Sunday 1 December 2013

Oh, Not Again - More 1997 Tuscan Wines...:-)

After tasting through 33 bottles of 1997 Tuscan wine last year, I thought - been there, done that.

But who am I to resist an invitation to taste more 1997´s...? Not me! :-)
All tasted single blind.

1997 Podere il Bosco Syrah
A warm, mature, spicy nose with notes of ripe blueberries, violets, resin, bacon fat and dried mushrooms. Very good. Fully mature.
The taste is mature, tight and a bit dry with notes of blueberries, crowberries, dry liquorice and earth. Some dusty tannins. Very good but better 5 years ago.
88p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Solengo
This behaved better at the tasting a year ago, see links below (first flight). The nose of this bottle is big and brawny with notes of sweet black cherries, undergrowth, liquorice and some meaty aromas. A bit unfocused.
The taste is warm, mature and tight with notes of blueberry pie, liquorice, dark chocolate and leather. A lot of warmth. A long, warm finish. A tad unbalanced.
84p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne, Antinori
A big, deep and ripe nose with notes of warm red and black cherries, licorice, autumn leaves, cigarette ashes, black tea and a touch of fresh stables. Very intense and fine.
The taste is still on the young side with ripe, polished tannins, warm cherries, rosemary, violets and black tea. A very long finish with a nice grip. This should evolve nicely over the coming 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Cepparello
The Cepparello performed on the highest level this evening. The nose is deep, complex and fresh with stunning notes of ripe red and black cherries, a fine herbal note, leather, sweet violets, dried flowers and a hint of dark chocolate. Impressive!
The taste is intense and focused with elegant cherry fruit and finely polished tannins, Lovely notes of ripe cherries, violets, balsa wood, leather and black tea. Some Christmas spice in the long, long finish. Really, really fine. Better than last year (see below - fourth flight).
96p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Tignanello
Two bottles of 97 Tignanello within a week - life is rough... This bottle was better than the bottle the previous week, with more oomph to the fruit, but on par with the bottle a year ago (see below - fourth flight).
The nose is big, warm and mature with notes of ripe red cherries, dried flowers, milk chocolate and a fine perfumed note. Dried rosemary after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is younger, tighter and cooler than the nose with notes of red cherries, violets, rosehips, red tea and autumn leaves. A long, pure finish. This is drinking great now but will deliver on this level for another 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Flaccianello
I have tasted the 97 Flaccianello 10+ times and it has never scored below 95p. Well, there is a first for everything. Not a bad wine, not by far, but not up to its usual standard.
The nose is big, warm and spicy with notes of black cherries, rosemary, black tea and freshly grounded coffee. A fine earthy warmth. Very, very good.
The taste is big, warm and ripe with notes of red cherries, warm lingonberries, earthy and with some dark chocolate. A slightly bitter note in the finish, which is medium long and warm. Very good, but again, not up to its usual impressive self.
90p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Sassicaia
As with the Tignanello, second bottle in a week - poor me. :-) And yet again, a solid prove that this is not a 87p wine!
The nose is stunning from the get go, with beautiful aromas of sweet black currants, graphite, dried flowers, sugared coffee and a hint of coconut. A lot of depth here. And some mature notes. There is even a smidgeon of green peppers, but that only enhance the quality. Great stuff.
The taste is youngish, tight and intense with notes of red and black currants, black cherries, leather, dark chocolate, dried flowers and some autumn leaves. The finish goes on for minutes. Just wonderful! No hurry to drink the remaining bottles.
94p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Ornellaia
The 97 Ornellaia was a bit of a let down in last year tasting (see below - second flight) but this bottle sang from the first sip to the last.
A cool, elegant yet penetrating nose with notes of lovely black currants, tobacco, warm tiles, earth and a fine perfumed note. Very deep and intoxicating. The tobacco note is extraordinary fine. Stunning.
The taste is still young with impressive structure and balance. Notes of red and black currants, rosehips, tobacco, leather, black tea and coffee powder. The finish goes on and on and on. Just beautiful. Still young.
95p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Cortaccio
I think that Cortaccio never has been as impressive as it was when released, even though if performed spectacular last year (see below - second flight).
The nose of this one is big, warm and deep with notes of black currants, dried thyme, cold coffee, black olive tapenade and leather. Big and interesting. Very, very good.
The taste is big, broad and warm with fine notes of sweet black currants, black cherries, hot earth, tobacco and thyme. A lot of power still in the finish. This is a intense bottle of wine but the bottle last year combined the force with refinement.
92p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Solaia
I drink Solaia to seldom. What a masterpiece! The nose is a miracle of sweetness, elegance and class. Gorgeous notes of black currants with some milk chocolate covering, dried flowers, rosemary, warm gravel and a beautiful perfumed note. So deep, so elegant and so goooood!
The taste is intense, tight and elegant with notes of black currants, red cherries, warm tiles, tobacco and expensive leather. The tannins are polished with the finest sand paper. A long, long, balanced finish. This is a great wine and will keep in that way for the coming 5+ years.
97p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Collezione de Marche
The Collezione de Marche was one of last years winner, alongside Flaccianello. This bottle was also a great experience but did not reach the height of last year bottle (see below - second flight).
The nose is tight, intense and sweet with notes of red and black currants, dried rosemary, Tuscan gravel, liquorice and a touch of resin. Deep and really fine.
The taste is focused, tight and still on the young side of things with notes of red and black currants, licorice, warm earth and dried rosemary. A beautiful fruit. The finish is long, warm and intense. This still needs some years in the cellar to be perfectly mature. Great wine!
94p   (tasted 2013/11)

1997 Tuscan - First Flight
1997 Tuscan - Second Flight
1997 Tuscan - Third Flight
1997 Tuscan - Fourth Flight


  1. I never been a big fan of Pian delle Vigne.......I think Antinori family should invest more money and expand Solaia of the best Italian wine today in the market.
    Even Syrah Il Bosco is not my cup of tee....I collected ...aged and then I realized it was a waist of time

    1. Can´t argue with you on the Solaia! :-) But I really liked the Il Bosco in its youth, not as much now with age.

  2. I try, John, I try....:-) What do you say about a upcoming vertical of Flaccianello - 1985 - 2006 - in magnums......? :There is a seat here for you :-)

  3. Oh boy. That should be amazing. And, fwiw, the 1986 was amazing the one time I had it - probably in the year 2000. It edged out the 1985 that night, though clearly the '85 was going to have more life. I am curious how that 1986 is now. I still have some 1997 left. Haven't bought it since 1999 though, because here, it's just way too expensive. I taste them at Gambero Rosso.......