Following the awesome cult wine tasting last Saturday, the group of tasters met up a few hours later at Cibreo for a fantastic dinner. I supplied most of the wines, which were all 1997s in magnum. The Fonterutoli Siepi was there as I mentioned yesterday, but I also brought Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco, Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro Syrah Podere il Bosco, Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva and Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi. We also had 1997 mags of the Fattoria Petrolo Torrione as well as the Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto that some friends brought.
Anyway, to make a long evening short, the wines were stupendous. There was not a dog in the group. They were young and vibrant with plenty of fruit, fresh acidities and ripe tannins. In fact, a number were still a bit too young to drink in my opinion, including the Sammarco and Monfortino. I was sort of upset with myself for bringing them. Or at least, I should have decanted them way in advance, at least three hours. But it was still a treat to share them with everyone.
I have been drinking so many 1997s in the last month, including a range of Brunellos, that I have to say the vintage still amazes me. It is truly a great year that produced balanced, fresh and rich wines with a long life ahead of them. I still can’t understand how other people were not believers in the year, including many Italians. They are just plain wrong.
Also, if you ever come to Florence, please go to Cibreo. It is a fantastic restaurant. It is not chichi at all. It’s fun, lively with lots of interesting, hearty Tuscan dishes that are flashes from the past. They always start you off with lots of funky small appetizers to share, similar to Spanish tapas, that can include anything from pickled carrots to braised tripe. I followed that with a spicy minestrone soup with tiny fish, and then braised veal in a rosemary milk sauce. I know it sounds weird but this is ancient Tuscan cuisine with a modernized touch. And yes, the wines worked beautifully with them, especially with the freshness of the 1997 vintage.
My Vino Today
1997 Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi: If I am not mistaken, this is the first vintage (and my only bottle!) of this Bordeaux blend from southern Tuscany. It was a wine with quite a lot of fanfare in the beginning but it was always so overpriced, in my opinion, that it never created a global market. Anyway, this a classic-quality red with loads of licorice, mineral and berry character. It’s full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, caressing and fruity finish. Superb. I would give it another five or six years to come into its own. I gave it 95 points over dinner. (See my original tasting note above, or here.)
Michael Culley — November 28, 2006 9:28am ET
James Stuart — Los Angeles, CA — November 28, 2006 11:48am ET
James Suckling — — November 28, 2006 12:02pm ET
Max Bozoghlian — Los Angeles — November 28, 2006 7:01pm ET
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