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94

2005 Yalumba - Shiraz/Viognier Hand-Picked
Seamless, polished and remarkably expressive. A wine of uncommon balance that plays its ripe cherry, plum and mulberry flavors against wisps of cream, clove and white pepper, all of it mingling harmoniously on the long, refined finish. Best from 2009 through 2020


(Tasted Aug 26, 2009)
94

2005 Belguardo - Serrata Maremma
From the winemaker The pioneering Mazzei family, owners of Chianti Classico's highly esteemed Castello di Fonterutoli, took the helm at the Belguardo estate in Maremma, Tuscany in the 1990s after recognizing the potential for superb quality winemaking in the local terroir. In the years since, the Mazzeis have established a name for Belguardo among the top producers in this exciting, fast emerging wine region. Hand harvested grapes undergo temperature-controlled fermentation and maceration for 16-18 days. The resulting wine matures for 12 months in French and American barriques, 30% of which are new. Ruby red in color, and aromatic, with scents of ripe cherries, raspberries and vanilla. Full-bodied, soft and well structured, with flavors of wild berries, spice and herbs. "This edgy, almost sanguine blend is grown in a rocky mix of limestone and sandstone soils on the coast near Grosseto. While the wine's naturally brisk acidity shows the cooling influence of the coastal air, what's most striking is the savory, elegant feel of the tannins. At once powerfully mineral and smooth, they frame deep flavors of dried porcini, ripe cherry and fresh sage in a way that feels vibrant and firm. The complexity is here to age this for a decade, although it would be irresistible now with roast leg of lamb." Wine & Spirits Best Buy 94/100


(Tasted Jul 29, 2009)
89

2006 Banfi - Rosso di Montalcino
From the winemaker Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino is a wine of noble origins and impressive original thinking. Made from 100% select Sangiovese clones, Rosso di Montalcino is considered Brunello's younger sibling. Rosso di Montalcino is aged less than its elder counterpart - 12 months in wood (half in French oak barrique and half in Slavonian oak casks) followed by at least 6 months in the bottle before release. It is deep ruby-red in color with a dry, round, velvety taste and generous body - characteristics similar to those desired in a great Brunello. Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino is an outstanding companion to veal, red meats and cheeses.


(Tasted Jul 29, 2009)

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