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Wine Community / Vinogodi | Published DoctorWine N°37
Bordeaux Grape Varieties: France vs Italy - Part Two
by Vinogodi 30-06-2012

Let’s go on with our “game” matching up wines from Italy and France. The first half ended in a draw. When the contents of the bottles were revealed, we confirmed that our indigenous varieties outclassed the international ones. With blends of similar quality, on the other hand, our cousins from across the Alps equalized.
Let’s see what happened in this second challenge match.

 
Lupicaia 1996
Toscana Igt
Castello del Terriccio

Rating » 90
Category » Red
Region » Toscana
Country » Italy

80-100 Euros

Many of us were immediately captivated by this little thoroughbred from not-far-from-Bolgheri’s ability to show off its wares: its intense, intact colour and its scents of morello cherries and ripe plums, with no pyrazinic sensations but faint eucalyptus-like notes. The palate was soft and velvety – perhaps overly so. Slightly more acidulous grip would have made it easier to match with food, as would less rounded tannins. It remains a fascinating and enthralling wine, though, that will impress especially those who love a well-knit, easy-drinking style.

 
Cos D’Estournel 1993
Saint-Estèphe
Chateau Cos D Estournel

Rating » 94+
Category » Red
Region » Bordeaux
Country » France

110-130 Euros

This was probably the wine of the evening. It had an absolutely unnatural colour for a wine that has now “come of age”: an extremely lively, bright and perfectly intact red. Its complex nose immediately lingered on notes of grilled yellow peppers but with time it cleaned itself up and courted one’s nostrils with blood-like, ferrous, mineral and spicy notes. The palate surprised you with its expressiveness: silky, rich, tense and multi-layered. Interminable length; a wine that if it hadn’t acquired a few too many vegetal notes over the course of time would have come close to perfection.

 
Merlot 2000
Colli Orientali del Friuli Doc
Miani

Rating » 94
Category » Red
Region » Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Country » Italy

100-110 Euros

Here we played our ace. The colour was really intense, rich and opaque. The depth on the nose was almost unexpected for a Merlot, with great concentration and complexity, incorporating hints of black pepper, morello cherries, musk and tobacco. The fruit on the palate was powerful and mouth-filling, very rich in extract and varied sensations. A real star.

 
Château Gazin 1999
Pomerol
Gazin

Rating » 91+
Category » Red
Region » Bordeaux
Country » France

90-100 Euros

A bright but certainly not very deep red in colour, with an expressive nose of undergrowth, ploughed earth and deciduous leaves that also revealed faint mushroom-like notes. It perhaps didn’t show the great depth it had on previous occasions, but it made up for this with really remarkable cleanliness. The flavour was elegant and flawless, with hints of coffee. Much like a watercolour: nuanced and understated.

 
Ornellaia 2000
Bolgheri Doc
Ornellaia

Rating » 92+
Category » Red
Region » Toscana
Country » Italy

110-130 Euros

This was sheer power: an intense, almost opaque red colour, and a nose with sensations of sour and morello cherries, as well as tanned hides. Voluptuous, velvety and rounded on the palate. The slight vanilla-like hint was merely a well-integrated seasoning rather than being bothersome. What was surprising, given that all my descriptors were in the superlative, was its overall balance.

 
Chateau Belair 1er Grand Cru Classè 1997
Saint-Émilion
Belair Dubois Challon

Rating » 93
Category » Red
Region » Bordeaux
Country » France

90-100 Euros

This had the palest colour of the entire day: a bright but diaphanous red, almost like a Pinot Noir. The nose, though, exploded with red berry fruits, balsamic (eucalyptus) notes and tree bark-like sensations. The palate was extraordinarily expressive: it seemed lean but kept you completely hooked with its elegance, balance, freshness and sheer class. An interminable finish.

 
Sassicaia 2000
Bolgheri Doc
Tenuta San Guido

Rating » 93
Category » Red
Region » Toscana
Country » Italy

130-150 Euro

La miglior versione di Sassicaia 2000 bevuta fin’ora, forse siamo arrivati alla maturità giusta per godere questa annata. Colore rosso vivo, naso sontuoso di tabacco da pipa dolce, cuoio antico e balsamicità soffusa. Bocca morbida e carezzevole, articolato, con tannini levigati e suadenti.

 
Château Longueville Baron 1998
Pauillac
Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron

Rating » 94+
Category » Red
Region » Bordeaux
Country » France

130-150 Euros

It had a stupendous vermilion colour, and an elegant, inviting nose with smoky and bilberry-like sensations and just the slightest of vegetal hints. The palate is an enveloping drape, smooth yet vigorous, with amazing balance. Even our star wine is in difficulty when compared to such extreme stimulation of one’s senses.

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Wineries
Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron
Producer Famiglia Baron de Pichon-Longueville
33250 Pauillac
Phone +33 556 731717 - Fax +33 556 731728
web www.pichonlongueville.com
email contact@pichonlongueville.com
Belair Dubois Challon
Producer
15 Quai du Priourat BP 129 Libourne Cedex, 33502
Phone +33 5 57 51 78 96
web www.chateaubelair.com
email belair@chateaubelair.com
Gazin
Producer
33500 Pomerol - France
Phone +33 (0)5 57 51 07 05
web www.gazin.com
email -
Miani
Producer Enzo Pontoni
Via Peruzzi, 10
33042 Buttrio UD
Phone +39 0432 674327
web -
email aletulissi@libero.it
Chateau Cos D Estournel
Producer Michel Reybier
33180 Saint-Estèphe Francia
Phone +33 556 731550
web www.estournel.com
email estournel@estournel.com
Castello del Terriccio
Producer Annibale Rossi di Medelana
Castellina Marittima - Pisa - Italy
Phone +39 050 699709
web www.terriccio.it
email info@terriccio.it
Ornellaia
Producer
Via Bolgherese, 191
57022 Castagneto Carducci LI
Phone +39 0565 71811 - Fax +39 0565 718230
web www.ornellaia.com
email -
Tenuta San Guido
Producer Marchese Nicolò Incisa Della Rocchetta
Località Le Capanne, 27
57022 Bolgheri LI
Phone +39 0565 762003 - Fax +39 0565 762017
web www.tenutasanguido.com
email info@sassicaia.com
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