The Unbearable Lightness of Intensity: Soldera

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幾年前,Gianfranco Soldera 與他的女兒 Monica 到英國參加一場 Soldera 試酒會, Jancis Robinson 在她的試酒報告裏引述了一段 Gianfranco 的話﹕


I don’t believe in opening the bottles a long time before serving them but the culture and knowledge of a wine begins from the moment you pull the cork and lasts for 10 days.  I can still feel the wines 10 days after tasting them.


他的話一點都沒錯。
Monica Soldera 離開以後,我的靈魂早已被 Case Basse 勾走了一半(Case Basse Soldera 最主要的葡萄園)。我甚至可以誇張的說,自從幾年前開第一瓶(1990Soldera 以來,我很長時間裏還是帶著當時的那份驚訝,還有一個很大的謎團。

 

 

 

 


我當時是這樣寫
1990 的﹕


I guess this is a wine people would call ethereal, sublime and the like.  

My intuitive word would be: this is truth.  This is fruit in its essence.   A lot of times, you look for complexity in a wine.  But here I find simplicity is even a better virtue.  Aren’t great laws of physics also simple laws? 

We are often made aware of the varietals from which a wine is made.  This is a Brunello di Montalcino, made from Sangiovese Grosso.  But this wine did not at any time remind me of its origin from SG.  It is fruit in its very essence.

This reminded me of an almost identical experience I had of several Lalala’s from Guigal that I tasted before, and I forgot it was a great Syrah.  I remember writing down time and again just four words in my notebook : 渾然一體.  This time it is even simpler: simple truth.

I suddenly remember an article by 劉(致新)校長 that I read some time ago.  He said all the greatest wines he tried before had the same taste.  At the time I thought he was writing about philosophy.  After all, philosophy is about truth, something I seem to have discovered thanks to Gianfranco Soldera.

Perhaps this is a wine that has reached a stage of completion.  Like a buddha who has attained enlightenment?  All wines we stumble upon prior to this point are like lives struggling with the trials of life: life not completed yet the more enjoyable for that.  Talk about complexities, talk about development in the glass, …  we are just talking about life in motion. 

I don’t know, I’m just guessing.

 

 

 


這之後,我一共喝過十瓶不同年份的
Soldera 。我大致的印象如下﹕

2005 Pegasos﹕仙女下凡,如 ballet dancer ,一滿口 Case Basse 的清新;

2003 Riserva﹕為氣候暖化而擔憂, how to survive under stress

2002 Riserva﹕黛玉再世;

2001 RiservaDelicate and powerful at the same time

1998 RiservaSweet violin sound of a Szigeti

1997 RiservaPerhaps the most macho Soldera

1994 Riserva﹕變色龍, hard to fathom

1990Fruit in its essence;究竟涅盤  

1985﹕甜入心脾,echoes of a mature Barolo

1983﹕層巒疊嶂。


要我用一句話來總結
Soldera Brunello 有多好,我會說the unbearable lightness of intensity Antonio Galloni 認為 Soldera 的特徵是transparency and weightlessnessKerin O’Keefe 更妙,她說 Soldera 總有a restrained voluptuousness”。


但無論如何,沒有一瓶
Soldera 是不好喝的;十瓶 Soldera 呈現的是十種不同的面相,帶出十種不同的意境,就像欣賞大畫家不同時期的畫作一樣。


Gianfranco Soldera
是個不折不扣的偉大藝術家。但奇怪的是﹕他並非來自釀酒世家。他原來在米蘭做保險代理,1972 年在 Montalcino 買了個又破又爛的農莊,一切都得從零做起。開始的時候,因為葡萄太年青,他只釀造最低級別的餐酒(Vino da Tavola Rosso ,相當于後來的 Rosso di Montalcino),到 1977 年才推出第一個年份的 Brunello

 

 

 


有人問
Gianfranco 他的秘訣是什麼。他的回答是﹕


If you do not have a special terroir, soil and a natural ecosystem, it is impossible to arrive at a great wine ……  It is all based on the quality of the grapes. We only use the very healthiest, and if the harvest isn’t good enough we produce less wine – it’s as simple as that.


以他兩個葡萄園的種植面積,他應該可以年產
60,000 瓶的,但實際上,他每年平均只釀造 15,000 瓶,踫上多雨的 2002年,產量只有 7,000 瓶。這對藝術家是自然不過的事,但生意人會說你有自殺傾向。

 

 

 

(來源﹕ Nicolas Belfrage The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy )

 


把葡萄園看成是個生態系統,這恐怕是
Gianfranco Soldera 獨步天下的大發明;毫無疑問,他是最早的環保份子。且聽 Gianfranco 的夫子自道﹕


The ecosystem of Case Basse is a continuously evolving project. At Case Basse, Gianfranco Soldera renovates buildings, restoring the original architecture of Tuscan farmhouses and saving the dry-stone walls where birds, small mammals, insects, and so forth find shelter and a place to reproduce. For the same purpose, he places artificial nests to attract animals in the hope that they become permanent residents, and sets up beehives.He saves the ancient abandoned olive trees and plants other fruit trees. He is developing a plan for a botanical wood. He is building a man-made pond and small lake.


