Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lorenzo & Isabelle Return!

A while back I posted about a wonderful wine produced, only once, by Il Palazzone, in 2005. That wine was a beautiful IGT blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. I enjoyed it on multiple occasions and found it enchanting every time. One key to its excellence was the character it developed with time in the bottle; it was eight years old at the time. I didn't expect to see it produced again, thinking it was a one-time homage to the parents of winery owner Dick Parsons; but I was wrong (happily).
A new vintage of the "Lorenzo & Isabelle" has been produced, for the 2013 vintage, and it shows every indication that it will mature into another beautiful expression. I checked in with Laura Gray, at Il Palazzone, to see if we can expect to see this wine going forward. She told me they are "hoping that this release will start a momentum" in that direction and "even justify planting or purchasing more vineyards with the international varieties" needed. Maybe, someday, we can enjoy a long vertical of "Lorenzo & Isabelle".

2013 Il Palazzone "Lorenzo & Isabelle" IGT. 13.5% ABV                                                  Cabernet Franc / Sangiovese / Petite Verdot from Montalcino

Elegant and firm at the same time, with perfumed blackberry notes that are fresh and dark. Notes of incense and forest floor are also present on the nose. The palate has plenty of texture and well balanced components, although they need time to come together. Firm blackberry and incense carry through to the palate, with fragrant dried herbs showing as well. The acidity is dark and moderate with nice, fine-grained grip to underscore everything. Young, clean, detailed, and complete. This edition of Il Palazzone's special IGT shows all the components needed to emulate its predecessor. 90-92 Pts

2005 Il Palazzone "Lorenzo and Isabelle" IGT,  13.5% ABV
Cabernet Franc / Sangiovese / Petite Verdot from Montalcino $60
 Deep and dark at first on the nose, with plenty of fragrant earth and beautiful, aromatic blackberry and black cherry. There is a clean and fine grained character to the nose, with subtle strength beneath. The first thing to strike me on the palate was a wonderful freshness in the black fruit, with subtle perfume, flinty earth, and kirsch. The balance is excellent, especially in the way the components blend together seamlessly. The finish shows moderate grip, with fine grained, mouth coating tannins. There is plenty of vigor, and I believe there is a whole other set of qualities yet to come out, given sufficient time. This is a wine of stature, depth, freshness, and finesse. Quite complete and drinking very well at this time. 93 Pts. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Couple of 2009 Brunello Values

The 2009 vintage is said to be one for early drinking due to the weather challenges that prevented full development of structure and detail in many wines. Still, for near-term drinking, they can be quite enjoyable. These two are a great example of that 2009 characteristic, with their depth of fruit and forward nature. Both fall into the low end of the Brunello pricing spectrum, offering good relative value.

2009 La Rasina Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% $40

The nose is wonderfully Earthy, with good depth and a forward character. Dense black cherry flesh, with some ripeness, and dark spice are also prominent. The palate is full and voluptuous, with plenty of ripe black cherry, some pomegranate, Asian spice and subtle aromatics. Sweet tannins and gentle acidity are rolled into the palate profile. Limited complexity, but likely to please the crowd. 88 Pts

2009 Mastrojanni Brunello Di Montalcino 15% ABV $45

Dusty, spiced Earth, red cherry, and some forest floor make up the initial impression on the nose. Later there is mineral, sandalwood, and some dried rose petal adding nuance. The palate shows brite red cherry fruit with cardamom and hints of beef broth. Round tannins and easy acidity make up the structure with late notes of toasted Earth. An easy drinker with some complexity. 89 Pts.