Tasting Tuscany

The Madison Tasters Club is a monthly tasting group comprised of non-industry, non-professional consumers of wine. The group is moderated by a professional Sommelier who selects the evening’s wines. Each month the group will taste six selections with a specific theme. The goal of the Madison Tasters Club is to educate, evaluate and create tasting notes to share the consumer’s perspective with a broader audience on the Bottle Pros blog.

The fourth gathering of the Madison Tasters Club was on February 27th with the topic, Tasting Tuscany. The group was asked specific questions about each wine regarding visual, aromatic and palate impressions. Notes have been compiled based on the group’s impressions with the most common answers used as well as a few quotes from participants.

Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Vermentino 2016

Technical Data: This wine is comprised of 100% Vermentino grapes from the Bolgheri DOC in Tuscany.  Each individual vineyard parcel underwent temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks prior to final blending.

Group Impressions: The wine has green hues in color and a moderately pronounced bouquet. Aromas of citrus fruits and peach were found on the nose with guava and grapefruit on the palate. The wine is light bodied with a subtle grassy/hay element. It has a flinty minerality, is “light”, “bright” and “clean”.

 Quotes :

“This is a great, different, solid white wine, light, summery”

“I would like it cold with lobster in summer.”

“It’s light and refreshing-by the pool drink.”

WINE SELECTION: Tenuta Dell’Ornellaia le Volte 2016

This Super Tuscan blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon from Bolgheri is produced by the famous house of Ornellaia e Masseto. The wineis aged for 10 months, partly in barrique used for Ornellaia and partly in cement tanks, to obtain the perfect balance between tannic structure and an expression of fresh fruit.

Group Impressions: The wine poured ruby in color and offered a bouquet of red fruits accented with pepper spice. The group found Le Volte to be medium bodied with flavors of currant, black cherry and tobacco. It has a subtle smoky nature and pepper spice.

 Quotes :

“It would pair nicely with a Ribeye”

“Medium bodied, lovely after finish.”

“Beautiful wine, great with any Tuscan dinner around a table with friends.”

Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale 2015

A Chianti Classico comprised of  95% Sangioveto and 5% Canaiolo that was aged 18 months in 1 to 2 year old 225 liter French oak barrels then rested in bottle for another 16 months prior to release.

Group Impressions:  Garnet in hue this Chianti is bright with lively acidity and loaded with red fruit aromas. On the palate red cherry, raspberry and plum are accented with hints of pepper and clove and leather characters.

Quotes :

“It’s quite lively.”

“Great with Taleggio.”


Mocali Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso grown in galestro soils at an altitude of 400m. Mocali uses all estate grown fruit which is aged in large Slavonian oak for one year then transferred to large French oak casks for an additional two years before bottling.

Group Impressions: Garnet to brown in color this mouth-filling red has aromas of black cherry and plum with notes of sweet tobacco. The palate reveals plum and blackberry fruit with tannins that provide weight and structure to the wine. The group agreed that the wine was mouth-filling with a long pleasant finish. 

Quotes :

“It’s full, complex and has a long finish.”

“”I close my eyes and I’m in Florence, gorgeous wine makes my tongue happy.”

“It dances on your tongue.”

Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015

The village of Montepulciano in Tuscany produces Vino Nobile, a wine made from primarily Sangiovese known in this region as Prugnolo Gentile. This particular wine is a blend of 85% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile), the remainder Colorino, Canaiolo and Mammolo matured from 18 to 24 months then aged for several months in bottle before release.

Group Impressions: A full bodied red with pronounced tannins and big berry character. Black cherry and pomegranate rise from the glass with spice notes of clove and anise. The palate is dense with ripe cherry fruit and bakery spice nuances. This is a BIG wine with full tannins and a long life ahead.

Quotes :

“Big wine w/a big meal. I would cellar this wine!!”

“Nose is divine, big fat red berries.”

“Needs aging but just as sweet as a young lady!”

Felsina, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2006

An exceptional dessert wine comprised of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Sangiovese. After rigorous selection, the clusters are subjected to a natural drying process on mats, until January-February of the following year. They are fermented in sealed, 100 litre oak casks containing the “mother”, a thick substance remaining from previous vintages. The wine ages for 7 years before bottling then for a minimum of 6 months in bottle before release.

Group Impressions: Pouring a lovely amber color this Vin Santo has a pronounced bouquet of apricot and honeysuckle. The palate is sweet but not cloying with layers of flavors including; honey, apricot, fig, raisin and almond.

 Quotes :

“It’s sweet but not too sweet, just right!”

“Lovely- not too sweet- not thick/syrupy, enjoyable.”

“This is a fun way to celebrate dessert w/ friends. Love it w/the biscotti.”