Felsina Fontalloro 2007
Good full red with a palish rim. Pure, superripe aromas of red cherry, violet, iodine and nutmeg. Superrich, highly concentrated and seamless, with densely packed flavors of raspberry, dark plum and marzipan. Finishes creamy-rich and explosively long, with a pretty violet note. This was so good I really had trouble letting the glass go. It's also the only time I can remember Fontalloro outclassing Rancia (of which I am a huge fan) by such a wide margin, something I had noticed even when tasting barrel samples of these two wines in the estate's cellar two years ago. I'd wait a good five years on this one, then enjoy it for another two decades. Proof positive that sangiovese is one of the world's great grape varieties.
The 2007 Fontalloro is round, sweet and inviting, very much in keeping with the style of the vintage. The fruit tends towards the redder end of the spectrum vis-a-vis the Rancia and the Fontalloro seems to possess a touch more freshness. Floral, spiced notes add lift on the finish. As attractive as the 2007 Fontalloro is, and it is very pretty, the wine does not have a particularly bright track record of developing the noblest aromas and flavors in bottle. In my experience, it is better to err on the side of youth in deciding when to drink Fontalloro. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.
There's blackberry and blueberry galore in this full-bodied wine, which has chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Juicy and wonderfully fruity. Best after 2011.
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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration...
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.