Special wine dinners were held recently in Delhi and Mumbai during the visit of Marquis Leonardo Frescobaldi, President of the Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi. Guests were treated to a first ever vertical tasting of top Frescobaldi wines – Luce (pronounced luchey) and Mormoreto, reports SI correspondent, Sonal Holland from Mumbai. Hosted by Aman Dhall of Brindco, the exclusive tasting and dinner in Delhi took place at Le Cirque, The Leela Palace, and was attended by Reva K. Singh, founder and publisher of Sommelier India and her husband, Kulbir Singh, among other wine lovers. In Mumbai, fine dining restaurant Indigo in Colaba introduced its all-new menu to pair along with the Frescobaldi wines. Pictured: Leonardo Frescobaldi
Sonal Holland’s comments: The vertical tasting of these iconic wines comprised five vintages of Mormoreto and four of Luce della Vita. Mormoreto 2009 with its bold, mouth drying tannins had yet to mellow and was too early to relish. The 2008 vintage on the other hand had attained superb elegance and subtlety, while both, Mormoreto 2006 and 2000 displayed magnificent depth and complexity of flavours, perfect harmony and an impressive finish. Mormoreto 2000, in particular, was the epitome of bespoke refinement and luxury in a glass. Mormoreto 1995, although a bit subdued in comparison to the 2000 and 2006, had sophisticated flavours and harmony, and was good enough to hold its own.
Guests also enjoyed the vertical tasting of Luce wines. Luce was produced in Tuscany by the Frescobaldis in a joint venture with the Mondavi family. In 1976, Tuscany was restricted to planting only Sangiovese grapes. However, a sizeable portion of the land in the Montalcino vineyard had clay in the soil mix. This marked the entry of the first plantings of the Merlot grape in Tuscany, a grape that is better suited to clayey soils.
Luce has attained worldwide acclaim and recognition and is today considered an iconic wine. The association with the Mondavi brand, however, was terminated in 2005 following its acquisition by the Constellation group.
Luce 2009 was warming with powerful tannins while the Luce 2004 showed some graceful ageing through developed savoury characters on the palate. Luce 2001 was a sheer delight to drink with well integrated silky tannins and complex flavours of tea-leaves, bitter crush, fennel and sweet spice. Luce 1997 was elegant, with a more subtle expression of power and depth compared to the younger 2001 vintage.
Tuscany is not known for its whites, but Leonardo surprised us with the Pomino Bianco 2010, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, which served as a refreshing alternative at the start of the evening.