My third visit to Case Basse and the first that I have blogged. The company I work for represents Soldera in Asia and as the resident Italian “nut” in the office I am delighted that I get the call to visit. It is a unique site and Mr Soldera is a wonderful, and often miss understood, man. It was also special this trip to meet Monica and see that the future of this great estate it in terrific hands.
Having flown out to Rome on Sunday we got up early on the Monday morning in time to be at Case Basse for 11am. Driving up through some of the most glorious countryside, you get taken as you approach Montalcino by how there are pockets planted to vine. This is nothing like the continuous vineyards of Bordeaux or Burgundy (and no I am not saying they are the same!). There are clear choices of where Sangiovese will work and were it won’t.
After a meeting we went down to the cellar to taste the 2014 we had been discussing:
2014 Tasted from Botti – Primary, fresh, pure and silky but at some cost, only about 5000 bottles will be produced as it was a year when there was a lot of water both in the winter before (2013-2014) and in the summer. Rich yet fresh red cherry fruit with a clean and long finish, this will gain weight and depth in cask…exciting.
From the estate we then went to see the brilliant Roberto Rossi at his il Silene restaurant. It was wonderful to hear he had got his first Michelin star – frankly I assumed from the previous meals I’ve had there that he had 1 or 2 already. With a lovely elegant lunch, and some of Roberto’s legendary olive oil we had three wines.
2007 – Immediately lovely, some dark cherry fruit with a savoury lift but then more red fruit shows, lovely balance as always – total balance in fact. A dash of vanolin that leaves quickly, heady yet pure at the same time with such poise. There is some grip but it is so pure that you are almost unaware of it, lifted cool red fruit again at the end, it actually tightened up over lunch, got a shade more dense. Very impressive indeed…
2008 – Richness and immediately a more masculine persona, the fruit is darker cherry with a shade of black fruit but then there is a cool minerality, stones and wet earth as well as saline that freshens the dense fruit and adds vibrancy. There is a wonderful savoury dimension to this wine, there are layers it has, and places it will go that are so very exciting…intense yet light on “it’s toes”…my note finishes “Wonderful”… 2007 & 2008 were bottled Feb 2014
1985 Intistieti, this was one barrel that was ready for bottling after 3 years in cask. Picked on 8th October 2007 at which time they were still dressed for high summer. This had a degraded leathery sweetness and life, there is a lightness of touch, very special to drink this wine.
From there is was a rush back to Rome airport. I always leave this particular trip with a massive smile on my face…wines, people, opinion and laughter…
|Some of Roberto’s brilliant pasta…