Tasting notes, guesses and answers

1. Bright, vibrant core, pretty clear. Slightly tawny red. Medium+ viscosity. Nose: medium+ intensity, lots going on. cherry pie filling, hot – but i mean that in a good way, not like too much alcohol. rust. wet leaves. red apple flesh, ripe. palate: healthy, medium+ acidity. medium+ tannin. balanced. fleshy fruit, blood orange peel, lovely finish, great linger. wet leaves and cranberry. Guess: I knew this one was my pick. Answer: Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino 2008

2. Similar appearance but brighter, more red, less tawny. Medium viscosity. Nose: figs. Medium+ intensity. Lots goin’ on here too. Cigar smoke, cedar box, soy, fruit is secondary. Palate: oak tannin, tastes young but is smoother than number 1. Lots of red fruit.  Blood orange.  Don’t like it as much as #1. My guess: Chianti Rufina. Answer: Melini 2006 Chianti Classico

3. Very similar appearance to number 2 but medium+ viscosity.  Nose: older. Healthy. Browned red apples, strawberries, bonfire. Palate: Medium+ acidity, high tannin, lots of grape tannin. No oak. Lots of fruit, strawberries, chewy tannin. Browned apple skins. My guess: Rufina. Answer: Selvapiana 2009 Chianti Rufina

4. All light red, stains the class a bit, medium viscosity. Nose: Smells like number 2 a bit: cedar, cigar smoke. A little EA (ethyl acetate), raisins, pretty hot (as in too much alcohol), dried strawberries. Palate: bold. Medium+ acidity that lingers, drives through the rest of the wine, very alive. Hugging tannins, very drying especially around the gums but then fleshes out a bit, likely influence of oak. Lingers mostly on the gums, dries strawberries, cranberries, iron, leather, there is oak. My guess: Classico.. but modern?. Note: we had a WA state winemaker with us that evening that said, “now this is more the type of thing i like to drink!” Answer: Washington State, Covington Cellars Sangiovese (2008 I believe). Notes: I asked someone in the group to bring a Washingtion Sangio for a drastic comparison. Fun stuff.

5. Very deep red core, much darker than previous wines. Slight tawny rim, medium+viscosity. Nose: plums, cherry pie filling, figs, browned apples, baking spice, vanilla, living earth.  Palate: all-over tannin, oak for sure, a bit chewy, dried cherry, very bright, lovely acidity. My guess: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ’09. Answer: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2004

6. Medium+ viscosity, very dark, similar to number 5. Nose: very different! Pine needles, wet leather, old wood, saw dust. Palate: all-over tannin, oak, very smooth, gentle but still great acid and tannin, mellowed. Tertiary stuff for sure, so pretty. My guess: the oldest of the bunch. Answer: 2000 Brunello di Montalcino. p.s Thank you Janea, for this beauty of a wine.

7. Very light red, still vibrant, clean, young. Nose: bright, a little hot, cherry cough medicine but in the best way, orange peel, cedar, fire wood. Palate: cherries. different tannin…hugs the sides and gums instead of the tongue (usually signals oak to me vs. grape tannin, but this is still different). Very bright red fruit. Young, no oak. My guess: Rufina ’09. Anser: Isola e Olena 2007 Chianti Classico

Follow-up: I would like to eat pizza now.