意大利酒的一國兩制(上)﹕從 1997 談起

七一前的幾個月,我先後開了 9 瓶意大利的 1997 來應應景。


話說新世紀之初,Robert Parker 便以「意大利酒的黃金歲月?」為名,大讚 1997

Piedmont’s 1997 is a freakish vintage given the fact that the wines are opulent, low in acidity, and flamboyant, with high levels of glycerin, color, and alcohol. Both consumers and connoisseurs of Nebbiolo will love these offerings, which are as flashy/ostentatious as Nebbiolo can be.

1997 is a spectacular vintage in Tuscany. Having completed almost all the tastings of the major 1997s from Tuscany, I can unequivocally state that this is the greatest Tuscan vintage I have ever tasted.

Parker 文章的標題是個問號,但他的結論是肯定的,他說﹕

In summary, all of this adds up to a singular opportunity to purchase the finest wines from Italy … at a time that wine historians may look back on as Italy‘s Golden Age.

〔見 The Wine Advocate 130 期,2000 8 月〕

那邊廂的 Wine Spectator 也不落後。James Suckling 2001 11 月發表名為 “Benchmark Vintage — in Piedmont, 1997 was a defining year for Nebbiolo-based wines” 的文章,把 1997 奉為 Barolo 的標竿年份,甚至把 1989 1990 也比下去﹕

In Piedmont, until recently, most people were inclined to champion 1989 or 1990 as the textbook vintage, particularly for the great Nebbiolo-based reds of the area, Barbaresco and Barolo. That was the case until the remarkable 1997 vintage came along. Never has Nebbiolo been so great, so rich and so generous as it was in 1997.

The 1997 vintage produced monumental wines that will redefine the way we think about the reds of Piedmont. With their opulent fruit and rich yet rounded tannins, they are a far cry from the reserved, hard reds that the region has produced in the past. The ’97s can be enjoyed now, but they are only giving a small portion of the tremendous quality they’ll offer in the future.

Tuscany 1997 在他的眼裏也是個標竿年份。

顯然,1997 是很美國口味的年份,傳統意大利口味對此卻很不以為然。早年跟意大利最有地位的酒評人 Luigi Veronelli 出身的 Daniel Thomases 2003 年加盟 The Wine Advocate,替代 Robert Parker 寫意大利酒的評論,他的頭一篇評論 Brunello 的文章便提出他的異議﹕

1997, which, in addition to offering some fine bottles, did itself no small amount of harm by shamelessly, and inaccurately, trumpeting itself as another “vintage of the century,” a promotional label that seems to arrive with monotonous frequency over recent years.

〔見 The Wine Advocate 147 期,2003 6 月〕

他的第二篇文章又毫不留情地批評了 Barolo 1997 年份﹕

The ultra-hot 1997 vintage, impressive when released for its lush, sweet, ample, and low acid wines, is not aging as well as might be hoped. Its aromas, in many cases, are beginning to flatten out and the wines no longer seem as rich as they initially appeared to be. The vintage, in fact, is beginning to remind me a bit of 1985, hailed by the American wine press (but not by The Wine Advocate) as the greatest thing since sliced bread when it hit the market. The wines were indeed round, ripe, well concentrated, and pleasurably up-front. It was a very good vintage, but, as it has evolved, it has become increasingly evident that it was, in general, inferior to 1982 and cannot even be compared to 1989.

〔見 The Wine Advocate 149 期,2003 10 月〕

兩年後,Daniel Thomases 越發變得激烈了。同樣乾旱的 2000 Barolo 又被 James Suckling 捧上了天,他稱 2000 年為完美的年份(Perfection in Piedmont)。可能受此刺激Daniel Thomases 在評介 2000 Barolo 的文章裏劈頭便向美國口味開火﹕

Few phenomena in recent years have left me as literally speechless as the promotion of the 2000 vintage in Piedmont to legendary status. It is alleged that they compete with the greatest ever made, absolutely memorable bottles which neither the serious collector nor the merely curious occasional drinker can possibly do without. The reasons for my amazement are only partly due to what has registered on my nose and palate, though any sort of systematic tasting of the 2000 Barbaresco and Barolo can only lead to the conclusion that this is a good to very good vintage, but nothing more, and that the allegedly mythical level of the wines is an invention requiring a very, very large amount of fantasy – and, on the part of consumers, a similarly large amount of credulity.

