Friday, December 12, 2008

Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco

A few weeks ago I sat with Gary Grunner and tasted the wines of Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco, the wineries owned by the Ferragamo family, the well known Italian fashion house. He was really excited about presenting their wines and was proud to say that they are found in some of the best Italian restaurants, steak houses and fine wine shops in the USA.

The six wines I tasted were:

Il Borro Lamelle Chardonnay 2006 IGT

This Chardonnay has a pale yellow color, fruity rich aromas of apple and peach with notes of floral & lemon. Flavors of pear and vanilla balanced with nice acidity.

Notes - The Chardonnay grapes for ‘Lamelle’ are carefully selected from vineyards within the Il Borro Estate in San Giustino Val d’Arno in Arezzo. The hand harvested grapes are immediately transferred to the winery and sorted manually. 50% of the wine is fermented in new French oak barriques & 50% in stainless steel for about 10 days.

Tenuta Il Borro Pian di Nova Toscana 2005 IGT

Another blend from Ferragamo's Il Borro, this blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Sangiovese reflects a subtle nose of red cherries, currants and leather, with hints of vanilla and a finish of spices, namely cinnamon and cloves.

The wines simplicity make it an attractive blend that utilizes the best of both grapes, Syrah for a rich spiciness and Sangiovese for an earthy freshness.

Castiglion Del Bosco Campo Del Drago Brunello di Montalcino 2003

Campo Del Drago Brunello di Montalcino 2003 is a DOCG, single vineyard effort from Salvatore Ferragamo's Castiglion Del Bosco.

We start with a bouquet of smokey vanilla and red licorice candy, then subtle traces of dark chocolate and black cherries on the palate. Medium tannins give this a traditional style, not too sweet, but balanced and with an intensity that defines it as a classic Brunello reflecting the wonderful Sangiovese grape.

Tenuta Il Borro Toscana 2005 IGT

From Arezzo, Italy this blend is a balancing act of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, and aged in French barriques for 12 months.

Nuances of violets, toast and roses on the nose and even a tinge of fresh baked pie... soft tannins preview the ripe flavors of blueberries, black cherries and a rich smokiness. The color is a cool ruby with medium weight, but the mouthfeel is a bit more substantial with rich textures and a satisfying finish.

Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino 2003

Castiglion del Bosco produces this Brunello di Montalcino which is aged in oak for 2 years.

It is a traditional 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany, has ruby coloring and intense inviting aromas of vanilla with flavors of plum, orange peel and a sweet campfire smokiness. Initially slightly tight, I decanted and waited an hour before it opened to a very good balance of fruit and tannins, still it's a powerful red with 13.5% alcohol content.

24 hours later: Tried this wine again today, tannins way softer and overall feel was more velvety. A very nice wine.

Castiglion Del Bosco Dainero 2004 IGT

From the Tuscan region of Montalcino comes this mouthwatering blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese grapes.

Aged in barriques for 6 months, it puts on an aromatic show of violet, currant and chocolate all wrapped in a full bodied style. Deep purple and displaying a round, soft fruitiness, flavors emerge quickly of blackberries, cherries and a slightly smokey, vegetal quality at the finish.

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