The Heavenly 1978

Visits: 98

1996 Barolo 終于試過了,過足了心癮但弄得心更癢。我想要等他們綻放恐怕是二十年後的事。人生充滿著這類 existential anxiety ,但欷歔之餘,又有什麼辦法?

退而求其次,唯有讀歷史。

差不多二十年前的 1978 年,同樣是 Barolo 歷來最好的年份之一。 Antonio Galloni  Robert Parker’s Wine Buying Guide No. 7 裏便曾這樣評論 1996 年﹕

A cold vintage that was poorly regarded at the outset but today is widely recognized as one of the all-time greats … The weather patterns of the 1970s don’t exist today, but 1996 is as close to a modern-day 1978 as we are likely to see.

在另一篇文章裏,有 Giuseppe Mascarello 的莊主 Mauro Mascarello 的一番話,他說明 1978 怎樣意外地成為罕見的好年份﹕

The spring was quite damp, which resulted in a delayed and irregular flowering.  The plants were carrying only about one-half of their normal amount of fruit.  We basically had no summer, as the weather remained cool, rainy and foggy all the way through August.  It really looked like it would be a terrible vintage.  Then, all of a sudden, on the first of September the weather turned, and we had uninterrupted heat all the way through to October, with our harvest taking place in the second half of October.

 

我心想﹕何不找幾瓶 1978 來,讓我們起碼可以想像一下那八瓶 1996 在二十年後會有怎樣的英氣?

一個周末,我們便約好阿棠一起品試這三瓶 1978 。說來巧合,我與阿棠在 1977 年成為同事,而 1978 年應該是我們成為好友之始。所以我們在一起品試加起來近百歲的三瓶酒,正是別有滋味在心頭。

三瓶 1978 是﹕

  1. Franco-Fiorina Barbaresco Riserva Speciale
  2. Paolo Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Monfalletto
  3. Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia Soprana 

 

 

 

三瓶酒同樣早上開瓶,一直放在 SOWINE 內原瓶呼吸,十個小時後開始下杯。

Nebbiolo 的標準來說,酒的顏色算是比較深的。第一瓶較淺,典型的石榴紅顏色,有一點渾濁;第三瓶最深,幾乎有點紅寶石的亮晶晶與清澈;第二瓶介乎二者之間。

看來我們的運氣是認真不錯的。三瓶酒的氣味都很清新。

Franco-Fiorina 的乾花和香料比較突出,充滿迷人的 tertiary 香氣。

Paolo Cordero 除了草藥,還帶一點燒烤氣味。

Aldo Conterno 最年青,看來沒有另外兩瓶那麼成熟,帶很典型的 Bussia 濕泥土、肉類與皮革的氣味,三瓶中以他最活潑。 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

以今天的表現,我們一致認為最好是這瓶 Barbaresco 。酒體柔滑如絲,甜美,但仍保持很好的酸度。優雅兼平衡,而且最難得的是有很細緻的層次。酒大概走到她一生最迷人的一刻,什麼都恰到好處, sweet spot 是也。

Franco-Fiorina 成立于 1925 年,他們的葡萄是從酒農那裏採購回來的,他們會選不同葡萄園的葡萄混合而成,靠葡萄之間的互補個性造出比較平衡的酒。可惜酒莊在 1990 年被人收購以後水準好像大不如前。

 

 

 

 

Paolo Cordero Barolo Monfalletto 來自 La Morra ,充分表現了以果味而非結構為特色的 terroir ,他的圓潤與充沛的果味或許會迷倒很多人,但對不起,這不是我的那杯酒!從這瓶酒目前的力量看,應該尚在壯年,比 Franco-Fiorina 要年青。

 

 

 

 

但最年青的是 Aldo Conterno 的這瓶入門級的 Barolo 。除了上面說他的香氣最活潑以外,我們喝的第一杯只覺乾淨和清爽,但欠缺結構與層次。第二杯出現比較大的變化,複雜的泥土味和層次開始出來了,原來剛才氧氣不夠,酒在瓶子內半天還沒有很好的發揮,所以我猜想三瓶中以他最年青。

 

 

 

試過三瓶 1978 ,應該心滿意足了,但後來再細想﹕如果幾瓶一般水平的 1978 已經那麼精彩,那麼一級的好酒豈不美若天仙?過去打開酒櫃,每次看到那瓶 1978 Gaja Barbaresco San Lorenzo ,我的手總是馬上縮回去,然後告訴自己﹕等我的道行比較好才踫他。這次我毫不猶豫的請了他出山。

 

 

 

San Lorenzo Angelo Gaja 主政以後買進的第一個 single cru ,位置在 Secondine 葡萄園,取名為 San Lorenzo 是因為這塊田是從 Alba 堂區買回來的,而 San Lorenzo Alba 大教堂的守護神。

Angelo Gaja 認為 San Lorenzo 是他們五個 single crus 當中最慢熟的(也就是說比位于 Barolo Serralunga commune Sperss 還要慢熟),所以選 1978 San Lorenzo 讓我們可以了解 1978 的成熟階段。

 

 

 

看酒標知道這瓶酒經歷了不少風霜,但幸好酒塞很乾淨,一開瓶已經有很乾淨的香氣﹕複雜的乾花、煙草、蘑菇和香草等等,很 tertiary

SOWINE 內原瓶透氣九個小時以後,我把酒放在有冷氣空調的客廳繼續原瓶透氣,再過兩個小時後開始下杯。

這時候出來的又濃又甜的香氣令我幾乎嚇呆了。怎麼會變得那麼年青呢?

