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Old 11-01-2010, 04:30 PM posted to
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Default TN: 18 bottles of Montevertine on the wall.....

On Jan 11, 10:51´┐Żam, DaleW wrote:
Jay Miller (aka The Good Jay Miller, Jay "Pointless " Miller, Our Jay
Miller, Jay "FruitsNotNeccesarilyAFlaw" Miller) organized and hosted a
tasting of the wines of Montevertine last night (well, afternoon and
night). A good crew of 8 gathered in Jersey City to taste through 18
bottles, with examples of all of the Montevertine lineup, with
vintages from 1978 to 2007 present. If you don't know the story of
Sergio Manetti and Montevertine, the ultra-short version is this is an
estate in Radda in Chianti. Back in the 60s/70s DOC rules required the
use of white grapes (Malvasia and Trebbiano) along with Sangiovese and
Canaiolo. Manetti chose to forego the Chianti designation rather than
have to use white grapes he thought inferior. Since then, rules have
changed and these could be labelled Chianti, but Montevertine decided
to keep bottling as Toscano IGT or Vino de Tavolo.

John and I made the long trek from Westchester to Jersey City on a
cold day, arriving at Jay's apartment to find a nice spread of cured
meats, and with the smell of gougeres and lamb welcoming us. As the
crew gradually arrived, we enjoyed a couple of bottles of
Montevertine's base bottling:

2007 Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo
Pretty, lovely, clean, bright red fruits, a bit of spice. B/B+

2004 Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo
Quieter, a slightly subdued nose, fuller bodied than 2007, nice. B

It was easy to almost forget about these as their bigger, more
"serious" brethren made the rounds, but I'd happily have on my table
any day.

Next up were the Montevertine/Montevertine Riservas. I had always
thought these separate bottlings, but Greg (talk about someone who
really knows Italian wines) says there's only one. I'm pretty sure
I've had one without Riserva notation,but Greg says maybe they didn't
use in weaker vintages. They used to pay a fine since they weren't DOC
and weren't supposed to use Riserva, but with EU rules the fine got
higher, so from now on just "Montevertine." We also tasted several of
the Sodaccios, a separate vineyard on the estate.

2004 Montevertine (Toscano IGT)
Well balanced, young, raspberries and earth. A bit of herb. Lovely
wine in the making. B+/A-

Somewhere about here we made our way to table. Jay had made a perfect
leg of lamb along with nice cauliflower, accompanied by Scott's
delicious potato gratin. Yum!

1990 Montevertine Il Sodaccio
This was a minor pouring mistake, slightly out of order. I held this
for a long time, checking occasionally while saving to taste with the
other Il Sodaccio bottles.Sweet, soft, even lush, nice depth and
length. I really quite enjoyed, though a retaste at end of evening was
fading a bit. A-/B+ at peak.

1990 Montevertine Riserva
You could really see the vintage here, with the softer acids and
rounder feel. Still some tannins, lots of earth, the fruit doesn't
have the freshness of its '88 flightmate. Still, drinking very well. B

1988 Montevertine Riserva
This was just drinking superbly. A little animal note on nose,
focused, bright, black raspberries and cherries, long. Beautiful wine
that holds well for hours. A/A-

1998 Montevertine Il Sodaccio
Ripe, red and black fruits, good length, I think I liked a bit more
than table. B+

1997 Montevertine Il Sodaccio
Very sweet fruit, leather, tobacco. Held well and drank nicely at end.

About here we took a short break to appreciate the amazing view from
Jay's building's patio, with marina, Liberty park, the Statue of
Liberty and VN bridge. Wait, it's cold as hell and wine awaiting! Back
to the flagship wine, Pergole Torte:

2004 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Young, fresh fruit (cherries and plums), lots of acid and some tannin,
but balanced. Some herby (oregano) notes. B/B+

2001 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Young, muscular but elegant, needs time. A-/B+

( the lamb kept reappearing, plus a nice cheese plate)

1999 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
My first note says "amazing if young." Fresh, bright, powerful,
focused, complex and complete. Solid red fruits, leather, earth, hint
of cigarbox. This has decades ahead of it but I really enjoy now. My
WOTN (and I think table's by a good margin) . A

1998 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Moderate acids, spicy, good length. B+

1997 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Sweet ripe round black fruit, Greg says not very Sangiovese-ish, I say
it's like a very tasty Merlot. A nice wine, but my least favorite of
the sound PGs,and I think I preferred the 97 Il Sodaccio. B

1995 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Dry (austere to some), still fairly tannic, black cherries and plum,
tobacco, nice length. Needs time. A-/B+

1988 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
A little lifted note at first, that blows off, leaving a nice mature
bottle of Sangiovese. Dried cherries, dark berry, leather, a hint of
menthol. Nice, but the 88 Riserva was better for me this night. B/B+

1985 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Smoke, ripe plummy fruit, a meaty note. This seemed soft and tired,
and consensus was this might have seen some warm storage at some
point. My least favorite of the night, but even so a B-
(note this and the 78 didn't have the woman's picture on label. Greg
says in 85 there was one bottle with woman's picture per case!)

1978 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Black cherries, tobacco, cedar, excellent. Quite a good showing, A-

What a lineup! Great consistency in my eyes through the years and
different bottlings. My least favorite - a probably compromised
bottle- still got a B-. Every other bottle I'd have happily enjoyed on
my table (and probably scored a bit higher in isolation- told you I'm
not consistent!). Good group of people, very enjoyable night. Thanks
Jay for organizing, cooking, and hosting, and all for good company,
good wines, good food.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

Montevertine Le Pergole Torte has long been a favorite of mine and I
try to buy it every year but I haven't seen it locally in a while.
Thanks for the reminder!