Wednesday, January 19, 2005

8 Wines from Carpineto

It’s been awhile since I blogged a degustation, though this is the type of tasting that I love. We were 12 people, it was animated by the owner and it covered a full range of his wines over a couple of different millisemes (most of which are available here in Montréal).

Carpineto is a classic Tuscan based house doing mostly red and mostly sangiovese wines. Reasonably priced and usually reasonably good was what I knew of them so here’s the way it went.

Farnito Chardonnay 2003 $27
Fully oaked and while it is still young I have a feeling that it is too much for the matière underneath. Very pear with lot's of white flowers. And while much of Burgundy is artificially acidifying their wines in this grand year of the over-ripe, the Farnito was remarkably well balanced. I asked if they tweaked their wine and he said no. He kinda smiled weird after that.

Chianti Classico 2002 $22
The year that most wine sucked, and while this chianti had an interesting bouquet (tobacco and smoked plum) it lacked a certain amplitude and flesh. A bit bogus.

Dogajolo, Toscana IGT 2003 $18
The dog, Carpineto’s baby IGT (80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet) was very grapey. Very international, could have come from anywhere. It was simple but soft and ripe with a really nice, well-balanced acidity. A good spaghetti wine.

Chianti Classico Riserva 1999 $36
A mix of 3 different Sangiovese clones aged in old and new Slovakian and French casks. Carpineto likes to give their top wines an extra year in cellar before release and it shows. The wine had a lot of kick, nicely integrated tannins and a weird mix of red and dark berries that combined in your mouth to become this mystery fruit, recognizable but undefinable. Not the richest of wines but very Italian.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 1999 $38
The winner of the day. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo. Two years in massive Slovakian foudres. Softer and riper than the Chianti Riserva, it had a wonderful structure. Smooth integrated tannins, it smelt like violets and tasted like ripe berries. Super elegant, super pretty. A great buy for the price.

Brunello di Montalcino 1998 $71
The softest expensive Brunello I have ever tasted. Almost too easy drinking. It had that characteristic licorice and dark fruit mix but lacked a certain oomph. Nice way to enter the world of Brunello but not at this price.

Farnito Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 $81 (magnum)
Love it or hate it, this is the best selling wine from Carpineto here in Québec. They use both American and French Oak which gives it a slightly oaky feel. I kinda know this wine a little too well. Good for the price.

Vin Santo del Chianti 1986 $65 (375ml)
Classic mix of Trebbiano and Malvasia, dried on straw mats, then pressed and slow fermented for 3 or 4 months before spending 16 years in chestnut barrels. Cool wine. I was expecting more caramel but it was slightly oxidative which in the end kept it fresh. I tried it with 5 different Italian cheeses and was best with the Gorgonzola. Needs some stink I guess. Bet it would be killer with a crème brulé.

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