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Impressions from Tasting Querce Bettina today
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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of this relatively new Estate in Montalcino. I had the distinct priviledge to taste many vintages with the winemaker (Frederico) today at the Estate. Roberto and Sandra were in Milano selling their wine. First let me begin with the wines in bottle:

2009 Rosso di Montalcino - A relatively simple version of RsM. 2009 was a difficult vintage for all in the region and the Rossi that I have tasted are thinner across the board. Not a bad wine, just not of the same quality as we have seen with the recent run of success. This would be a nice pizza night wine and I would drink up now. It also suffered by being tasted with the wines that followed.

2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - What a blockbuster. The wine was popped and poured. The nose was intoxicating. So elegant with fresh red fruit, leather, and slight vanilla which is interesting since QB BdM only see time in Slovenian oak, no barrique. The wine was perfectly balanced on the palate with the fruit, acidity, and tannins in great balance. I don't know when the wine will close down but right now it is very expressive. I tasted the '06 Riserva approx. 18 months ago with Jochems at the Estate. It was excellent then but absolutely spellbinding now. This is now the new benchmark for me for Querce Bettina. I would say this is a 97-98 point wine.

2007 Brunello di Montalcino - The '07 is ruby colored with a fresh nose of red fruit, christmas spice, and a hint of leather. I am told the acidity is slightly higher than the '06 but I felt it was slightly less evident. The tannins are present and a little more "dusty" than what I would call silky.

I would agree with Jochems that the wine does not taste quite as fresh as the '06 but freshness is the hallmark of the Brunelli from 2006. This bottle was popped and poured so it would be interesting to let it slow-O and follow the evolution. I find the wines from'07 to be unique. I can normally compare them to another previous vintage but I can't really say that for Brunelli from 2007. I enjoyed the Querce Bettina very much and would give it a 94 if pressed for a score.

There will be a 2007 Riserva as well.

2009 Brunello di Montalcino - Tasted from botti. The same thinness that was seen in the RsM is noticable in the BdM. This is better than the 2002 BdM vintage but more along the lines of 1996. I have not tasted any other brunelli from 2009 so I cannot compare but based on this barrel sample it may be a difficult year for most. Also, I don't want to totally dismiss this wine since it has not yet been bottled. Based on today's tasting I would say it is an 86-88 point wine.

2011 Brunello di Montalcino - Again, tasted from botti. Much more structure than the 2009. Nice fruit with balanced acidity and very noticable tannins. I had the chance to taste two separate botti. I was amazed at the noticable differences in the wine from each. I know that QB will blend the two barrels together to come up with the final wine that will be bottled. That would be an interesting excercise since the wines have such unique character singularly. The potential is there for an excellent wine.

2012 Pre-Malolactic Sangiovese - I can't call this Rosso or Brunello since it is fermented grape juice that is just starting to go through malolactic fermentation. I can say that there is plenty of fruit (actually strawberries) and the color is intense. There was a huge drought in Montalcino this year. The winter was dry except for a large snowfall in February. There was a little rain in May and then nothing until the end of August. The weather tested the vineyard management practices of all this year and canopy management was very important. The leaves are still on most of the vines and I have never seen as much vegetation left on vines before. The shade the leaves gave made the difference for most. There was some intermittent rain on August 30 and on into early September that rescued most. The production is down 25-35 percent and lots of fruit (raisined) left on the vines. The sorting table was equally important. With all this said, there are high hopes for the vintage. The wines will be ripe but the acidities are high. Should be very interesting indeed.

I did not write anything down for the 2010 BdM. I can say that it will probably be the next great vintage in Montalcino. There will be a 2010 Riserva as well.

This Estate continues to perform at a high level. Considering that the vines are 10-11 years old now I look forward to many more years of great wine. I had a great time with Frederico even if my broken Italian was frustrating for him. He kept apologizing for his English but I was was the one embarrassed.
 
Posts: 2226 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Where can I buy this wine?
 
