The 2008 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano shows lovely intensity in its dark fruit, grilled herbs, licorice and earthiness. This, too, is another feminine, graceful wine with gorgeous length and a polished, harmonious personality. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.
This wine typically starts life out as a young, tannic puppy, and although it has ripe flavors and a suppleness that can handle rich meats and cheeses, it's best to cellar it. This vintage is quite undeveloped, wrapped in tannic astringency, but with a hopeful core of fruit that should age well from 2008 on.
Clearly of classified growth quality, Lalande-Borie is produced by the winemaking team of "super second" Château Ducru Beaucaillou. Initially purchased to be incorporated into Ducru, its supple, graceful style was just too good to not warrant its own voice. The 2008 Lalande-Borie is deliciously perfumed with notes of wild violets, rose, red berry and a hint of Provençal herbs; on the palate, though not immense or intense, the flavors are nevertheless strikingly lush, deep, and refined. 14 months of aging in French oak barrels (1/3 new) provides a finishing polish of toasty vanilla oak.
This is a Bordeaux-inspired blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon. It's frankly delicious, with tiers of blackberry and cherry pie, milk chocolate and sweet, buttery, toasted oak flavors. Doesn't have the structure for aging, so drink up with a great steak.