但願人長久﹕Buon Compleanno!

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“There are no great wines, only great bottles.” 

 

喝過老酒的人對這番話一定有很深的體會。

 

這個星期我們竟然連中三元,與三個時代的人喝了三瓶很棒的老酒。

 

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最令我們開心的是得與六位 80 後分享了這瓶 1987 Bruno Giacosa Barolo

他們幾乎全生於 1987 年,我太太與他們從 2002 2004 年有過師生之緣,我猜他們以前沒有喝過幾瓶葡萄酒,Barolo 更連聽也沒有聽過。以酒會友,當然要選我的至愛,所以我找來這瓶 1987 Giacosa。另外,為了配合他們的相識十年紀念,我還開了三瓶年青的 Domenico Clerico20022003 2004 Barolo

 

四瓶當中,他們最喜歡 1987 Giacosa,這瓶酒也最快喝光,但我想除了因為這是他們的出生年,還因為 Giacosa 的迷人風采是不用培訓也能感受到的。

 

1987 在以前算是很正常的年份也就是說以濕冷為主的壞年份,更糟糕的是收割季節時下了一場大雨。

 

Giacosa 這瓶酒是他的基本版 Barolo,他當年最好的葡萄另外用來釀造好幾款 single cru Barolo BarbarescoFallettoLe Rocche di Castiglione FallettoVilleroGallina Santo Stefano),由於年份不好,沒有一瓶是 red label。因此,基本版是最簡樸的一瓶。

 

所以我沒想過可以喝到那麼好的 1987 基本版 Barolo。從一開始他便透著很乾淨,輕輕的但很新鮮的花香味;最迷人的是他的果甜味,是屬於柔順型(supple)的那種,下杯後一直在變化,變得越來越豐滿但仍然保持清純,沒有半點矯揉造作。大師的傳統氣派在最簡單的酒更見其功力。你可以批評他沒有甚麼層次可言,但正如端坐在我們面前的六位充滿朝氣的年青人一樣,簡樸有時候是最大的優點。

 

我也想起 Giacosa 很簡樸的開始。我第一次聽到 Giacosa 的名字是他進酒莊工作的第一天的情景﹕

 

In 1944, his father collected him from school in Alba when Allied forces were bombing the area and put him to work in the family wine cellars in the small town of Neive.  He’s worked there ever since.

[Wine Spectator, November 30, 2003, p.55]

 

Bruno Giacosa 當年才 14 歲,這幾位年青人第一天聽我太太講課時也是差不多的年紀。所以這瓶 1987 讓我想到青春、想到緣份,想到 great bottles 易得,great friends 卻難求。我還聽到馬勒的「大地之歌」。

 

 

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再早十年的
70 後又有另一番精彩。

 

另一個偶然的機會讓我們一年多以前認識了這位意大利痴,她喝意大利酒的日子比較淺,所以去年我們開了一瓶 1974 Produttori del Barbaresco 基本版為她賀生日,那瓶帶點霉味的 Barbaresco 也讓她喝得非常高興。

 

今年我們為她開的 1974 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 是近乎完美的一瓶,只要她留神,應該會聽到老人字圓腔正的為她講了多遍 Buon Compleanno!

 

我第一次喝老的 Bartolo 1961 1971 兩個年份,那是 Carlo 從意大利帶來香港讓我們喝的。我永遠忘不了 Bartolo 的芭蕾舞姿,那種飄逸的優雅,不吃人間煙火的如詩似的特質是 Barolo 村的最高境界,也是我從此用來檢驗 Barolo 村的酒造得好不好的唯一標準。

 

我們其後又喝了兩瓶 1971,每次都讓我們如痴如醉,有一次我形容我的感受為「究竟涅盤」。

 

這瓶 1974 讓我幻想重回那涅盤境界。

 

但分別是 1974 比起 1971 是稍弱的年份,感覺較纖弱、柔軟,讓我想起初春西湖邊剛長出的楊柳,無論香氣與口感都比 1971 更熟一點。

 

正因如此,這又是另一種美妙的享受。乾花、幽香不斷,輕輕的舞步,乾花的餘香輕撫口腔的每一寸,微微但很實在的酸度帶出輕巧但連綿不斷的清甜果味,直到隱於無形。我想起 Tom Maresca 說地球變暖始自 1982,所以這瓶 1974 是活化石!

