Saturday, October 4, 2014

1998 I Balzini Super Tuscan Blend

Here we are, the first Saturday of October, which of course means it's Cellar Saturday!  And thank goodness for that, since over the past 24 hours it seems like we've gone from summer right into the depths of fall!  It was about 75 and rainy with a lot of humidity, and right now it's 43 and raining, heading to a low of 37 tonight!  Perfect weather for a hearty super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese (50%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (50%)!  This bottle was a part of a vertical that I bought from Wines Till Sold Out that included the 1997 (you can see my review of this one here), 1998, 1999 and 2001.

I opened this bottle a few hours ago and let it breathe a bit rather than decanting.  The wine is a lovely deep ruby color in the glass.  The nose is somewhat rustic, with some aromas of barnyard, leather and cedar intermingled with some ripe berry and plum notes.  The taste is quite nice, with some lovely mint and fruit, blackberry, cherry and raisin, up front that transitions to some iron, mineral and spice notes midpalate.  The finish is rather subdued, with mellow tannins supporting a smooth, very dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it just doesn't seem as nice as the '97.  Tonight I am enjoying this one with a wonderful grilled New York strip on a bed of baby kale with an aged white balsamic, a baked potato and some steamed green beans, a perfect fall dinner, with some big flavors that play very nicely with a more mature wine like this one.  Cheers!

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