Italian Tasting with some Old Quintarelli and Emidio Pepe Wines (St. Paul, MN): Pale brick red color, clear 5mm+ margin. 2oz tasting pour over 40 minutes. The nose is quite interesting, lots of secondary and tertiary character, prune, dried cherries, leather, horsey, saddle leather, earthy, cranberry. The palate is very light bodied, tart red fruits, dried fruit, cherry, spice, caramel, alcohol and spice. The finish is medium and at times shows some heat. On the whole this was nice for 40yrs old. There is still some fruit , but it is faded. Fun to drink.
Brown and muddy, but it gets a lot better from there. Lovely aroma with earth, dark berry and rose. Delicate flavors but with good grip and acidity. A lovely and memorable wine that has not declined in the last couple of years.
Cork was in excellent shape, appeared to be less than fifteen years old and probably younger than that. I hear these are aged in bottle at the winery and then decanted into a new bottle before release. The label looks suitably old so not sure what the situation is . I let the bottle stand upright for four or five days before opening. There was about a glass of sediment and chalky liquid left in the bottle after carefully decanting. Immediately out of the bottle the wine was surprisingly open with aromas of cherries, cranberries, leather, and VA and a little barnyard popping in and out. Unfortunately the palate was a little thin and acidic initially, so I set the wine aside for a while and checked back in periodically. It didn't get any better and if anything, lost whatever initial complexity it had. It's apparent that there is a lot of bottle variation with this wine, so your luck may be better, but it's a rather expensive gamble. I can certainly see the potential but this particular bottle is past prime.
Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Vertical (Joe & Magda's, NYC): Lovely complex fruit and earth mulch. Has an earthy, almost dirty quality that I'm sure is not for everyone, but I love it. A wine of great character with lots of forest floor and a surprising amount of juicy red fruit given that it is nearly 40 years old. WOTN for me and the group.
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