Thursday, March 12, 2009

2003 Poggio Amorelli Oracolo Toscana IGT

Type Red
Producer Poggio Amorelli
Variety Super Tuscan Blend
Designation Oracolo
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Appellation Toscana IGT

The Wooden Guys did not get to try the wine, since we had it at Wine at Work Wednesday, and man are they going to be upset when they read this. Go buy this wine. Seriously, buy it. Study it. Drink half a bottle and have the other half on Night Two. This is a case study in how a wine can change, and how a dozen different aromas and flavors can knit together with some time and air.

Night One

The nose on this wine is absolutely wild. The first whiff will make you look up and say "hmmmmmmm" out loud. After that, it is a search to match the aromas with something familiar. Menthol? Absolutely. Lemon grass and asian spices? What the heck is that doing in there, floating above the glass like a bowl of Vietnamese soup? Chestnuts. Chestnuts?! Then the fruit, some white raisins, perhaps. There is also licorice, the real stuff, not the artificial candy.

The palate is just as odd. It definitely presents the taste of raisins, but it still has the odd predominate lemon grass and other asian spices taste of a Vietnamese restaurant. It offers huge changes on the mid-palate. Menthol pops out, followed by licorice. The very end of the mid-palate offers the crusty end of a leg of lamb. The finish is long, tannins strong but silky smooth and balanced by good acid. On Night One tasting, it seems like it would have lots of cellar life left.

Night Two

This has not changed a tremendous amount since Night One. The "Vietnamese Restaurant" nose is there, even stronger than before. The asian spices, not hot Szechuan, but exotic, are stronger, particularly on the sides of the tongue. Menthol faded a bit from Night One, but the spices are explosive.

On the palate, the spices run through the jars in your pantry though the hidden leaves and powders in the back of a restaurant with whole ducks hanging by their necks from the rafters and half a dozen woks going at once. White raisins become mulberry for just an instant, then shifts to natural licorice toward the finish.

This is good. This is far better than the 87 from Wine Spectator, but the whole shift from "interesting" to "really good" came on Night Two, so that is understandable. On Night One it threw a dozen things at you, but on Night Two those dozen things knit together into a smooth arc. This is the sort of wine an oenophile can spend hours studying, picking out different flavors and aromas, tasting it as it changes, minute by minute, and most important, from one day to the next.

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