Up from the Cellar #2

We’re back with the second Up from the Cellar article! An extremely interesting set of wines awaits… mainly because I am not overly familiar with them. This tasting was as much as a learning curve for me as the following tasting notes will be for you.

We were celebrating a birthday of one of my closest friends who had just turned 23. So in true fashion we attempted to find bottles from his birth year, 2000. My friend has a particular love of Italy and so wanted to have an Italian dinner with, of course, Italian wines. So we duly managed to find 4 beautiful red wines from 2000 vintage.

Of course I could not let these be drunk without at least sharing some thoughts and a tasting note with you… so let's crack on.

We start with Tenuta Lamborghini… yep the very man himself. Ferruccio Lamborghini, whilst having a huge love of engines that we all know about! Grew up on a farm in Renazzo, roughly 40 kilometres north of Bologna. His father attempted to teach him the link with working in the fields and the agrarian and farming culture of the time. However, his love of engines and machines took him down a different road for many years. Decades later Ferruccio decided to separate from his companies and find a farm. He succeeded in finding a lovely plot of land near Perugia in the region of Umbria. He spared no expense and built a state of the art cellar and planted the best quality vines. Ferruccio died in 1993 but his daughter Patrizia continued the fine work that Ferruccio had started. Most of the vines were replanted with a preference for Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2015 the estate was sold to a Milan-based company run by members of the Tschang family who are continuing the project. The vineyards cover 30 hectares in total and replanting is a core commitment made by the family to continue to strive for excellence.

Next we move slightly south to Montefalco (still in Umbria). This is where Arnaldo Caprai bought 45 hectares to realise his dream of running a vineyard. This is where the native Sagrantino grape variety is used best. In 1988 Arnaldo’s son Marco took the reins and shot the vineyard into stardom having won numerous awards over many years. 

Moving further south we go to Galardi SRL, roughly 85 kilometres north of Naples in the Campania region. In 1991 six friends came together to start their dream of producing a high quality wine in the Campania area. Their vines are situated on volcanic rock descending towards the sea, the combination of both creating a perfect canvas for rich red wines.

Finally we climb back up to Piemonte where we unmask a beautiful Paolo Scavino Barolo. Founded in 1921 by Lorenzo Scavino and his son Paolo. Enrico Scavino and his two daughters, fourth generation, now run the family estate. Paolo Scavino owns 30 hectares in Barolo and works on 20 historical Barolo crus.

Just to add all of these wines were opened from magnum.

Tenuta Lamborghini Campoleone IGT Umbria 2000

50% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot. A small part of the vineyard still dates back to the 1970’s with the majority of vines being more recent plantings. After maceration and malolactic fermentation take place the grapes are aged separately for 12 months in French oak. The wine is then blended where it is left to mature for 6 months before release.

Tasting Note – Rating 94

Dried redcurrants with dark cherries and intense cedar and lead aromas. Fantastic integrated, fine tannins with good acidity (at this age!). Medium red hue which is rather impressive, really luscious and smooth, easy to drink and full of dried fruit notes with leather and cedar ever present. A medium bodied silkiness with a medium – full length finish. A beautiful wine that has aged gracefully and could probably continue for a good 3-5 years.

Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montelfaco Collepiano 2000

100% Sagrantino which spends 22 months in French oak barrels and then 6 months in bottle minimum before release.  

Tasting Note – Rating 95

Plums, dark cherries and blackcurrants. Leather, cedar and spice aromas bring a warm and inviting smell. Cloves and damson round out an intense nose. Silky smooth again, unbelievably smooth. Sour cherries are very apparent and acidity still keeping the wine ticking over nicely. Clearly a wine that was made to be aged! Tannins are so fine they are seamless, present but just aiding the body to maintain itself. Absolutely spot on, drinking beautifully.

Galardi Terra Di Lavoro 2000

Terra Di Lavoro expresses itself best in hot seasons with very little rain. It has a calibrated blend of Aglianco and Piedirosso, which appears to change every year. This is aged in new oak barriques for 12 months.

Tasting Note – Rating 97

Damson, perfumed, cloves, cedar and dried, dark fruits. Leather tightening the aromas. Extremely powerful wine, ability to continue ageing is already apparent. Fine tannins that are bold and add a good depth to the wine. Acidity really lovely and this will continue to mature for some time. A very imposing and masculine wine, poignant and elegant. Extremely impressive and I would highly recommend.   

Paolo Scavino Barolo Carobric 2000

100% Nebbiolo grape variety. Maceration and fermentation are done in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation is done in oak barrels. Every cru is kept separate and aged in French oak barrels for 10 months and a further 12 months in large casks. A final blend is then selected with the wine staying in stainless steel for a year. Once bottled the wine is aged in bottle for 10 months before release.

Tasting Note – Rating 98

Red brick colour and the aromas of an old Barolo… smoke, dark cherries and stewed plums. Cedar and pencil lead with hints of soil. Really dry… really smooth. Elegant with power that builds over time, truly exceptional. It is not overly powerful but rather reminds one of the power it did once possess, it has not entered its elegance phase as it were. Good, medium body with balance and structure, fine strong tannins. Good acidity present and this will maintain its drinking window for at least 3-5 years, most likely more! An outstanding wine.

I knew almost nothing about these wineries before tasting them. I guess, if there is a lesson, the lesson to be taken from this particular Up from the Cellar is that you can always find immense pleasure from wines that you have never heard of before. Realistically all that is required is a touch of reading beforehand from critics (in order to find good wines that you may not know) and you can be blown away by what you might find.

Our next Up from the Cellar will showcase a number of wines from 1995… which I will be tasting for my birthday as they are from my birth year!! So stay tuned and we should have that up towards the end of April.

Thank you for reading and we’ll see you next week for one of our 60th Tastings!

Harry Vernau

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