2000 Azienda Agricola Sant'Elena Merlot
Last edited on 2/8/2012 by fingers
This is the only version of this article / View version history
If you are a fan of the 2000 vintage in Bordeaux (who isn’t?), this “Right Bank meets Left Bank meets the Merlot magic of Friuli (think Miani)” will have your head spinning even more so than the descriptor you just read. I kept sniffing and tasting this over and over with the same thoughts in my mind – this wine is a dead-ringer for a terrific St. Emilion (minus the Cabernet Franc, although, it seems you still sniff and taste traces of Franc in this as well).
The 2000 vintage is one of those growing seasons that spread fairy dust far and wide. The same climactic conditons that gave Bordeaux it’s first “vintage of the century” (yes, that was a pun), moved from west to east over the Southern Rhone, Piedmont (the infamous 100pt vintage), Northern Italy and through Slovenia. In each case, the growing season left its stamp of approval on the wine of the region and it did so with an exclamation point.
To find current-release Bordeaux for $13+ would not be that big of a deal but, to find a $13+ example from 2000 would be a very big deal (a decade down the road, there are very few examples of significance from this vintage that remain under $25, let alone $13). To keep this line of reasoning moving along, most Bordeaux estates produce thousands of cases (even tens of thousands of cases) - in artisinal Friuli? That may be closer to a few hundred.
Which brings us to this scintillating little Bordeaux-inspired example that contains all the Peter Pan magic of the 2000 campaign, all the complexity and wonderfully aged nuance that a decade in the cellar brings...and it does so for $13.72.
I’ve had other vintages of this wine (and all are good) but there was something about 2000 that opened new doors (which is why the vintage is so hard to find in Italy). Immersed in the 2000, you will find damson plum, tobacco, soil, charcoal and highly aromatic and flavorful red fruit that is a delight to ponder and enjoy. The wine is still youthful but it is also well on its way to that special place of elegance and breed that only cellar time can bring. Low alcohol (13.0%), a charged impact plus a lingering hint of Friulian licorice and fresh fruit complete what is arguably the finest $13+ aged value of “Bordeaux” any of you will ever have the pleasure of passing before your lips.