A little hazy (unfiltered), bright, medium intensity, bright purple color. Clean on the nose, medium intensity aromas of black fruit, moss, cedar, black pepper, spice, stewed black cherries, oak, and smoke. Dry, medium body, medium tannin, medium-high acidity. Flavors of red and black fruit, Bing cherry, red fruit, strawberry, raspberry coulis, some oak on the palate, and a slight lactic note. Medium finish. Pair with braised short ribs or tofu in five spice. Recommended. RR
This is a $700 value, perhaps more, with a starting bid of a mere $250.
Challenged with pairing wines this Thanksgiving? Though turkey day is regarded as a most traditional American holiday, increasingly it is celebrated in the U.K., and foodies flock to gastronomic restaurants with highly educated sommeliers that are increasingly attaining the Master Sommelier level. Turkey is a traditional main dish for Christmas in the U.K., so wine pairings with turkey are not news there.
As a journalist, I have lived and worked overseas and traveled hundreds of thousands of miles. My passport is crammed with dozens of visas from faraway places, with each visa a trigger for memories: some good, some bad, some even horrific.
A wine so rich, and so expressive of the essence of the region I told John Matta it should be called “Eaux de Tuscany” (the French not withstanding). Deep, dark purpose, almost opaque, with a nose of smoke and truffles. Highly concentrated flavors of ripe blackberries with soft tannins. Absolutely luscious and the star of the trip as far as everyone was concerned. Certainly the finest expression of a great Chianti I have ever tasted. Drink with pasta with meat ragù or grilled T-bone. Very highly recommended. GT
Again, we tasted a slightly younger wine at the estate than the vintage currently available (2006). This is a bright, youthful wine but with plenty of weight nevertheless. Cherry, pepper, and earth come through on the nose. Chocolate and berry flavors flow across the palate, and the finish is long. Very pleasant now but could still benefit from some more time. Let it breathe a bit. Highly recommended. GT
The ’09 is not yet released, but is an absolute stunner. Tasted at a lunch with several of Olivier’s wines, so used the ’07 (an exceptional year in many regions of Italy) as a comparison benchmark. The ’07 was made just before Olivier took over, but the ’09 is wholly his own. The 2009 exhibited a youthful nose, but undertones of forest and mushrooms. Silken on the palate, it is a teaser of what may come as the fruit remains somewhat hidden. Luxurious finish. Can’t wait for this to be released. The ’07 is more developed and more complex at this stage than its younger brother, with a less perfumed nose but great blackberry and peppery notes on the end. I highly recommend both, but that ’09 strikes me as a potential classic. (The ’06, also lovely, is available through its importer, Lyaeus Imports in Washington D.C.) GT
This particular Pleiades (XX has also been released) is a symphonic, multilayered blend that keeps changing at every sip, with spices jumping over red fruit, richness competing with acid, eucalyptus rolling in over earthy, gamey notes. It’s unlike anything else, for sure, an unidentifiable drinking object that defies definition and expands the possibilities of what wine can be. Highly recommended. RC