〔見 The Wine Advocate 160 期,2005 8 月〕

不久,Daniel Thomases 便從 The Wine Advocate 消失了。由意大利的 1997 引發的一場一國兩制風波總算平息了。

但究竟誰對誰錯呢?我 15 年後品試的 9 1997,或許可以給我們一點提示。

我的品試分三組,分別是 BaroloBrunello Chianti

三瓶 Barolo 是﹕

1.   Aldo Conterno Granbussia

2.   Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia

3.   Elio Grasso Vigna Casa Mate Ginestra

我選 Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 而不是 Monfortino,是因為前者是較典型的 Barolo,還有一個原因是我一年多前開過一瓶 Monfortino,發現他正處於半睡半醒的狀態。

Aldo Conterno,是因為老先生剛去世了,我想借這個機會向他致敬,另外我也想還他個清白。事緣最近聽到傳言說 Aldo Conterno 1994 開始交棒給兒子,所以 1994 1999 幾個年份的水準明顯下降。可是我過去喝過的 19951996 1999 都非常精彩,所以我也想從他的旗艦酒來再次驗證一下傳言有否根據。

Elio Grasso 這個傳統派前幾年才被 Galloni 驚為天人,我試過他們的 2006 果然是名不虛傳,所以這次想看看他在大師面前表現如何。

我們發現,三瓶酒當中最輕的是 Aldo Conterno,最重的是 Elio GrassoGiacomo Conterno 居中。

當晚表現得最好也最驚人的是 Granbussia,他大概剛步入成熟期,一直有薄荷、檀香和玫瑰花瓣的芳香,很女性的口感,輕紗似的優雅,細緻而新鮮的果味,兼有悠長而甜絲絲的收結。1997 那麼熱的年份竟然可以這麼優雅,我想 Aldo 在天上遇到爸爸 Giacomo 時,必然會很驕傲的告訴他,兒孫兩代都無愧於他的教導。

Elio Grasso Ginestra 表現的是粗獷與野性的一面,與 Granbussia 的性格正好相反。除了濃厚的玫瑰花瓣香氣外,他還帶一點薄荷和髒髒的瀝青味(rose and tar 是最經典的 nebbiolo 香氣)。酒體很厚,有點混沌未開的感覺,有幾分年青的 Vigna Rionda 的蠻勁,我們陪他到晚上 11 時左右才嘗到一點清亮的果味。我兩、三年前先後試過兩瓶 Clerico 1997 Ginestra,也是碩大無朋的,但記憶中新派的 Clerico 比較果味鮮亮。我猜 Elio Grasso 要再等他十年八年才有可觀之處。

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 起初有點醬油氣味,但過了幾個小時便散去,表現很典型的 Serralunga 黑果,圓潤、豐滿,筋骨俱全,與我們三、四年前那瓶比較,好像是深沉了,那就是說酒還在發展階段,離成熟還有一段時間。

我初步的結論是三個酒莊都能表現各自的土地特性,總的感覺是比較欠缺層次和酸度,但陳年能力還是非常不錯的。我完全看不到 1997 有可能達到 19961989 或甚至 1990 的水平,所以 Daniel Thomases 的意大利口味還是對的。


三瓶 Brunello 是﹕

1.   Livio Sassetti Pertimali

2.   Salvioni

3.   Col d’Orcia Poggio Al Vento

這三瓶 Brunello 較為令我失望。Sassetti 有帶甘草和涼果的味道和很泥土和礦物的氣味,比較圓潤;Col d’Orcia 有帶樟腦的氣味,果味濃而重;Salvioni 有很濃重的礦物氣味,少量的花香,眾味紛陳但果味不明顯,丹寧是三瓶中最活躍的。

這三兄弟一方面表現了北、南、中部的明顯土地特性,但有同一個弊病是不夠清新,欠缺酸度,也因此欠缺了 Brunello 應有的典雅、平衡。讓我驚奇的是我三年前喝過的一瓶 Salvioni 又香又甜,我當時形容他為 seductive,而放到第二天更為 seductive。三年的分別竟然那麼大,是真的老化了,還是 bottle variation 的問題呢?