我的筆記這樣寫﹕

Irresistibly sweet nose that recalls Giacosa’s red label 2004s.  Is this what the Americans love to call the “fruitcake” nose?  Wave upon wave of sweetness in a rich, soft and fat body overwhelms you.  Galloni is right on when he wrote in September 2008 of “notable sweetness and richness in an expansive, enveloping style”.  Taste is sweet and round, more Sori Tildin than San Lorenzo now.  The finish gets longer, darker and more concentrated with every sip, to the point of tasting salty and bitter.  Some tannins slowly emerge, and the body gets slimmer and ever more concentrated.  What is amazing is the freshness that keeps you guessing what its real age is.  It looks and tastes much younger than 33 years!

以上是我們晚飯時的觀察。餘下半瓶酒在原瓶再透氣三個小時後我們再下杯,這時發現酒又來了個變身!

Gaja 最有名的兩個 Barbaresco single crus  一名 San Lorenzo ,另一名 Sori Tildin 。我過去的經驗告訴我慢熟的 San Lorenzo 像個瘦削、黑實的漢子,果味是深之又深的 intense sweetness ,而 Sori Tildin 則如明艷照人的少女,豐厚、圓潤,用 Gaja 的話說﹕ “Sori Tildin displays the roundest tasting profile of all Gaja single-vineyard wines.  The rich body, supple texture and fine, ripe tannins are typical for this wine of great finesse.”

我上面的筆記提到 “Taste is sweet and round, more Sori Tildin than San Lorenzo now” 便是表達了我的驚訝,我沒想到 San Lorenzo 竟然會像 Sori Tildin 那麼圓潤、甜美。但後來在杯內的變化已露了一點玄機﹕果味越來越變得瘦削!

三個小時後再下杯,奇怪的是開始的時候香氣與味道都大大收斂了,我幾乎以為酒要入睡!大概過了半個小時,味道才緩慢出來,但這時出來的絕對不是個明艷照人的少女,與我們照面的,是又高又瘦的青年,很 intense ,丹寧蜂擁而出,比較緊閉,幾乎令你以為是換了一瓶酒,而且是一瓶新年份的 BarbarescoSan Lorenzo 終于露真身了!

Gaja 真的是深不可測!

我在上一篇講八瓶 1996 的文章裏提過 Antonio Galloni 品試 Gaja 2000 年時驚奇地發現酒從封閉到開放又回復封閉的情景,連 Gaja 也只能說酒在經歷 a stage of inaccessibility

我再翻查資料,發現 Antonio Galloni 2004 年寫 1997 San Lorenzo 的品試報告時曾這樣說﹕

Sori San Lorenzo is unquestionably the darkest and most backward of the wines. I also find it the most complex and fascinating in many ways. The wine is chameleon, at times it appears to be very delicate, and then a few minutes later it seems to be brooding and muscular.

如此說來,Gaja 197819961997 2000 都有過「變色龍」的紀錄,這是我喝 Barolo 以來經歷過的另一宗奇案。以前喝過 Gaja 總有半百瓶以上,但到今天我還是只能仿 Socrates 說﹕All I know is I know nothing.

The Heavenly 1978 !天堂哪裏是我們凡人可以懂的?

 

1 則評論在 The Heavenly 1978.

  1. 心兄,
     
    I haven't stopped by and comment for a while due to new addition in my family. However, that doesn't mean I stopped drinking. Your blog, as always, is very insightful and entertaining and I throughoutly   enjoyed your recent adventure from 1996 – 1958.
     
    I had a chance to drink a bottle of the 1978 Franco-Fiorina Barbaresco Riserva recently and I have to say my experience is nowhere near what you described. I opened the bottle, with nose of rotten wood, wet card board (my heart sank a bit), wet earth and truffle. Very light hint of fruit was there. I let it sit in room temp for 4-5 hours before pouring my first glass. The nose improve but still smell like oxidized to me.   Over the evening, my wife kept saying it’s smelled like Chinese herbal rubbing wine. On the palate, definitely oxidized, fruit and some structure came back after 4-5 hours but not much left. On the second night, it felt like it’s broken into pieces. Well, better luck next time then.
     
    [版主回覆07/27/2011 08:20:00]You just have to keep on trying, and pray that a better bottle will come along next time.  I was lucky to have struck it 3 times with this producer: I had good bottles of their 1971 Barolo, 1970 and 1978 Barbaresco, all excellent.  The most amazing was the 1970 Barbaresco opened a few days before the 1978; it had even more power, more Barolo-like.  Hope this is enough consolation. 
     
    I did not tell you my bad luck, and they are aplenty: I never had success with any Monfortino older than '71, until now.  Faulty '58 Bartolo and Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva before my luck returned with Gaja's two '58s, but that was after a bad '61.  And the list goes on and on.  This is like Rome's Colosseum: we are too young to see the complete monument.

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