither complex nor expressive at the moment, need time. (91 pts.)
This was a fun and educational lunch. Tom and I were agreeing on the great value that mature BDMs offer especially at auction.
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