究竟是這三瓶 Brunello 剛到了惶惑、待變之年?又或者 1997 比較熱的天氣對暖和的 Montalcino 比較不利?從這三瓶判斷,我恐怕後者的可能性較大,也就是說 Daniel Thomases 又說對了!如果是這樣,我們會否已錯過大部分 1997 Brunello 的最美麗的一刻?



三瓶 Chianti 是﹕

1.   Ormanni Chianti Classico Riserva

2.   Fontodi Flaccianello

3.   La Massa Giorgio Primo

這三瓶 Chianti 讓我滿意得多。Ormanni Fontodi 已屆成熟,那種 Tuscan 的圓潤與溫暖的紅櫻桃果味多麼甜美和醉人!La Massa 比較慢熱,但第二天也同樣開放可口。三瓶都有足夠的酸度來令酒比較平衡,原因可能是 Chianti 山區地帶屬於大陸性氣候,可以中和炎熱天氣帶來的一些惡果。


憑這 9 瓶酒的表現,我覺得 1997 是個中上的年份,陳年能力應該及不上經典的年份。天時不能改變,唯有選土地、選酒莊。

我過去喝過近 100 瓶的 1997,以下試選出近三年喝過比較難忘的幾瓶供大家參考﹕


Giuseppe Mascarello Monprivato Ca’ d’Morissio (last bottle: 03/2010)


Paolo Scavino Rocche dell’Annunziata (last bottle: 10/2010)

Aldo Conterno Granbussia (last bottle: 6/2012)


Cerbaiona (last bottle: 8/2010)

Il Colle (last bottle: 3/2012)

Pian dell’Orino (last bottle: 2/2011)


Isole e Olena Cepparello (last bottle: 1/2011)
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte (last bottle: 10/2010)

San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo (last bottle: 5/2009)

Castello di Monsanto Il Poggio (last bottle: 11/2010)


Galardi Terra di Lavoro (last bottle: 5/2011)

Montevetrano (last bottle: 5/2011)

Isole e Olena Cabernet Sauvignon (last bottle: 7/2011)



想不到十年後又迎來另一個類似 1997 的溫暖年份。這次 Daniel Thomases 的繼任人 Antonio Galloni 很慷慨的給 2007 打了個 97 分,這是歷來最高的分數,與公認的經典年份 19891996 2006 同分。

Galloni 素來是個很可靠的酒評人,因此我很納悶他的口味為何變得那麼美國化?





2 thoughts on “意大利酒的一國兩制(上)﹕從 1997 談起

  1. 真巧,二天前才喝了一瓶1997 Gaja 基本款 Barbaresco,只覺有點有點霸道,少了份應該有的優雅,酸度不足,雖然一切都還算平衡,但對我來說稍嫌強烈!
    [版主回覆07/03/2012 09:39:48]謝謝分享。這樣說這瓶 Gaja 還年青呢!也印證了前兩個月我在拍賣會上淺嘗的一小杯,木桶味還沒融合,時間尚早。我 ’09 年中的一瓶上半場優雅甜美,但下半場入睡。最近 Galloni 試 ’97 Sperss 竟然打了 100 分,這我是相信的。我懷疑新派在熱年份會佔優。最近曾比較 ’90 Giacosa 與 ’90 Altare Vigna Arborina,Altare 驚人的 fresh and young,絕對把 Giacosa 比下去。’90 也是偏暖年份。我懷疑傳統方法的 extraction 會太高,不成熟的丹寧可能過高?

  2. 飲酒的學問真難,謝謝分享!
    [版主回覆07/29/2012 16:15:18]客氣了。那裏有什麼學問,情而已!


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