For the background to this tasting, look here.
The first flight was impressive. Only one tired bottle in the lineup, and even that one was drinkable on its own. There was no clear winner when the vote on the best wine was casted, and to my surprise I had the dark horse as the winner...
All bottles decanted 45 minutes before the first pour. All tasted single blind.
1997 Pazzesco, Castello del Trebbio
The back label states that this wine contains Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah but not how much of each. The nose is soft, fine and fruity with notes of black cherries, milk chocolate, earth and pipe tobacco. Some mature notes but this is still on the young side.
The taste is tight, focused and pure with notes of red currants, cherries, tobacco and violets. A fine acidity. A medium long, fine finish. The end of the finish is a tad dry, but overall a very good wine. But I shouldn´t keep any remaining bottles for long.
88p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Lamaione, Marchesi de´Frescobaldi
With 100% Merlot, this has a big, warm, intense nose with lovely notes of black cherries, summer flowers, fresh herbs, corinthian and dark chocolate. Pure and very fresh. Really fine.
The taste is tight, pure and warm with gorgeous cherry fruit - the really salivating kind. You also get herbs, a Tuscan gravel road and some chocolaty notes. Very long, warm and satisfactory. This should keep for another 5-10 years.
92p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Palazzi, Tenuta di Trinoro
This beauty consists of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. The nose is a stunner with notes of red cherry jam, pan fried almonds, corinthians, pipe tobacco, muscovado sugar, sweet root vegetables and some dark chocolate. Deep and intense.
The taste is big, broad and concentrated with sweet notes of rosehips, black cherries, tobacco, a Tuscan gravel road and warm tiles. The finish is long, long and with a lovely warmth. This is still on the young side of things, you could keep this for 10+ years, at least.
94p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Solengo, Argiano
Solengo consists of equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This nose appears more open and mature than the previous glasses. There is lovely notes of black cherries, red currants, dried flowers, tobacco and warm tiles. There is a touch of mint here which led me to believe that this was the dark horse, but not so.
The taste is big and racy with notes of chocolate covered cherries, old leather, cherry pips and autumn leaves. Very, very long. This actually lost a little momentum sitting in the glass, indicating that you should drink any remaining bottles sooner than later. But on this night, it shined.
92p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Masseto, Tenuta dell´Ornellaia
Ok, what to think about a wine that cost as much as the rest of the bottles in this flight together? Well, since we were tasting blind, I didn´t guess it to be the Masseto (but someone else did...). A beaty but I have tasted even greater bottles of the 97. The nose is deep, warm and ripe with notes of cherry compote with added balsam vinegar and a touch of mint. Then there is notes of dark chocolate and cold coffe. Warm and very fine.
The taste is big, creamy and warm with lots of sweet cherry fruit and notes of tobacco, dark chocolate, dried flowers and green raisins. The finish is long and intense. This feels young still but I think this is a bit warmer than previous bottles. But great all the same.
93p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Mammolo, Cennatoio Intervineas
This is the third 100% Merlot wine in the first flight. A pure, cool, elegant nose with notes of sweet red currants, dry licorice, leather and a summer Tuscan dirt road. Graceful and very fine. This is just lovely to sit and sniff. Not a hint of maturity.
The taste is tight, seedy and vivid with notes of red currants, red cherries, tobacco, warm tiles and leather. The tannin structure is exquisite. The finish is long, elegant and poised. Still young, this could go on for 10+ years. Gorgeous.
93p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Siepi, Castello di Fonterutoli
A overripe, mature, warm nose with notes of sugar cooked cherries, cold coffe, earth and old, old leather. It reminds me of a really old Barolo, like a 58. This is on the verge of meeting its maker...
The taste is old, warm and big with notes of brown sugar, cold coffe and old leather. The middle of the taste is hollow. Past its best. It actually became a tad better with air but never became good.
72p (tasted 2012/11)
1997 Haven´s Bourriquet
The dark horse in the first flight, a Cheval Blanc look a like with two thirds Cabernet Franc and one thid Merlot. This was a beauty and me and one other taster had this as the best wine in the flight.
A cool, elegant, finely tuned nose with gorgeous notes of cherry pips, dried flowers, expensive leather, tobacco and gravel. Very intense. This has begun to mature but have lots to offer for the future. Stunning wine.
The taste is concentrated, delicious and sweet with notes of rosehips, black cherries, milk chocolate and summer flowers. The finish goes on for over a minute. Really, really fine. This has balance, structure and hedonistic fruit. Great!
95p (tasted 2012/11)