Monday, May 23, 2011

Moscadello di Montalcino: The Wines Presented in 2011

Montalcino's Moscadello, is, as its name suggests, a Moscato, and like most Moscato, is sweet. When I first tasted it, many years ago, two wineries in Montalcino made sparkling Moscadello, which somewhat resembles Moscato D'Asti, though it's a little more charged: Banfi and Il Poggione. Everyone else made Moscadello Passito, which is more concentrated, sweeter, and more alcoholic.

Since then Banfi has joined the Passito camp, leaving Il Poggione alone in making sparkling Moscadello.

A word about the vintages. Since Il Poggione is sparkling, with the emphasis being on freshness of nose and palate, it's a vintage wine -- in this case the 2010. However, passiti can be aged prior to release, and since the regulations governing production do not say for how long, it's up to the winemaker. Here the vintages range from 2009 to 2003, and one wine is non-vintage, in other words likely a blend of more than one vintage.

The wines are in the order they were poured.

The Wines, Tasted February 2011:

Tenute Silvio Nardi Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2007
Elegant gold with lively golden reflections and brassy highlights. The bouquet is powerful, with honey and honeysuckle supported by ripe candied apricots (no greenness) and sunny sweetness. A solar wine. On the palate it's full, rich, and sweet, with elegant sweet apricot and plum fruit supported by clover honey sweetness and by a far amount of warmth that gives nice depth and definition, and it flow into a long sweet apricot finish with dome dusky clover honey for definition. Quite pleasant in a fairly direct key, and if you like sweet wines you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Villa Poggio Salvi Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2003
Golden amber with brilliant golden reflections. The bouquet is intense, with and quite a bit of alcohol, mingled with the bitterness of hazelnut shells. It's more penetrating, and not entirely sweet. On the palate it's rich and sweet, with powerful dried fruit, dates and some figs, supported by dried apricot warmth, and by, as it flows into the finish, dusky walnut skin bitterness and some savory notes that give definition. It's more complex than some, and much richer on the palate than I expected form the nose; it will work very well with cheeses, including piquant herbed cheeses such as gorgonzola.
2 stars

Banfi Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Brassy yellow with brilliant brassy reflections and brassy rim. The bouquet is muted at first swish, while subsequent swishing brings up an unusual mix of honeydew melon and floral pungency with spun sugar and some greenish vegetal accents that bring squash rind to mind. Nice depth and quite sweet. On the palate it's full, rich, and sweet, with dried apricot fruit supported by butteriness and some savory hazelnut accents that add depth, while it resolves into a warm sweet dried apricot finish. Pleasant, in a bit more direct key than some, and will work well as a dessert wine, though I would be more tempted to serve it with a selection of mild to piquant herbed cheeses.
2 stars

Camigliano Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG
This is non-vintage
Pale brassy yellow with brilliant brassy pastel yellow reflections. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish vegetal accents and moderate sweetness. It's more vegetal and less sweet than the others, though as it opens some greenish honeydew melon does emerge. On the palate it's rich and sweet, with ample honeydew melon supported by vegetal accents and sweetness, while there is also some fairly green acidity -- melon rind? -- that provides direction, and it flows into a clean fairly sweet finish with some dusky tannic underpinning and slight peppery spice. It goes in a slightly different direction than the others, working more with the other vegetal elements than with sweetness and fruit, and will work well with cheeses.
2 stars

Capanna Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2009
Tawny brassy gold with brassy reflections. the bouquet is fairly intense, with fairly intense sweetnes smingled with floral accents and some herbs, in particular there herbal floral aromas one finds in some detergents. They work better here and are much more inviting. On the palate it's lighter than many, and sweet, with apricot fruit that gains direction from some dusky almost walnut skin bitterness, and flows into a fairly long warm honeydew melon finish. It's pleasant, but I ofund it a little thin, and it seems to strive a touch.
1 star

Capanna Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG Vendemmia Tardiva 2008

Tawny amber with brilliant apricot reflections. The bouquet is powerful and quite sweet, with loquat and candied apricot mingling with honeydew melon and a great deal of sweetness that almost brings to mind a vat of nougat being stirred. Very sweet. On the palate it's full and rich, with powerful dried apricot supported by considerable honey-laced sweetness, while there are some dusky tannins that provide boundaries, and there's fairly rich acidity to provide direction, and it flows into a long warm sweet finish with apricots that gradually settle into warmth. Beautiful and if you like sweet passito type wines you will enjoy this tremendously, because it has depth as well as sweetness.

Caprili Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2010
Pale brassy white with fine perlage that foams up and settles. The bouquet is rich, with honeysuckle and honey mingled with slight green apple and some savory notes; freshness in a glass and pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's rich and creamy, with sweet honeydew melon supported by honeydew melon acidity and a creamy fullness, while there is a slight pepperiness form the sparkle, which leads into a long sweet finish with some banana notes. Very pleasant in a charged rich key, and the ideal wine to drink well chilled on a hot day, either on a patio or at poolside. You do have to like rich sweet wines, because it takes the concept to an extreme.
2 stars

Il Poggione Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2010
Pale brassy white with fine perlage that foams up and settles, though some fine bubbles to continue to rise. The bouquet is powerful, and sweet with greenish accents that bring honeydew melon rind or very green apricot to mind mingled with some floral accents. It's more complex than the Caprili, and not as sweet. On the palate it's rich, with full honeydew melon that gains depth from greenish accents, and also from slight hints of granny smith apple, and creamy fullness from the sparkle, which is a little more pronounced than the Caprili's, and it flows into a clean bright finish with candied orange peel and honeydew melon acidity that continues at length. It's creamier than most Moscato d'Asti, and quite rich, and if you like sweet sparkling wines it will be very nice at poolside or on the patio at dusk un summer, and will also work well with piquant creamy cheeses of the greener moldy varieties. If you like this kind of wine you will enjoy it very much.

La Poderina Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG
Lively brassy yellow with golden reflections. The bouquet is rich, with lsightly greenish honeydew melon supported by a fair amount of alcohol and honeysuckle, and also by considerable sweetness. It's quiet rich, though there are vegetal notes as wlel, and it doesn't revolve exclusively arounf fruit and sweetness. On the palate it's full and rich, with powerful honeydew melon supported by considerable sweet ness and dried apricot acidity and warmth that flow into a sweet slightly greenish dried apricot finish. Quite pleasant with considerable depth,a nd will drink very well with aged or piquant cheeses, or be a pleasant wine to sip with like minded friends far from the table.
2 stars

Mocali Moscadello di Montalcino DOCG 2006
Lively tawny gold with tawny dried apricot reflections and slight greenish highlights. The bouquet is intense, and decidedly herbal -- green aromatic herbs -- and fairly bright mineral accents; it's going in a slightly different direction than the others, though there is also some sweetness to it. On the palate it's it's ample and bright with savory herbal accents mingled with apricot sweetness and some slightly bitter vegetal notes, and also some hazelnut skins, while there is also considerable sweetness and warmth, and a fair amount of dried apricot acidity that carries it forward and provides direction. It's interesting, and continues the different path it established on the nose; it's a bit more particular and a bit less approachable than the others, but if you like sweet wines and enjoy conversing with them you will find it has a fair amount to say. If you simply want a sweet wine and little thought it won't work as well for you.
2 stars

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