. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: Montevertine Fest

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Montevertine Fest

Thanks to Alessandro Lunardi, a long-time friend through the wine world, I recently had the opportunity to taste a vertical of Pergole Torte from 1983 to 2001. Alessandro was kind enough to invite me to his house on Saturday to crack open several bottles of one of the wines that changed the history of all Italian wines.
For the occasion, I put a sign on the store door announcing that it would be closed for the following hour or so, then I jumped on my Vespa and in the London-like rain, rode to Varick where Alessandro has a beautiful loft. Elizabeth, Alessandro's wife, welcomed me and I got my precious goblet and started to stare at all the labels. Alberto Manfredi is the artist that creates a different painting for every new vintage of the Montevertine monster's label, it is actually fun for vinophiles to try to call the year just by looking at the label. The very first time I tried this 100% Sangiovese from Radda in Chianti was almost a decade ago. I was with my friend Frasca, while helping to prune a part of a friends of him woods. Yes you heard right - we drank a case of 1993 Le Pergole Torte in the middle of the woods. And to tell the truth we didn't even have glasses so we drank "contadino" style - directly from the bottle. It was an amazing experience - the only problem was that after a while it became very difficult to use the scissors without the risk of chopping off pieces of fingers with the branches.
Going back to the veritable vertical Sangiovese orgy: this is a list of the wines Alessandro served:
Le Pergole Torte 2001
Le Pergole Torte 1999
Le Pergole Torte 1998 magnum
Le Pergole Torte 1997
Le Pergole Torte 1993
Le Pergole Torte 1992

Le Pergole Torte 1990
Le Pergole Torte 1988 12-Liter
Le Pergole Torte 1987 magnum
Il Cannaio 1997
Il Sodaccio 1987
Montevertine Riserva 1990
Montevertine 1983

Overall, the wines were in spectacular condition. Some were showing some age signs, mushroom flavors and pale color, but some others were absolutely fantastic. In particular, the Il Sodaccio 1987, along with Le Pergole Torte 1988 and 1995 had something more than the others.
I'd like to say something about the vintages, especially for the critics; 1985 for the so-called Supertuscans was an excellent year (famous is the 1985 Sassicaia, the "pinnacle wine of its generation"). In reality, 1985 didn't have the aging potential of the 1988 or the 1995 which have been forgotten by the media and the critics. I remember when the 1995 Brunello were released in 1999. They were tight, tannic, bitter and closed, which is probably why most of the critics didn't made much of the year. In reality the vintage was spectacular... as a matter of fact, the 1995 Le Pergole Torte was showing what Tuscan Sangiovese is really all about; layers and layers of cherry, leather and big old barrel spice. The acidity was still bright, and there were mature tannins that were still biting, and exceptional. The 1988 was somehow similar, more developed than the 95 but still very vibrant and youthful. The cherry on the top of it all, so to speak, was watching Klaus (up to 2005, he was responsible for the estate) open up the Salmanazar and pouring it very carefully into several different decanters, making sure that the sediment didn't stir from the bottom of the bottle.
Il Cannaio 1997 was also in spectacular condition. This wine was made exclusively for Giorgio Pinchiorri, owner of the Enoteca Pinchiorri, which is one of the few 3 star Michelin Italian restaurants.
The time I had was, as it was always destined to be, sadly finished, and I had to leave the party to go back to the store. I had a big smile on my face and a renewed love toward one of the wines that made history in Italy, and all over the world. I would like to thank Alessandro and Elizabeth for being kind enough to invite me into their house and share so many great bottles.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti.


Alfonso Cevola said...

what's with the Wingdings, dude?

De Vino said...

That's Klaus man :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Gabrio, so nice of you to post this ... it was a memorable day! and it will not be the last. I am going to email you more pics. Ciao!