Sunday, February 18, 2007

2000 La Magia Rosso di Montalcino and 2004 Vitiano (pre-b-day wines)

So… Today is my b-day and to gear up, Tahirih and I have planned an “extravagant” wild boar dinner. (I really should let up on Tahirih as far as asking her to come up with fantastic dinner to match our “special occasion” wines but… she’s up to it!). We followed a recipe from Vino Italiano, an Italian wine guide written by David Lynch (not that David Lynch) and Joe Bastianich. The recipe comes from Lydia Bastianich, cookbook author, tv star, and chef of Felidia on the Upper East side. What do you pair with wild boar? Well, they suggest a hearty Brunello and we’re planning on opening the 1998 Poggio Antico Altero.

However, we’ve been cooking all day and had to have a little something before hand. What we choose were the 2000 Rosse di Montalcine from La Magia and the 2004 Vitiano from Falesco. The later is also the wine we used to braise the boar.

The 2000 La Magia Rosso di Montalcino is not from a fantastic year but not a bad one either. However, I was actually surprised to see a 2000 Rosso in a wine store as the 2004’s are currently showing up on shelves. Rosso di Montalcino’s are the 2nd wines of the Brunello estates and are made up of grapes from younger vines and grapes not deemed of high enough quality to make it into the main bottlings. However, these wines are often a good indicator and preview of the vintage.

The 2000 La Magia we opened is brick red in color with noticeable tar and a smoky, earthy nose. Dark berry… blackberry lies just underneath. There are also some spices evident. Somewhat out of balance with high alcohol (14%). That leads to a medium finish. Not a bad wine but falls short, even if its not supposed to live up to it’s bigger brother’s Brunello’s standards. I’d give this wine a B-. It was purchased at Warehouse Wine & Spirits for $16.

The 2004 Vitiano from Falesco is typically one of my “go to” wines, always offering quality at a low price point. The Vitiano is a blend of mix of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot which is aged for a short time in oak. The wine itself has a deep purple color with an earthy, cedary nose. Bark fruit underneath… again blackberry, prunes, and spice. The wine is very nocely balanced with good “grip”, leading to a medium long finish. Very very nice and a great value. This is a solid B+ for me. This was $10, also at Warehouse Wine & Spirits.

Both wines were a nice start to the day but I’m really looking forward to the Poggio Antico. Stay tuned.

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