2009 and 2010 Tuscans

2009 and 2010 Tuscans
The releases from Tuscan estates these past few weeks have been fast and furious. Now that it has settled down, we thought it might be helpful to provide a round-up of the 2010s and the 2009s which we have previously offered.

Atlas founder Andrew Caslin has a long history and high standing in the Italian wine world, considerably predating Atlas.  The last decade, he says, has seen significant investment in Tuscany, where the climate is reliable and there is an openness to innovation not so prevalent in other classic regions. A good run of vintages has helped, as has increasingly widespread critical acclaim culminating in Antonio Galloni’s recent appraisal that “2010 will go down as one of the great all-time vintages in Tuscany.”  
The 2010s are classically-styled Sangiovese with fresh red fruit backed by lively acidity and will benefit from time in bottle. The 2009 vintage, on the other hand, was shaped by a hot summer and cool autumn resulting in richer, more exotic wines with a tamed acidity; while not devoid of staying-power, these wines are ready to broach now. 

Below are the wines which we have already offered; a mix of producers previously familiar to Andrew, Richard and Simon together with more recent discoveries.  Included is commentary from Andrew on each producer followed by a tasting note from Antonio Galloni.   
1.       Il Carbonaione 2010 @ £165 / 6 IB 
This is a legendary wine from the personal estate of Vittorio Fiore, one of the original wine consultants of Tuscany. Located in Greve in Chianti Classico, this is sourced from terraced vineyards which includes a large plot of 75 year old vines from the rare Sangioves di Lamole clone.

97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2010 Carbonaione (Sangiovese) is a stunner. Deep, rich and utterly impeccable, the 2010 boasts breathtaking richness, energy and power. The flavors remain incredibly primary in a wine that will require years to develop. Graphite, crushed rocks, blue/black fruit, plums and smoke emerge over time. As phenomenal as the 2010 is today, it really should be cellared for at least a few years. This is a drop dead gorgeous wine from Vittorio and Jurij Fiore. Drink: 2016-2030

2.       Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo 2010 @ £220 / 6 IB 
Fontodi are based in the fabled “conco d’oro” below Panzano in Chianti Classico. Some of the finest vineyards in Tuscany can be found in this sweeping south facing basin. Vigna del Sorbo is a single vineyard bottling from Fontodi and their finest Chianti Classico.  

96+ points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Dark, rich and powerful, the 2010 Flaccianello wraps around the palate with serious depth and density. The aromas and flavors are totally alive in the glass. Smoke, tobacco and savory herb notes add complexity over time. Initially quite muscular, the 2010 finds quite a bit of finesse with time in the glass. The 2010 Flaccianello is exceptional, but the competition is tough this year at Fontodi! Still, the sensation of tannin is virtually nonexistent in a Flaccianello that is all about elegance and pure refinement. Drink: 2018-2030

3.       Cepparello 2010 @ £240 / 6 IB 
Since taking over the family estate in the late 1970’s, Paolo de Marchi has propelled Isole e Olena to the forefront of Tuscan winemaking. Cepparello is 100% Sangiovese sourced from the best plots of their vineyards at Barberino Val d’Elsa in the north of Chianti Classico.  

96+ points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Isole e Olena's 2010 Cepparello is magnificent. In particular, I admire the way the wine fleshes out in all directions, with seemingly endless layers of dark, mineral-infused berry, plum and pomegranate notes. A primal wine in need of significant cellaring, the 2010 is easily one of the highlights of the year. Bright, saline notes support the precise finish. Today, the 2010 is naturally quite backward and undeveloped, but it should be a gem in another 5-10 years. This is an especially dark, structured Cepparello built for the cellar. The 2010 brightens up with time in the glass, but it remains one of the darker, more brooding wines made in the estate's history. Drink: 2020-2035.

4.       La Ricolma 2010 @ £250 / 6 IB 
San Giusto a Rentennano is a large 160 hectare estate in Gaiole. La Ricolma is their rarest wine sourced from a 1.5 hectare vineyard planted to Merlot. “A great source of handmade artisan wines that reflect the best of Tuscany” - Antonio Galloni.
96 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2010 La Ricolma is off the charts. A Merlot with distinctly savory Tuscan overtones, the 2010 literally jumps from the glass with layers of expressive jammy black cherries, sage, menthol and cloves. Ripe yet also structured, the 2010 is endowed with formidable tannins that will require time to soften, which they have already begun to do over the last few months. Over the last few years, San Giusto has made an effort to slow down maturation as much as possible by starting work in the vineyards late in the season and generally encouraging slow, late ripening, which is a challenge with Merlot, a precocious grape. To be sure, that is an approach that also entails considerable risk to the crop, as the likelihood of inclement weather increases as the growing season progresses. As always, the Ricolma is the most overt, fruit-driven of the San Giusto wines, but in 2010 finesse, elegance and silkiness rules the day. Wow!

5.       Pergolaia 2009 @ £65 / 6 IB 
Back in April, when we tasted Caiarossa, the top wine from this relatively modest estate (note below), we were unaware that there was a second wine but the producer sent along a sample of each. Aged in older oak barrels than the Caiarossa, the Pergolaia is much more smooth and mellow in style. 

Atlas Fine Wines
87% Sangiovese. Deep red in the glass with typical cherry fruit character on the nose. A juicy, supple blend of red and black fruits on the palate is underpinned by a silky texture.  While there is some of the lushness expected of the 2009 vintage there is also the trademark Sangiovese freshness on the finish. Drinking extremely well now but with a fruit intensity to suggest that will keep for up to two years. Drink 2013-2016.
6.       Caiarossa 2009 @ £150 / 6 IB 
Caiarossa is situated in the Val di Cecine on the Tuscan coast. It was acquired in 2004 by Eric Albade Jelgersma, the Dutch businessman who also owns the Margaux duo Chateaux Giscours and du Tertre. He has transformed the estate and it is now cultivated biodynamically.

Atlas Fine Wines
Deep in the glass, the nose reveals fresh, almost minty, pure berry and stone fruit, with the merest hint of background toast. What impresses most is the seamless, plush texture on the palate. This is an immediately expressive blend revealing a complex blend of mint, leafy blackcurrant, damson backed by a fine mineral vein. Self-evidently a ripe style, the 2009 still retains poise and doesn't suggest that it is the product of a hot vintage. The structure gradually asserts, but not in such a way as to preclude enjoyment of a young wine. The notes of dark berry and spice on the finish reveal the hand of Petit Verdot and Syrah in wine which is largely dominated by the Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. An individual wine which suggests this is an estate to watch. Drink 2013-2019.

7.       Montevertine Pergole Torte 2009 @ £330 / 6 IB
Sergio Manetti was so disillusioned with the quality of Chianti Classico back in the late 1970s that he produced his last Chianti Classico in 1981.  La Pergole Torte was originally from the single oldest vineyard, called Montevertine, but over the years it has been based on the best plots of all 15 hectares of the estate. It is an iconic wine of Tuscany.
96/100,  Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate 
The 2009 Le Pergole Torte is flat-out great. Layers of fruit wrap around the palate in this flashy, seductive Pergole Torte. There are no hard edges to be found. Sweet red cherries, roses, spices and mint are layered into the silky, radiant finish. The 2009 is a wine of extraordinary elegance. Today the 2009 comes across as a smaller scaled version of the 2007. This is also the first year of biological farming at Montevertine. Despite the heat wave in August, Martino Manetti waited until October 12 to bring the Sangiovese in. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2039.
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