Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2002 Vincere - We Meet Again

Vincere, our estate-grown homage to super-Tuscan style wine, started life as an accompaniment to Osso Buco that my friend, Marcello Fiorentino, was making for a dinner we were doing at his great restaurant, La Sirena. The first vintage, 2000, was a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet.

We named the wine after Marcello at first. "Marcellaia" labels had label approval, were printed even, when we got the call from Engulf & Devour Winery (not its real name) threathening a lawsuit if we continued using this name (in their mind, close to the spelling - but not the pronunciation - of one of their wines) after the first vintage. We decided to change the name...Vincere means to overcome, to win, to be the best...a really good name, I think.

Anyway, to the wine...the 2002 vintage was one of our best overall harvests. The year was fairly cool and fruit hung a long time, gaining complexity and great flavors while sugar levels rose slowly. After making many mock blends, I decided on a 60%/40% Sangiovese/Cabernet mix.

Until yesterday, I had not had this vintage for several years. I have always advocated drinking our red wines younger than older so that all the wonderful fruit and structure can still be enjoyed. With a preponderance of Sangovese, a grape with great acidity but fairly mild tannin, I was even more vociferous in my early-drinking suggestion.

Well, shows how much I know. The 2002 was a revelation. The nose was full of dried cherry fruit, dried rose-petals, tar, leather. In the mouth, the wine had a wonderful, silky mouth-feel, still-evident tannin and beautiful acid. The fruit was gorgeous and very complex. In fact, I think this wine has several more years ahead of it.