Giovanni Conterno 的第九

古典音樂最令人動容的其中一幕發生在貝多芬第九交響曲「歡樂頌」的首演會上。有一個故事說當指揮的貝多芬當時已完全失聰,所以當樂曲結束後,儘管聽眾發出有如雷動的喝采聲和掌聲,他卻完全聽不到,最後經一位歌手的示意,他才面向觀眾致謝。

上星期我們也出席了難忘的  2002 Monfortino  首演會。

我一直認為 Monfortino 是最 heroic Barolo ,很貝多芬,所以每次喝 Monfortino 都是朝聖的經驗,我會像聆聽樂聖的作品一樣的虔誠膜拜。見另一網誌﹕The Heroic Monfortino: Giacomo Conterno

這次喝 2002 Monfortino ,很自然的想起了貝多芬第九。Giovanni Conterno 2004 年去世,所以 2002 Monfortino 是他留給世人的最後一首大作。只可惜 2002 Monfortino 遲至 2010年年底才推出,所以我們的喝采只好讓他的兒子 Roberto 接受了。

我們同一天也開了一瓶 2006 Barolo Cascina Francia ,這也是去年底剛出來的。兩首作品的交替演奏,前後進行了三天。憑經驗,好年份的 Barolo 大概頭一、兩年還可以喝,之後便進入休眠狀態,所以我們不想錯過這場首演,不然可能要等七、八年。

第一天的表演,先出場的是 2006一開始是一個強音﹕強有力的香氣、花香、香水、有活力,之後下沉,有點陰暗、加上樹木和塵埃,更複雜了。口感是豐富的,已有明顯的果味。

2002 出場了。開始時仿如天籟之聲,ethereal ,然後世外桃源似的香氣,鮮花、乾花,之後出現樟腦、茶葉的氣味,龐然的樂團展示極寬廣的音場在我面前。口感只可以用深不見底來形容,典型的 Monfortino dark fruits ,很有層次,比 2006 小弟弟更深更複雜得多。這是個無底深潭!

以上只是早上預演的情況。

晚上正式表演開始了。

2006 ,我的筆記是這樣的﹕

The nose was quite tight and reserved at the start, and the taste too, only gradually unfolding in the glass.  Fruit got stronger, but so were the tannins.  Very muscular, and a lot of tension, like a big, muscular guy with hands and feet tied with big ropes.  Like a taut bass guitar or double-bass, compared to the violin-like Giacosa.  Stephen Tanzer always writes accurate notes: “Sweet, dense and velvety, with a three-dimensional texture to the flavors of black fruits, licorice and violets.”

至于 2002 Monfortino ,我有如下的筆記﹕

But true three-dimensionality belongs to the Monfortino.  At the start, intense aromas and perfume literally leap from the glass, somewhat similar to the “soap bar in a closet” that Jacqueline coined for Giacosa’s 2004 Asili, but here it is fatter, meatier and more intense.  Stephen Tanzer wrote: “Very sexy, gamey aromas of redcurrent and truffley underbrush”, which is right on.  A lot more expressive than the ’06CF today, with the benefit of 4 more years, and this is definitely on another plane.  Antonio Galloni summed this up so well: “the tension between the luxuriousness of the fruit and the austerity of the vintage is truly captivating.”  Deep, full, overflowing with “too much fruit”, this is a monumental battle between fruit and tannins.  A towering giant!  The fruit is taking its every chance to break through any crack in the wall of tannins.  This is a monumental Beethoven: the odd numbers (3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th), just as the 2006 is on a smaller scale, perhaps Beethoven’s even numbers.

第一晚的演奏實在是太精彩了,絕對是 breathtakingMonfortino Cascina Francia 的分別是前者 spacious ,後者 compact

第二晚是同樣的曲目,但演奏顯然更純熟了。

2006 的果味有很大的發揮,把丹寧重重包圍著,所以今天晚上的表現比昨晚奔放得多了,很龐大的架構,很厚重,是一種強悍的形象,十足的貝多芬。

2002 Monfortino 繼續昨天的 fruit vs tannins 的搏鬥,但今天果味在大部分時間都佔上峰。我的筆記是﹕

Today the fruit has broken through to the other side.  The nose is not as wide as yesterday but a lot deeper, and the palate is outright stunning.  We were blown away by a deep dark sweet fruit of incredible density.  A Giant!

第三晚的演奏把樂曲推向了高潮!

