Third Wine Tasting 01-10-19
Today’s tasting focused on Italian and Spanish wines. I tasted three wines, each very different from the last. Here are my notes:
Wine #1: Vara Y Pulgar, Tintilla, Jerez 2014. Color is dark garnet/ruby and opaque. On the nose, notes of savory herbs and red fruit. On the palate, dark cherry fruit manifests, then gives way to an earthy-dusty finish. 40% of the wine was barrel aged in new French oak for 20 months. I found the acidity to be very controlled and the tannin was textural. Overall a nice and approachable Spanish red wine varietal that is out of the ordinary.
Tintilla is genetically the same grape as Graciano. In fact, the ancestry of Tintilla goes back 4000 years to the area of Cadiz where Phoenician traders first established a trading post. Tintilla is a black grape which ripens slowly. Harvest in Spain is usually in October. The wines are sometimes blended into Rioja red wines to add structure and acidity.
2015 Portelli Cerasuolo di Vittoria (Sicily). Cerasuolos from Abruzze are often very dark roses however, this wine is a red wine that must be at least 67% Nero D’Avola. The remainder is always Frappato. In this case, the blend is 70% Nero/30% Frappato. Juicy and oaky on the nose, exhibiting fat red cherry fruit, robust acidity and firm tannin, this was a very tasty wine. Light ruby in color, fruity aromas and medium body and color would tend to make you think this is a softer wine and you’d be wrong to assume that. Look for this wine soon at Somm!
2014 Sesti Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany. An orangey-brick red color is sometimes seen in Italian reds (particularly in Nebbiolo wines), but it shouldn’t necessarily make one think “oxidized”! Body was light as was color. Very earthy nose and a palate of cherry fruit with very pronounced tannins, which closed in quickly. Medium-short finish on the fruit side. This wine is not so much “fun” as it is “serious” - I think it would pair well with grilled game, meats or sausage but most other Rossos di Montalcino exhibit more fruit. With very muted acidity, I suspect the reason the winemaker classified this as Rosso and not Brunello was the lack of acidity limited its’ aging ability. As a Rosso I think this example was interesting but if I wanted a chewy Montalcino, I’d probably ante-up for a full fledged Brunello and skip this Rosso.