Another New Year… 2012 starts with The Morellino Challenge!

I’m a big fan of New Years… Blank calendars, infinite possibilities, new beginnings, resolutions, all that stuff. I enjoy looking back on the good things, jettisoning the bad things, and I love looking forward to the new… New journeys, new wines, new vintage…

What matters here is my desire (I fear using the word “resolution”) to commit to TWO BLOG POSTS PER MONTH. I think this is a reasonable and attainable resolution and the minimum frequency to honestly and respectably call this a “blog”. I put this out there as a way of self-motivation and the risk of humiliation if I don’t follow through…

So let’s kick off 2012 with what has become an annual event here… The Morellino Challenge!MorellinoChall1

This year we conducted the challenge at the beautiful home of AnnaMaria Cruciata (right, above) and her husband Hugh Maxwell, owners of the Val di Toro winery… And what a place to taste Morellino! MorellinoChall2
Smack-dab in the middle of the gorgeous hills of Maremma…

We had a battery of 16 Morellini to taste blind. In attendance there was Maurizio Castelli, Gabriele Gadenz, Luca Felicioni, Giulio Serafinelli, along with AnnaMaria and Hugh, our gracious hosts. We also had our own Emilio del Medico and Dennis Lepore, with yours truly rounding out the tabel of 9… MorellinoChall3

(L to R: Emilio, Luca, Gabriele, Giulio, AnnaMaria)

These tastings are important for us because it gives us an idea of where we stand compared to the competition, and if there are any trends in the Morellino world we should know about. For that reason I never show results here, but the 2009 I Perazzi Morellino from La Mozza arrived more or less in the same position as last year’s challenge, but we noticed a trend with some wines to lean toward the sweet and overly oaky. Let’s hope it doesn’t become a trend. Morellino should be fruity and generous, but with good structure and a level of acidity lower than, say , chianti… Making it quaffable and easy for a red, but not insipid.

The wines that did well were mostly well-known producers, which seems to me to indicate that their fame was a result of quality, not marketing or mass production. Ours being one of those that faired well in the scores…

MorellinoChall5Plenty of debate, too.. Here Emilio is explaining something passionately to Maurizio…

This is a format we will repeat for other wines this year, for Aragone, for Vespa Bianco, for Adriatico

Hey! Counting this. that’s 4 out of 24 blog posts right there!


4 thoughts on “Another New Year… 2012 starts with The Morellino Challenge!

  1. gianpaolo paglia

    I believe my wine was there too. Very useful this sort of wine tastings, we do it too once a year. Curious too know how mine was rated, hopefully (i would believe almost certainly) not in that sweet and oaky group.
    happy new year

  2. Matt Burns and Ambra Cantarutti

    You are not doing to well regarding your commitment to at least two posts per month! Need some help?

  3. Wayne Young

    Hi Matt and Ambra— Yes, it IS shameful, isn’t it? I have so many posts in my head and I just don’t have the time to get them out! I believe I OVERTHINK my posts so I hope that in the future I’ll just try to get them out as fast as possible… Bear with me!


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