Top wines of the SITT tasting, February 24th 2010
Here’s a selection of some of my favourite wines from today’s SITT (SITT = specialist importers trade tasting). It’s now a big tasting with many seriously interesting wines, and I just tried a small proportion of them. As a result, this is very much a personal selection, and I’m sure there were lots of fantastic wines that would deserve to be in this list but aren’t. As you’ll see, I struck some gold on the Swig table, which was laden with interesting bottles, which is why they are over-represented here.
Carlo Ferragu Valpolicella Superiore 2007 Italy
A small producer with vineyards next to those of legendary producer Romano Dal Forno. The grapes for this wine are dried for two weeks on racks. Wonderfully smooth, sweet nose of pure liqueur-like red fruits. The palate is sleek and lush, with amazingly intense pure raspberry and cherry fruit backed up by some spicy complexity. An incredible wine. 95/100 (£28.50 Swig)
Carlo Ferragu Amarone 2005 Italy
Mindblowing. Smooth, pure nose with spicy, mineralic complexity to the lush dark fruits. The palate is smooth with lovely sweet raspberry and cherry fruit and blackberry lushness with high acidity, minerals and spice. Mouthfilling and complex, this is really exciting. 96/100 (£85 Swig)
Domaine Serene Evanstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Oregon
This is incredibly good. Beautifully pure, elegant nose with beguilingly complex cherry fruit and fine spiciness. The palate is concentrated yet elegant with sweet ripe cherry and spice notes. Just so smooth and refined, a really serious effort. 95/100 (£42 Swig)
Pyramid Valley Growers Collection Calvert Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Central Otago, New Zealand
Very pure, elegant smooth fruit with meaty, spicy notes in the background adding savoury interest. Focused, elegant palate is densewith nice presence and raspberry and plum fruit. Dense but pure, this works really well. 94/100 (£30 Swig)
Stéphane Montez Syrah Les Hauts du Monteillet 2007 Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, Northern Rhône
Beautiful meaty, savoury, peppery nose is perfumed and floral. Unmistakably Northern Rhône. The palate is savoury, meaty and spice with lovely meaty, bloody depth to the plum and raspberry fruit. Thrilling stuff. 93/100 (£15.95 Swig)
Cantina Ciolli Silene Olevano Romano doc di Cesanese 2006 Italy
This is just fantastic stuff: a varietal Cesanese. Pale cherry red colour. Wonderfully sweet, complex cherry and herb nose with cured meat and a hint of manure character. The palate is sweet and elegant with lovely precision to the cherry fruit with complex herby, sappy, spicy notes adding real interest. I love it. 93/100 (£13.50 Swig)
Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2004 Tuscany, Italy
A small production (564 cases) gem. Beautifully focused and elegant with lovely structure and density. This manages to be firmly tannic and elegant at the same time, in the way that only top Italian reds seem to manage. Notes of cherries, herbs, spice and minerals. A thrilling wine. 95/100 (£68 Swig)
Galena 2006 Priorat, Spain
From a small old vineyard of 5 hectares. Distinctive Priorat nose: mineral, focused red berry fruits with notes of herbs, leather and spice. The palate is dense and tannic, but still fresh and elegant. Lovely spicy, mineralic structure underpins the red fruits. Serious stuff with ageing potential. 94/100 (£22.50 Great Western Wine)
Celler El Masroig Ètnic Vinyes Antigues 2006 Montsant, Spain
A blend of 85% Samsó (Carignan) and 15% Garnatxa (Grenache) aged in French oak. Very sweet, lush, pure cherry and blackberry fruit with some savoury, spicy notes. The palate is pure with intense spicy, minerally notes complementing the ripe, sweet fruit. Beautiful definition here. 94/100 (Indigo Wine)
Raúl Pérez Ultreia Saint Jacques 2008 Bierzo, Spain
Lovely pure, elegant nose with smooth cherry and berry fruit. The palate is supple and fresh with focused, smooth berry fruits. Stylish with lovely precision. Understated and fine. 93/100 (Indigo Wine)
Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard 2005 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
This is developing beautifully. Focused dark fruits nose with some fine blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, and dark, gravelly definition. The palate is smoothly fruited, yet gravelly and minerally at the same time. Delicious stuff with real focus, beginning to develop nicely. 93/100 (£16.99 Louis Latour)
Tarras Vineyards The Canyon Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago, New Zealand
Beautifully focused, aromatic nose with nice depth to the meaty dark cherry and berry fruit. The palate shows lovely structure and elegance, with dense but expressive cherry and berry fruits. Impressive stuff. 94/100 (Specialist Vineyards)
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago, New Zealand
Super-elegant cherry fruit nose with lovely purity and perfume. The palate is complex and structured with nice focus and mineral and spice notes alongside the taut, focused cherry fruit. A superb Pinot. 94/100 (£25 Specialist Vineyards)
8 thoughts on “Some lovely wines tasted at SITT”
Yes, those Ferragu wines are stunning! It’s rare that I buy wines over £50, but the plastic had to be flexed with that Amarone (and the Valpol)…
Sagra del Cesanese
Festival of the Cesanese grape in Olevano Romano. It’s all in Italian so I couldn’t understand any more than music, dancing, and wine.
I agree entirely regarding the Swig table. I tried their wines in Manchester on Monday and am in the middle of writing my own blog post about their table!
I left the wines of Adi Badenhorst out, which I’ll be writing up separately. They were also great, presented by the dude himself
Hey, thanks for coming to SITT. Yes the quality of wines as stunning as ever! and great support from everyone which makes all the hard work worthwhile. Cheers
Judy – awesome event, as usual. You are a superstar.
Excellent selection of wines, in particular the Celler El Masroig Ètnic was knock out as were the new vintages from Tarras Estate
I had the remains of a bottle of Tarras 2008 which had been opened for 4 days yesterday. Although showing a tad of (understandable) oxidation the palate was superb, round and smooth, still bursting with sweet cherry and plum fruit sprinkled with a dusting of dried herb. Same winemaker as Wooing Tree, Carol Bunn, who really knows her stuff.