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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super second!

Ornellaia's 2004 Le Serre Nuove represents the pinnacle of my new found respect for the much maligned 'middle relief pitcher quality' that I've expected from 2nd wines in recent years. After surprising performances from the '03 Bordeaux baby big dogs; Les Forts, Pavillon Rouge, Bahans, and Carruades, the saucy Serre Nuove Super Tuscan punctuated a string of consecutively great second wine experiences for me.
It started w/ my surprise at the label's alcohol content, topping the charts at 14.5 plus. After decanting for two hours, the almost opaque deep purple color seeped into the glass and began to ooze one hell of a sexy bouquet. Dense but subtle, the nose was loaded w/ depth and upside. Graphite, dried fig, currant, tobacco and kalamata olives penetrated past the rim during aeration. The mid palate didn't disappoint at all as it only grew stronger with time. Beams of blackberry, rose petal, raspberry and currant ganache coasted beautifully over the tongue to reveal sweetly firm tannins that provided nice structure to the wine's endowed fruit. The finished lingered beautifully, tempting another sip.
I find wines like this, that is wines that can tread through the waters of both old world elegance and new world opulence, to be the most pleasing to my palate. While versatile w/ food and satisfying on it's own individual merit, Le Serre Nuove's 2004 example has become my king of queens for a category of wine that I'd previously relegated to 'sloppy seconds.' Bravo, 93-94 points baby!
Goodness knows what the grand vin has in store in '04...


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