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Sammarco, Castello dei Rampola..... Clos des Cortons.....


A delicious Saturday lunch at home with Dorit's brother and his family.

Three-colors Spaghetti with five different mushrooms (incl. white truffles)
1990 Sammarco, Castello dei Rampola
Vichyssoise - Leeks and potatoes cream soup
Beef fillet in wine stock, stuffed with smoked goose breast and dried tomatoes
1990 Corton 'Clos des Corton', Faiveley
Ice-cream and pineapple meringue

Sammarco 1990 Castello dei Rampola

11/2000. Bought in a restaurant(!) in Italy, Oct-00 for $41.
Some 80% Cabernet and 20% Sangiovese, the Sammarco is Castello dei Rampola's finest wine.
About six weeks ago, at a fine restaurant in Tuscany, I have had the 1990 Chianti Riserva from the same producer. It was pretty tired and obviously past its peak. Putting more faith in their Sammarco 'Super Tuscan', I bought there a bottle to take home for a more-than-reasonable price.
Boy what a difference!!
COLOR: Dense ruby-purple color. Almost no clearing around the rim
NOSE: Clean elegant nose of black forest-fruit with hints of freshly cut raw meat, some tobacco and under-played wood elements. Very stylish with a pleasant, well-defined 'personal massage'.
TASTE: Wonderfully harmonious on the palate. Concentration of ripe fruit, plenty of winyness, youthful yet tamed vigor, fine grip and focus and above all - extremely tasty. Went perfectly with the mushroom spaghetti.
LENGTH: Long pleasant and multi-flavored aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied wine. Beautifully structured with lots of stuffing. Very soft tannins support the silky fruit and winyness. A perfectly balanced harmonious nectar.
OVERALL: Outstanding!! At its peak now and will stay there for at least for a few more years.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Corton 'Clos des Cortons' 1990 J. Faiveley

11/2000. Bought at auction Aug-00 for $120.
I generally I don't consider Corton to be a true Grand Cru. The vineyard is simply too large and varied covering most of the hill of Corton. The vineyard embraces diverse soils, different altitudes and a variety of exposures to the sun. In other words, Corton as such cannot claim a unique terroir. There are many sub-plots within the Corton vineyard, and a bottle will usually carry the name of the sub-plot it was made from.
There are however two exceptions. The houses of Louis Latour and Joseph Faiveley - both large owners in the Corton vineyard - are allowed to label "brand-name" Corton Grand Cru. "Chateau Grancey" by Latour and "Clos des Cortons" by Faiveley are not names of particular Corton sub-plots. These two wines are made from varying contributions of their different holdings in the Corton Grand Cru.
While Latour's "Corton Grancey" is at best a pleasant decent (B), I consider Faiveley's "Clos des Cortons" to be the finest expression of this complex and difficult appellation.
COLOR: Nice medium red color with noticeable clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Deep nose of excellent semi-ripe fruit, damp earth, some leather and a clean, enticing 'Bourgogne Nose' to wrap it all. Really fine nose that has still some opening up to do.
TASTE: Multi-dimensional and very delicate [compared to the Sammarco]. Red fruit and spices with good, but not great, concentration. Lots of winyness there with velvety feel. Medium tannins with good acidity add dimensions to the taste. Delicious.
LENGTH: Very long and and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied (B) with fine extract and grip. Delicate yet zesty with smooth silky texture. All 'ingredients' are finely balance but they need more time to completely harmonize.
OVERALL: Superb! Will still improve for the next five years or so.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.