Sunday, January 25, 2009

Farnese Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 2004

I wrote up this review before I realized that I'd already reviewed this wine. (Yes, I'm getting to the age that Kelly knows never to start a sentence with the word "remember...") It's a bit repetitious of the earlier post - which I think is a good thing. At least I'm consistent. But since I've written this review, I might as well use it. Here it is...

Farnese made its name with very inexpensive Sangiovese, so most people might hesitate before shelling out more than $40 for a Farnese wine - but this is undoubtedly a very well made distinctly Italian wine. the "Cinque Autoctoni" refers to the five native Italian grapes used to make the wine - Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Primitivo, Malvasia Nera, and Negroamaro. The blend works very well. It has a certain full lushness that I associate particularly with Italian wine. While it is lush, it is not at all a fruit bomb - the flavours are more on the chocolate end of the spectrum.

Here is Kelly's note:

"The first thing that strikes me is coffee on the nose. I don't often detect coffee, or even mocha, so this is interesting to me. Coffee, plum, berries, spruce on the nose, then very smooth and spicy on palate, with just a hint of apparent sweetness (I say "apparent" because I know it's not really sweet) and a fine edge of underlying tannins. Lush, but just a bit on the reserved (in a way that I tend to associate with cool climate, although I'm not sure I'm right about that). Very long. Nicely balanced. There was a lot of wrong guessing and mockery involved in this tasting."

At this price I can't give this wine top marks for value, but it is reasonable value at the price and it is quite different and worth buying for that reason - or at least the '04 was. We tried the currently available 2006 "number" at the Wine Expo. Unfortunately, we didn't find it to be nearly as good. It seemed to be a much more generic "international" fruit bomb style. Perfectly good, but nothing special, especially at the price. I don't want to judge too harshly on a single glass, especially from the Wine Expo atmosphere - I'd love to hear from someone else who has tried the '06.

Incidentally, Wine Spectator also gave the 2004 at 90. The '06 hasn't been rated.

Price: $43.78
Score: 90
Value: 3/5
Region: Italy (southern)
Grapes: Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Primitivo, Malvasia Nera, and Negroamaro
Tasted: Jan 2009
UPC: 8019873924407

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