Wine Tasting: Lucca, Tuscany - 2002 Anteprima (En Primeur) (31st May 2003)

Part of a marvellous tasting of unreleased wines from the coastal provinces of Tuscany. The tasting - Anteprima Vini della Costa Toscana - took place in the elegant setting of Villa Bottini, Lucca. All of the wines were from the difficult 2002 vintage.

Overall quality was excellent, with the caveat that these are barrel samples - there is still time for flavours to change and for improvements (or slips) to be made before they are released. It is important to realise that these are works in progress, often with volatile aromas and flavours that wont be present in the finished wines.

1. 2002 Fattoria del Teso Anfidiamante Montecarlo IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Deep purple/ruby. Bright.
Dense, stewed plum and leather nose.
Dry, quite austere with slightly cooked/hot flavours, sour fruits, bitter notes and a interesting leafy undertone.

2. 2002 Wandanna Alicante Bouchet Montecarlo IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Pale, even ruby/red.
Strangely floral nose, muted but attractive with peppery wood.
Medium bodied with soft, red fruit and white pepper oak.
Still a bit raw, but interesting

3. 2002 Buonamico Fortino Syrah

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Deep ruby/red.
Muted nose with hints of concentrated, pure berry fruit.
Closed at the moment, and medium bodied, lith lots of alcohol, clean, juicy acidity and good grip. Slightly thin but lovely bitter/leafy notes and a long, mouthcoating finish.

4. 2002 Fattoria La Torre Esse Syrah Toscana IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Very deep purple/ruby.
Lovely, intense nose with rhubarb, black cherry and sour plum notes.
Intense, pungent and slightly acrid, with concentrated sour plum flavours and a strong influence of charred oak. High acidity.
Bit disappointing after a promising nose, but maybe just needs time to settle.

5. 2002 Fuso Carmignani For Duke Toscana IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Deep, even purple/ruby.
Slightly dirty, unfinished nose - aromas of raw grape must.
Lovely concentrated mulberry fruit with fresh acids, grippy tannins, nicely judged oak. Still a bit raw, with a strangely half fermented feel, but when it settles it should be a star.

6. 2002 Montechiari Merlot Toscana IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Deep, even purple/red.
Mute with some hints of concentrated, creamy berry fruit, spicy wood, warm alcohol and a touch of green - very promising.
Full bodied with juicy, concentrated cassis/redcurrant fruit overlaid with a rich layer of charcoal and oak. Nicely balanced acids with a lactic tang and a good, mouthcoating finish. Will be a star.

7. 2002 Colle de Bordocheo Picchio Rosso

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Bright, even ruby with some purple at core.
Lifted, lively, juicy nose of mulberries.
Light to medium bodied, a bit thin, with strong slightly bitter oak flavours intertwined with juicy mulberries. Slightly sour acids carry through to a long, dry finish.
A bit unknit at the moment, this could settle into a very interesting wine.

8. 2002 Colle Verde Brania delle Ghiandaie

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Even ruby/red with some purpling at rim.
Difficult nose, dumb but complex with nutty, bitter almons and lurking fruit - interesting.
Full bodied and concentrated with rich, rasping red berry fruits and a big dod of peppery oak. Nicely balanced with good acidity and grippy tannins, and a long oaky/leafy finish. Very good.

9. 2002 Tenuta di Valgiano Le Tese Colline Lucchesi DOC

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Even red/ruby.
Strange nose of cat's piss and hay.
Medium to full bodied with juicy red fruits that weren't apparent at all on the nose. Good concentration and grip, but still unknit with slightly raw acids.
Too early to tell what this'll be like - like many of the wines on show, the nose and palate told different stories. Interesting and worth a retaste.

10. 2002 Tenuta di Valgiano Valgiano

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Deep red/purple paling to rim.
Dense, lurking nose of ripe plum/mulberry fruit with some cassis, lots of alcohol and a touch of wood.
Lovely mouthfilling flavours of ripe plum/cassis and a well-integrated charcoal/oak. Layered and complex, with a long, leafy, tangy finish. Very, very good.

11. 2002 Vigna di Gragnano Poggio de Paoli Merlot Toscana IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Deep red/purple.
Slightly dumb, but some spice, cream and forest fruits - inviting.
Medium bodied with creamy fruit blending nicely with tangy charcoal and bitter almond flavours. Lovely texture and a good dry finish.
Not yet fully knit, but should be good.

12. 2002 Terre di Sillabo Niffo Toscana IGT

31st May 2003 Colline Lucchesi & Montecarlo Table Red

[Barrel sample]
Almost opaque purple, with some paling at the rim.
Strange, muted nose, slightly raw with some piss/hay and a submerged hint of stewed plums.
Medium to full bodied with lovely pure berry fruit and creamy, vanilla touches. Good balance, well integrated andlong with faint traces of nutty oak and a pleasant tang.
Very good - a surprise after the nose.

 
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