It was interesting watching my Bride as she was writing notes about the wines at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. It was quite an event, and I truly enjoy how they have the wine tastings. They are never stuffy affairs, structured only by the sequence of the wines, but not by time. It kind of reminds me of how wine tasting in Napa Valley was back in the Nineties, and still today in Michigan. Wine tasting is fun, and as far as I am concerned, it should still be. Hell, I have still never learned the art of spitting, maybe because I was raised by parents that survived the Great Depression, and I can’t waste.
Our next wine was Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie “Petroso” Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 and is pure Sangiovese. This wine had about forty-five days of fermentation and maceration in concrete vats. Then the mandated thirty-six months in Slavonia Oak vats and followed with more aging in the bottle. The Petroso Vineyard is just over one hectare in size and is located close to the village of Montalcino, and is located in one of the oldest winemaking zones and is surrounded by a forest. This is the first time that it has been used as a single vineyard cuvee, a la Burgundy, as prior it was blended into the light label Brunello di Montalcino. This pretty ruby red wine offered notes of plums, cherries and violets. The wine was almost feminine (like a great Burgundy) as on the palate it was showing ripe plums and dark cherries, spices, some cedar, softer tannins with a nice long count finish reminding you how nice the initial taste was. Totally drinkable now, but I think it will be spectacular with some extended cellaring.
The next wine was Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie “Passo Del Lume Spento” Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2017 and is another example of their single vineyard cuvee offering of pure Sangiovese. It is on the highest elevated sandstone plateau for the winery and the name translates to “pass of the extinguished lantern” as this part is so high up and windy that the lanterns in coaches would be blown out. This is the first year for this cuvee offering and only three-thousand bottles were produced. This wine had about forty-five days of fermentation and maceration time in concrete. Then the mandated thirty-six months in the Slavonia Oak vats and followed with more aging in the bottle. Ricardo Campinotti feels that this is the highest elevation permitted in Montalcino. Another pretty rub red colored wine with notes of dark fruit, some leather, fennel and lavender. On the palate tones of red cherries, plums, a touch of tobacco with a smokey finish, bright acidity, nice tannins leading into a nice long finish of terroir. This wine had a lot of class to it, chewy as I like to call it, drinkable now and it bet it will be very interesting in twenty to thirty years from now; great for the cellar to try at different intervals of time.