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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.