Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Underwood 07 - Toscana

Our second evening's feast at Underwood was more traditional, certainly in terms of the Sangiovese-based wine pairings. We prepared simply seasoned but well marbled ribeye steaks, oven roasted potatoes with olive oil, sliced heirloom tomatoes and basil (both from my garden), sauteed snowpeas with heirloom garlic, and a tossed salad with garden veggies.

Our wine journey began with Marchesi Antinori's Chianti Classico Riserva 2000. While I had many of Antinori's "Super-Tuscans" as well as wines from his Puglian properties, his Chianti was new to me. And not surprisingly, it was beautiful. Ruby red with bright cherry fruit, well-balanced acidity and plenty of those leathery-tobacco notes. I did note, however, that it was fuller bodied than most Chianti, certainly from traditional producers.

While everyone was enjoying their first wine, I began the arduous process of removing the traditional wax seal closure on our next wine: a jeroboam (3L) of Poggio Amorelli Oracolo 2003. While I had removed the wax seal closure on large-format bottles previously, it is never any easier the next time. In fact, it is usually tedious and always messy. But the process is generally rewarding and it certainly was this time. While I missed the opportunity to visit this property in Castellina in Chianti, I have always loved wines from this producer which include an amazing Chianti as well. The beautifully named Oracolo from Poggio Amorelli is technically a "Super-Tuscan" despite being 100% Sangiovese and traditionally styled. The 2003 has a rich garnet color with an intense earthy, leathery nose and gobs of ripe cherry berry fruit on the palette with all components in remarkable balance (amazing considering the 2003 vintage) and a long, silky finish. The wine practically screams grilled meats! While perhaps not the best vintage ever, this wine is truly noteworthy. And that was a good thing considering we had copious amounts of the Oracolo to drink.

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