Monday, June 7, 2010

Face-Off: 2009 Coriole Sangiovese (McLaren Vale)

Last Thursday, RedtoBrown braved the torrential rain in Sydney to attend a Coriole ‘Masterclass’ at the Moncur Cellars Tasting Room. The tasting was hosted by Coriole winemaker/owner Mark Lloyd. A more detailed note will be posted in upcoming days, including our impressions of the new Coriole Sagrantino.

Over the weekend, both Red and I could not resist cracking open the 2009 Sangiovese that was handed out to attendees as part of the tasting. As a result we decided to hold an impromptu ‘Face Off’.

Brown: Firstly, for anyone wondering why the 2009 Sangiovese has come out early, Mark informed the Masterclass on the night that it was due to the 2008 vintage selling out very quickly. Demand is high, and Coriole are meeting that demand!

The 2009 Sangiovese has a nose of raspberry, slight hints of strawberry and subtle vanilla that gives way to robust savoury tannins and red fruit on the palate (at the front and on the finish), chocolate and spice. There is a taught natural citric acidity that calls for food to accompany it at this stage.

I was lucky to have tasted this over three days, and by the third day, the wine was more integrated; the acid was more stable, the tannins had softened a bit and it was drinking very nicely. I would wait a few more months for it to integrate further before cracking the wine open without food, though it shines best when accompanied with a nice Italian meal anyway.

Red: This is a wine that is faithful to both the variety and the region it is from. It has quite a fragrant nose of cherry and musk, with hints of earth, spice, and vanilla. On the palate it delivers a wine that is enjoyable to drink now, and yet has the acidity and structure to be worth putting in the cellar for a few years. It tastes of sour cherry, aniseed, earth, and a bit of chocolate. It also has citrus taste that is not unappealing. It finishes savoury and sour with some nice drying tannin. Stands well on its own two feet, but was even better when complimented with some Saltimbocca Alla Romana.

PS: For an alternative take on this wine from a fan of Sangiovese, see the review on Wine Will Eat Itself run by Jeremy Pringle (and check the blog out generally – RedtoBrown are fans).

RRP: $27
ABV: 14%

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