I Love Upscale Wine - A Super Tuscan Second

Bordeaux comes to Tuscany.

Ornellaia Le Serre Nuovo

Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove

Perhaps you have heard of Super Tuscans. Way back some excellent Italian winemakers thumbed their nose at the official Italian winemaking regulations. They made wine the way they wanted it, not according to the book, whose major advantage was reducing the glut of inferior local grapes. This wine estate was created by a Marchese (I think that means a Count) back in 1981 on a little less than 100 hectares (about 250 acres) in what comes close to paradise. The soil has marine, alluvial, and volcanic elements. While the pick of the litter runs at about $200 a bottle I had to be satisfied with junior (made from younger vines). Itís a Bordeaux blend. Years ago, I managed to misplace the marketing material, so Iíll be quoting the 2010 information despite the fact that the bottle was a 2007. Some people get the chance to taste both. Others get to taste the intervening vintages as well. Others wonít. The companion wine that just about any non-teetotaler can get to taste is a Veneto, Italy Merlot at about one eighth the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove DellíOrnellaia 2007 14 .5% alcohol about $60.

Letís start by quoting the marketing materials. ďTasting Note : The 2010 Le Serre Nuove DellíOrnellaia shows off tons of concentration and sheer depth. Mocha, expresso, dark cherries and plums are some of the many notes that take shape in the glass. The 2010 is a decidedly powerful, virile wine endowed with considerable power. It will be interesting to see how the layers of flavor flesh out once the wine has been bottled. For now, the 2010 is a highly promising Serre Nuove. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027. Score Ė 91-93. (Antonio Galloni, at the Robert Parker web site, June, 2012)Ē And now for my review (of the 2007, not the 2010).

At the first sips this wine was powerful, offering chocolate. It was multilayered and had great balance. The initial meal started with crunchy Wasabi coated peanuts that actually weakened this Super Tuscan. It bounced back when encountering a barbecued chicken breast, becoming mouth filling with good acidity and chocolate. Homemade roasted eggplant slices brimming with garlic intensified the libationís sweetness and I tasted some chocolate. This wine was very long. Fruit juice candy for dessert muted the liquid somewhat but it was still more than just present and I tasted lots of plums.

The second meal centered on slowly cooked beef ribs. Our Italian friend was upbeat, multilayered, balanced, and long. He offered lots of chocolate but was sweeter than I would like. When paired with the simultaneously cooked potatoes the drink came out mostly the same, except that plums came to the fore. The adjoining carrots rendered the drink even sweeter, but it was nice and round. I added Yemeni green jalapeno sauce to the meat and I was surprised that the wineís sweetness became dominant.

The final meal began with matzo-ball soup, perked up with Chinese chili sauce. This Super Tuscan was now almost chewy; multilayered with lots of chocolate. Wasabi-less, in other words nearly tasteless Japanese rice crackers made Redís power expand. When paired with the main dish, spicy ground beef with peas and tomatoes the libation was long, offering good oak and a great balance between acidity and tannins. The delicious homemade dessert was a blend of coconut, chia, and Majoul dates. In response our bankbook disturber was long. It seemed longer with every dish, but was slightly too sweet.

Final verdict. This was one fine wine. But it wasnít the best Barolo that I ever tasted, and I can still count the number of Barolos that I have encountered. Iíll be drinking a lot of other upscale wines before I try another Barolo. And someday perhaps Iíll taste one of those old style Barolos that the old-timers prefer.

Access the companion wine Revisiting A Veneto, Italy Merlot.

One additional point: We would love to hear and publish your opinion about this wine.

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About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.wineinyourdiet.com

Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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