A rich and elegant old vine wine that will age well.
This year’s version is potentially brilliant, not quite as rich and sexy as the ’07, but perhaps better structured and more ageworthy. I loved the integration of its parts, the steel underlying the velvet, the ripe, full fruit and the balance. It is rich enough –while remaining elegant in the mid-palate, hardly jammy–so that you don’t at first notice the tannic hit and its bright demeanor. Indeed, it is bright and fresh, not even close to jammy. Make no mistake, too, despite the initial hit of fruit—this has a very serious backbone. As always with wines from this vintage, the ultimate proof may really be a decade or so down the road, when I would expect this old vines bottling to show more complexity and elegance as well, but this is an early wine-of-the-vintage candidate. It drank brilliantly the next day, too, still tight and still evolving. If the price tag is a little too rich for your blood, Cristiano’s ’08 Vale D. Maria is a lot cheaper and awfully fine as well.