Posts: 182 | Location: San Diego | Registered: Dec 15, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Excellent notes, as usual, LB. Thank you.
I look forward to picking up plenty of the '06 Q-B Reserva when it arrives.
 
Posts: 15716 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great Notes! Cannot wait to taste all those wines. For having also tasted the 06 riserva with Roberto and Sandra last January, I can also say that it is for me a Wow wine! Superlatives are well deserved!
 
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Originally posted by SanDiegoWino:
Where can I buy this wine?


Unfortunately only in Canada right now. QB is meeting with some US importers very soon. Hopefully someone will pick them up and we can have access to them in the US.
 
Posts: 2226 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by KSC02:
Excellent notes, as usual, LB. Thank you.


A big +1. Very jealous of your frequency of visits to Italy and your fantastic access when there. Bravo!

PH
 
Posts: 15348 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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LB, methinks it's time to have the usual suspects offline with you in Italy. I have a special birthday coming up soon. Bow


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Posts: 5861 | Registered: Jan 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by DoktaP:
LB, methinks it's time to have the usual suspects offline with you in Italy. I have a special birthday coming up soon. Bow


You don't have to twist my arm. We can do something very special with some special people both here and those that would fly over. Just say when.
 
Posts: 2226 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just say when.

July 2014


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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LB, I greatly enjoyed your story on this Montalcino visit. Makes me long for the next visit!

What a treat to meet with Frederico and taste from the barrels.

DoktaP, count me in for any Italian offline this side of the pond!


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
Posts: 719 | Location: The Netherlands | Registered: Aug 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by DoktaP:
quote:
Just say when.

July 2014


Are we serious about this? I am tempted


He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can present a bill for such services; after all... we are not Communists.
 
Posts: 381 | Location: Ontario - where the activist centre will make it all just right | Registered: Nov 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very serious indeed. Longboarder is one of the nicest people I've had the opportunity to meet and share wine with. He is a gentleman and scholar. I am 100% positive that anyone on these boards who has made his acquaintance would wholeheartedly agree. He has planted vines and picked grapes with some of the best winemakers in Italy. It would be a privilege to join him and travel around Tuscany. This trip would include spouses, since my wife would "Bobbit" me if I were to attempt this alone.

I think this should move to private emails and can be discussed further.


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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Just make sure you plan it for when Albert is available, put him and LB together and you will learn all you need to about Montalcino.


“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”—Winston Churchill”
 
Posts: 3470 | Location: Vermont | Registered: Sep 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by DoktaP:
Very serious indeed. Longboarder DoktaP is one of the nicest people I've had the opportunity to meet and share wine with. He is a gentleman and scholar. I am 100% positive that anyone on these boards who has made his acquaintance would wholeheartedly agree. I think this should move to private emails and can be discussed further.


I adjusted this to accurately describe you Doc. I am honored to make your acquaintance.
 
Posts: 2226 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by DoktaP:
I think this should move to private emails and can be discussed further.


We organized a 2009 special gathering in Montalcino back in 2008, prior to the implosion of the world economy. It still took place but with a much smaller group than originally planned. It was a sad day, indeed, making the prudent decision not to make that trip.

Thankfully, some things have improved and this would certainly be of great interest. Especially being that it is honoring a very dear friend's special birthday. Count me in, please, and keep me in the loop. Smile
 
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Originally posted by KSC02:
I look forward to picking up plenty of the '06 Q-B Reserva when it arrives.


I like the confidence in that statement. I assume you have it on good information that it will be on our shelves soon?
 
Posts: 10262 | Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Dec 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I think this should move to private emails and can be discussed further.


We organized a 2009 special gathering in Montalcino back in 2008, prior to the implosion of the world economy. It still took place but with a much smaller group than originally planned. It was a sad day, indeed, making the prudent decision not to make that trip.

Thankfully, some things have improved and this would certainly be of great interest. Especially being that it is honoring a very dear friend's special birthday. Count me in, please, and keep me in the loop. Smile


Looking forward to help making it happen this time!


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
Posts: 719 | Location: The Netherlands | Registered: Aug 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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