|~ A Little Testamatta Anyone? ~|
Throughout the Brunello zone, there are tiny vineyards with unique exposure, but few are smaller than Vigna Schiena d'Asino on the Mastrojanni Estate. At only 1 hectare, a paltry 2 1/2 acres, this vineyard is tucked away neatly amid sloping ridges and produces one of the finest Brunello I've tasted.
With Bistecca alla Fiorentina, we put the 2006 Mastrojanni Brunello Vigna Schiena d'Asino to the test. It took names and prisoners. A deep garnet red in color, we decanted it for almost an hour. The wine is already throwing a chunky coffee grind like sediment, so I'd definitely recommend decanting. The aromas are full and expansive with flowers, mushrooms, sweet pipe tobacco and crushed berries. It's gorgeous to smell. On the palate the wine is still very youthful and presents full bodied, ripe, juicy flavors of red fruits, anise, tobacco and dusty earth. It's powerful and elegant and retains freshness with wonderful acid and tannic structure. It's hard to imagine a better pairing with Fiorentina. A "wow" wine for sure. Drink now, or cellar for up to 10 years. 96 points, SRP ~ $100. Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.
|~ The Vigna Schiena d'Asino bears the Black Wax Seal ~|
Next up was a bottle of rosso from crazed artist turned winemaker, Bibi Graetz. Testamatta, literally "Crazy Head", is a wine that is anything but wild and crazy. In fact, it's elegant, refined and racy. Made from 100% Sangiovese from old vines near Fiesole, the 2005 Testamatta is a dark blackish red. The wine is perfumed with berries, anise and flowers. Fresh herbs of sage, and forest notes accent the palate where a solid core of cherry fruit is center stage. The key characteristic here is the racy, sleekness of the fruit. It's very elegant, and refined on the palate. While delicious, this bottle doesn't have the exuberance or the power of a previous bottle tasted in April. Paired wonderfully with Fava Bean Risotto topped with Prosciutto and shaved Parmigiano cheese. 92 points, about $75.
|~ Old Vine Sangiovese from Fiesole ~|
|~ Fava, Prosciutto & Reggiano Risotto ~|