2006 有香水和鮮花的香氣,味道大概與昨天的差不多,但更深沉一點。

2002 Monfortino 卻更上一層樓。香氣維持前兩天的 “soap bar in a closet”,但味道竟然潛得更深,極其甜美的 dark fruits 這時有種深之又深的 intensity ,教人神魂為之顛倒,我攀上了 Monfortino 的山之巔了嗎?

這段神奇旅程維持了大概半個小時,但慢慢的,我們好像從高峰滑落,香氣與氣味逐漸消減,再過了半個小時左右, 2002 Monfortino 竟然在我們面前進入休眠狀態!

可能三天的連續演奏實在太緊張了,但 2002 Monfortino 既然曾把我們帶領去過太虛幻境,也應該讓他休息一會吧。我們還可以有什麼怨言?

 

這個在演奏中入睡的現象我並非第一次踫到,且讓我在我待續的   不可思議的 Monfortino (下篇)裏細說。在結束本文以前,我想講一下 2002 Monfortino 的傳奇性誕生經過。 

2002 年是 Barolo Barbaresco 1992 年以來最差的年份,那年的夏天出奇的冷,九月還下了一場很大的冰雹。很多酒莊索性不釀酒了。翻看 Antonio Galloni 的酒評,那年他只評了 12   Barolo 酒莊的 15 種酒,和 12  Barbaresco 酒莊的 16 種酒,除了 2002 Monfortino 98 分以外,其餘的酒最高只拿 90 分。

最響噹噹的名字如 Giacosa Bartolo Mascarello Giuseppe Mascarello Gaja 等都不打算推出任何 Barolo ,但想不到 Giovanni Roberto Conterno 父子倆卻聲言 “2002 is  not a good vintage but rather a great vintage”

Antonio Galloni 有很精彩的報道﹕

The Conternos were so upset by the poor early press reaction to the vintage they announced they would let no one taste their 2002 Barolo, and then declared the unthinkable: they would only produce their Monfortino in 2002 (note: that is, only the top wine and no Cascina Francia).  As it turns out, the modern-day view of the conditions during 2002 failed to take into account that vintages were often cold and damp in the 1960s and 1970s.  Conterno has fashioned an old-style, massive Monfortino that pays homage to the great wines of decades past.  I have been following this wine for some time.  It is a deeply-colored, imposing Monfortino loaded with dense dark fruit that today is held in check by a massive wall of tannins.  At times the wine has reminded me of the 1971 Monfortino, at other times it has appeared to be more similar to the 1978.  Either way, it is classic, old-style Barolo the likes of which we aren’t likely to see again any time soon.

這不是很像貝多分第九“Ode to Joy” 嗎?

Antonio Galloni 又寫道﹕

There is a sad footnote.  The world lost Giovanni Conterno to cancer in 2004, but he made sure his last Monfortino was at least equal, if not better, than his most monumental wines.  There is little doubt the 2002 Monfortino will soon take its place as one of the greatest Monfortinos ever made.  It is the most fitting last chapter to the life of one of the world’s greatest winemakers.

我每次讀這段都忍不住眼睛濕潤。這是寫得多好的輓歌!

Giovanni Conterno﹕英雄的一生(1927-2004)〔圖片來源﹕http://www.cephas.com

我沒有試過 1978 ,但去年我喝過 1971,這是我喝過最好的成熟期的 Monfortino (見﹕The Heroic Monfortino: Giacomo Conterno)。我也可以肯定說 2002 Monfortino 是我喝過最好的兩瓶新 Barolo 之一(另一瓶是 Giacosa  2004 Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 見﹕The Autumnal Glow of Giacosa (上篇)。至于三十年後的 2002 Monfortino 會否比去年的 1971 Monfortino 好,我只好多多行善,祈求上天賞賜我與太太這個驗證的機會。

 

2 thoughts on “Giovanni Conterno 的第九

  1. Another treatise! And you seem to have a lot to work on-explore non-mainstream varietals of Italy; find an
    international grape to explore; find a "new" country to explore-and enjoying them.
    [版主回覆01/08/2011 11:11:00]As long as I keep moving, I won't need a place to stay … so did Neil Young sing of his Motorcycle Mama.  I long to be that Motorcycle Mama too! 
     
    Thanks for the warning, and the company.
     
     

  2. 前輩,這支酒我想在農曆年時開瓶…請問一下,在等至第二天晚上時您是否有封瓶與放入雪櫃中?
    [版主回覆12/18/2011 15:23:57]不敢認前輩,只不過踫釘子多一點罷了。想你是說 2002 Monfortino 吧?我的做法是封瓶放進冰箱的,千萬不要 decant。

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