Dinner at Tim and Elliott's (San Francisco, CA): Cork was in beautiful shape. Color is light-medium ruby with bricking appropriate for its age; nose has moderate intensity, excellent complexity with cherry, spice, some underbrush/earth, with swirling slight leather; palate is medium bodied, excellent acidity, tart cherry fruit, sangiovese cooking spice (compared to more peppery syrah spice); medium length finish with good remaining fruit. This wine is at peak, showing some mature notes with excellent remaining concentration of fruit, and excellent complexity. My last of three bottles, and each has been a pleasure. 92
Light-medium ruby with bricking appropriate for its age; nose has good intensity with red fruit, cherry, dusty complexity, bit of spice; palate is medium bodied with some red cherry fruit, slightly drying but integrated tannin, slight spice, fruit fades a bit by the midpalate; finish is medium length. This is good and mature without being over the hill, but not nearly as good as the last time that I tried it. Drink up this year. 91
Dinner at l'Artusi 7/29/2013 (l'Artusi, NYC): Blood, not really bricked. Very classic cool Sangiovese nose; cherry, a cool line of herbs, licorice; cherry pits. The palate is fairly lean, elegant, and tannic; there is a distinct note of red rose on the inner palate. The fruit is a bit candied and there is a little heat. Pretty good length. Really excellent purity and balance; not at all a big wine. Nice.
Color still quite dense. Mature and soft fruit character, with hints of earth, leather and subtle herbal elements. Palate is rather lean; starting to dry out on the finish. Quite good, but no stunner. Wouldn't hold much longer.
This has nice fruit. It opens with abundant mature leather, tar and slight orange. It's dense in the mouth and long but a sharp, tannic astringency appears about mid palate and dominates the finish. It fades somewhat with air but doesn't subside completely. Reasonable with food but difficult without. This will hold for a while but I don't think it will improve. Give it at least an hour. Next day the astringency faded leaving a nice, but not special, old wine.
This is a super-tuscan by classification only, but really a chianti classico at heart. 100% sangiovese. Burgundy color with good density and a brown sheen like in good cognac; nose has classic cherry, bit of earth, bit of spice, hint of funk, hint of fig-like sweetness, floats out of the glass; Palate still has good tannic structure but nearly integrated, palpable acidity and associated tartness, juicy red fruit, mouthwatering; finish is medium-long, clean, flavorful with just a hint of end-bitterness. A superb wine that blends density with freshness. First of three bottles I have, don't have the experience to know where it is on its curve, but I suspect it is at or near peak and will last at least 5 years.
Loads of leather, some funk with background tar and hints of primary cherry. Really nice fruit. Clean and round with a bright grip from acid and light tannin. Probably not the best Cepparello, but lovely with food. Now or wait short term for palate refinement but overall may not improve too much. Aroma and flavor the highlight.
What a great treat -- thanks to Grant & Ellen. While this wine is 12 years old, I am here to tell you -- it is still too young to drink. Wait another 5 years. It is still very tanic, very sharp, and needs at least another 5 years to mellow. It is complex, with a bite. It has the legs to continue on and mellow into something extraordinary. Paired great with the lamb. But seriously, its still way too young. Try again in 2013. A 92 now, but better later.
Opened and not decanted--should have! This threw a lot of sediment, however, the wine is just lovely! Crisp sweet fruit, faint tannins as its really integrated. No alcoholic bite as the wine was silky smooth. IMO, this wine is rockin' and fully mature, should have the stuffing for another couple years if your cellar is cool etc. I will have to try the 97's and 98's to see their progression.