Falchini, Podere Casale 1, Riserva, DOC Vin Santo del Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, 2008
Compared to a Tokaji 5 puttonyo, this wine has a more restrained nose with a more oxidised madeira character – boal-like perhaps, showing dried and nuts amongst others, rather than the opulent pronounced nose of a Tokaji, blasting out botrytised notes of rich sweet orange marmalade, warm over-ripe pineapple, over-ripe yellow peach and so on. Vin Santo is made in a medium-sweet to sweet style (though dry is possible), in comparison to the sweet character of a 5 puttonyo wine.
This wine: Aged in small wooden casks (caratelli) in lofts (see Vin Santo entry), without topping up, for 4 years, a blend of trebbiano and malvasia, natural cork closure, 15.5% abv, Delilahs, 375ml, £18
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears
Nose: clean on the nose, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas of low-level volatile acidity and a rich yet indistinct floral note, dried pineapple, bitter orange marmalade, stewed yellow peach, dried citrus peel, prune, rich honey, a hint of coconut, oxidised dried nutty notes, and a fragrant woody note.
Palate: a medium-sweet wine, with medium (+) acidity, a very low-key gummy grip from time in oak, high alcohol, a full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth oily texture, with flavours of baked peach, bitter orange marmalade, warm honey and warm nuts. A long length with a clean fresh dried pineapple and dried orange finish, with a slight bitterness on the end.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with fresh acidity almost perfectly balancing the residual sugar, leaving an almost clean palate on spitting. An oxidised slightly madeira/sherry-like character, quite intense on the nose and mid-palate, with concentrated flavours, following through to the long length. A fully developed wine showing a good level of complexity with tertiary oxidised baked, dried fruit and nutty notes.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this fully developed wine will hold for 5-10 years, and whilst having a good structure of acidity, lots of intensity and complexity, will not improve.