So I’ve been holding onto this post for a while—since my birthday weekend in October, to be exact— because I knew it would take some time to write and it deserved some love. I’ve started a new and dangerous hobby—finding old vintages on WineBid. I’ve been spending way too much time, and money, there (nervous laugh). I’ve got a $30 off referral code, by the way, and no, this isn’t sponsored. I actually shop there a lot (nervous laugh).
That fabulous weekend, we opened up a couple of older vintages to commemorate my old ass. We decanted both and then I continued to taste them over the next couple of days.
Marchesi Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Concerto Vino da Tavola 1988
The first was birth year wine (yay)—Marchesi Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Concerto Vino da Tavola 1988 from WineBid. “Concerto” was born in 1981, as an effect of a viticulture becoming aware of its potential, experimenting new training systems and new blends, including also non-autochthonous varietals. It was one of the forerunners and also a major player of the “Super Tuscans” phenomenon.
Upon opening: The cork was pretty intact, and the bottle was full of sediment goodness. Made with Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, it still had nice tannins, life, and structure in it.
Next day: I sat at my kitchen counter with a whole lot of time and a notepad in hand. The color was more on tawny side, but it still had a bit of garnet left in it. On the nose, at first I got caramel, ripe red fruit and then more leather and meat. On the mouth, it was medium bodied, dry, high acidity with red plum, red cherry, a little herbal like mint, and maybe a dark berry. It was still pretty tannic with high alcohol and a long finish.
Third day: The nose was still fresh. At first there was more fruit and then savory smells started floating out of the wine glass. The mouth was similar to the tasting before.
Maison Bertrand Ambroise Nuits Saint Georges 1993
My girl Amanda brought this one from Sunset Corners—a Maison Bertrand Ambroise Nuits Saint Georges 1993. The origin of the domain goes back to the 18th century, where only some small parcels were worked for several generations. After 300 years, the whole Ambroise family settled down in Premeaux-Prissey, a small village near Nuits-Saint-Georges in the heart of the Hautes Cotes de Nuits appellation, where the best wines produced in the village can bear the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation. In 1987, Bertrand Ambroise took back the domain, which he developed and it now reaches approximately 52 acres.
Upon opening: The wine started off with some smoke and evolved in the glass throughout the night with the fruit shining through.⠀⠀
Next day: The color, like the other, was more on the tawny side but this one looked more cloudy. On the nose, it was ripened red fruit, smoke, and earth. When I revisited the nose later on, it still had smoke but more sweetness like a caramel. Then eventually more forest floor. On the mouth, it was dry, medium bodied, medium tannin, high acidity, and medium alcohol with a long finish. It tasted like dried Red cherry and strawberry. It was showing more fruit this day than the prior night with less smoke.
Third day: On the nose, it showed more leather and forest floor. After a while, fruit came through. The mouth was still similar enough to the tasting the night before.
Both were delicious and, thankfully, not corked! What is the oldest vintage you’ve tried?