 

這種輕歌曼舞狀態大概維持了兩個小時左右,然後酒開始有點疲累了,一直以來的無重狀態開始變得有點沉重,又有點粗,但味道更甜。疑是仙女下了凡間,但人間縱有千樣聲色享受,又哪似天上的瞬間騰雲駕霧?

 

 

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最意想不到的卻是 50 後。


有一位認識了好幾年的朋友最近跟我半開玩笑的說他想以
Confessions of a Bordeaux Fine Wine Merchant 為題寫下他偶遇意大利酒的感受,我想我為他開的這瓶 1958 Ruffino Chianti Ducale Riserva Gold Label 是很好的開篇。

 

那些年的 Chianti 是老百姓的酒,是 daily bread 的一部分,現買現喝,哪裏有人會陳年超過半個世紀才開的?

 

1955 1958 Chianti 我們以前也喝過,出奇地還有頗為豐富的果甜味,不過老人味(大霉、小霉、藥油)總免不了。

 

這瓶卻出奇的乾淨!氣味是乾花、煙草、皮革、烤牛肉乾和刺鼻(spicy)。入口有細緻的酸度作迎賓,果味起初比較黑,有幾分像巧克力,在杯內他繼續開放,越來越細滑,有典型的紅櫻桃果甜味,最難得的是很細滑的丹寧也慢慢出來了,是一種很平衡、全面的口感,很溫潤的感覺。這種全面、溫潤是 Tuscany 的風土特徵。

 

這瓶酒感覺一點都不老!朋友剛重新開始一番事業,所以我太太說這是好兆頭。我偷偷地想﹕這也可能是我們下個月重訪意大利的好兆頭!

 

這款酒我們以前喝過 19621985 1997 幾個年份,果味都充足,但完全沒有這瓶 1958 那麼平衡、優雅和高貴。

 

我翻查資料,Sheldon Wasserman 1984 年以前的 Ruffino Chianti 70% Sangiovese15% Canaiolo10% Malvasia + Trebbiano5% Colorino + Ciliegiolo + Cabernet,最高級的 Ducale Riserva Gold Label 只在最好年份釀造,在大木桶陳年 4 年之久。最特別的是當年的 Chianti 仍然用 Tuscany 流行的 governo 方法,Wasserman 是這樣描述的﹕

 

The gold label, like all their Classicos, is made with governo.  Ruffino points out that governo, when made with dried grapes, gives the typical aroma and taste of Chianti Classico and helps encourage malolactic fermentation.  They tried concentrate and found that it wasn't as good.  The grapes to be used for governo are dried for two months on mats.  They add the equivalent of 6-10% of these grapes to the wine.

 

是不是這種「加料」的製法令果味那麼豐富呢?今天這種方法早已消失了,主要原因是成本太昂貴。

 

但這也解釋不了為何 1958 19621985 1997 好。我們唯有相信傳統智慧﹕“There are no great wines, only great bottles.”

 

我想加一句﹕“There are no great friends, only old friends.”

 

但願人長久。對我們幾位 50 後、70 後和 80 後好友,讓我們再說一遍﹕Buon Compleanno!   

1 則評論在 但願人長久﹕Buon Compleanno!.

  1. “There are no great wines, only great bottles.”
    喝過老酒的人對這番話一定有很深的體會。
    I couldn't have agreed more about this. Over this weekend, I opened a bottle of 1974 Paolo Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Annata and it was an inspiring experience. I have had my fair share of older Barolos but I have never encountered a great bottle of wine from the 70's. Most of my favorite wines are from the 80's and the 90's.
    I didn't have high hope when my wife bought me this wine. However, this bottle was in such pristine condition that I felt something interesting is going to happen. I wrote all my notes in Chinese for once. It was pure, dense fruit, with lots of tertiary nose of rotten wood, tar, earth, rust, blood, Chinese herbal wine (sound nasty, but they're wonderful in my book). The palate was simply sensational, sweet fruit core that is so pure and dense that the hair on the back of my neck just stood. It was THAT good. I felt my words can only do so much at this point. I drank it over two nights and I savored every drop of it. Even my wife started laughing at me on how obsessed I was with it (my son got his share and he loves it as usual).
    Granted, this is a wine from La Morra, which is not my favorite style of Barolo, but with a wonderful bottle like this, who cares?? I just feel so moved and blessed that I want to share this experience with you. I still have some 70's Barolos and Barbarescos and I feel much better about them now.
    [版主回覆09/13/2012 00:00:50]Benessimo!!! Try a 1971 too. I'm now in Italy and my friend treated me to a bottle of 2007 Aldo Canale Rionda! Wonderful!

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