見﹕
http://www.casebasse.it/en/default-fx.htm


Gianfranco
的太太 Graziela Felicità 本身是位植物學家與建築師,她在葡萄園周圍遍植了1,500 多種玫瑰。


他的葡萄園也開放給各大學的農業專家作為研究基地。


看來他的簡單道理是﹕你對葡萄好,葡萄便長得好。


在常人眼裏,天才與瘋子往往有幾分相像,我看
Gianfranco 正是這種人物。不過,如果你不夠「瘋」,你是沒資格喝他的酒的!他在他的網站就曾這樣講他的銷售哲學﹕


Selling only to personal acquaintances who have a passion for wine

Case Basse customers are individuals, wine shops, restaurants, brokers, and importers, all of whom Gianfranco Soldera personally knows and has selected because they share the principles that have inspired his entrepreneurial policy.

 

 

 

Giulio Gambelli

(來源﹕Nicolas Belfrage The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy )

 

 

Gianfranco 是個大天才,但假如他遇不上 Giulio Gambelli ,恐怕也不會有今天的成就。原來 Gianfranco 一直最愛 Barolo ,他當年曾在 PiedmontVeneto Tuscany 找尋落腳地,最後終于棄 Nebbiolo 而取 Sangiovese ,原因便是他找到了 Giulio Gambelli 這位 Sangiovese 大專家。用 Gianfranco 自己的話﹕


If I had found land in
Piedmont I would never have met Giulio Gambelli, who has made me discover how sweeter, deeper, longer, more elegant and harmonious Sangiovese is with respect to Nebbiolo or any other variety.

 

 


這篇文章剛開始的時候,我曾說我喝了第一瓶
Soldera 以後便有個不解的謎團,我的問題是﹕ Brunello 究竟好在那裏?


Brunello 我喝過不少,但我一直有個很大的疑問﹕與 Barolo 剛好相反,幾乎所有 Brunello 都是可口的酒,但好喝不一定感人,不一定偉大。譬如說,我可以隨便檢起一瓶 Barolo ,很多都比 Brunello 更為感人。  Nebbiolo 是高貴的葡萄,但 Sangiovese 呢? 


我的謎團最近才得以解開。看過
Nicolas Belfrage 的新著 The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy ,我才知道 Sangiovese Nebbiolo 有著很不同的歷史。 Sangiovese 在意大利種植最廣,但無論是品種選擇、種植土壤、或培植方法等等的研究,不過是最近三、四十年的事。可以說 Sangiovese 當前正經歷著百花齊放,百家爭鳴的局面,所以我們踫到的各式各樣的 Brunello ,基本上都是 work in progress  Gianfranco 像齊王一樣,因為得到了有管仲之才的Giulio Gambelli 的幫助, Sangiovese 在他手裏才得以大放異彩。


所以我覺得
Gianfranco Giulio Gambelli 最大的功勞,是向世人證明了 Sangiovese 絕非泛泛之輩,只要把所有事情都做對了,它是絕對可以與 Nebbiolo 平起平坐的!

正如英國酒評家 Will Lyons 所言﹕

I have to admit that until I tasted Gianfranco Soldera’s wines I didn’t know just how good sangiovese could be.


http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/spectrum.cfm?id=1826892006

 


我有著相同的經歷,以前喝過不少 Sangiovese 的酒,但踫上 Soldera 以後,我的 Sangiovese 之旅才可以算「遊于是乎始」。

我還有一個猜想,這個挑戰也是 Gianfranco Montalcino Barolo 的原因。Barolo star producers 如恒河沙數,他何必要去爭一席位呢**?以他今天在 Montalcino 的成就,他的地位幾可與 Piedmont Bruno Giacosa 相比。這起碼是我個人的意見。

 

 

** 早已聽說Gianfranco Barolo 暸如指掌,最近趁 Monica 來香港,我問他們最愛那幾個 Barolo winemakers ,她幾乎不用想便回答我是﹕Giovanni Conterno Bartolo Mascarello Mauro Mascarello Beppe Rinaldi 我問她其他 producers Brunello 呢,她笑而不答。然後我問她 Biondi Santi 又如何,她點頭說他們是很有歷史的。

 

 

 

 


後記﹕


台灣一位酒友幾年前品試過 1994 Riserva ,發現這瓶酒十天後竟然仍然「幽雅迷人」,而且有「非常可愛迷人的香氣」。 Soldera is a magical wine!


請參閱﹕


http://mypaper.pchome.com.tw/gwaihir/post/1262835978

3 則評論在 The Unbearable Lightness of Intensity: Soldera.

  1. 我只喝過一次1994,從2006年的跨年夜喝到2007年的1月11日,表現非常的驚人( http://mypaper.pchome.com.tw/gwaihir/post/1262835978 ),之後也未再在Brunello或 Sangiovese當中喝到過類似的感動(即便Biondi Santi也不行),看了您的文章真的獲益良多…相較價格和名聲已經漲了一輪的Piedmont(不知是否多少與漫畫神之水滴有關?),Tuscana近幾年似乎相當沈寂啊…
    gwaihir
    [版主回覆06/15/2010 21:01:00]你的 1994 經驗既驚人且迷人。我對我的那瓶 1994 已經印象模糊,原因是當年沒有詳細的筆記,憑回憶只記得在我喝的半天裏,酒不斷在變化,所以我有「變色龍」的印象。
     
    Toscana 的問題是本土葡萄(主要是 Sangiovese)受 Bordeaux blends 與國際口味的衝擊太大,人人趕潮流造 Parker 口味的 Super Tuscans ,只有少數「死硬派」夢想本土葡萄總有辦法造得更好, Soldera 不過是其中的表表者。 Biondi Santi 是好,但很少人有那份耐性等他成熟。我認為他絕對不是浪得虛名的。個人意見是﹕如果 Soldera 是 Giacosa , Biondi Santi 當是 Giacomo Conterno!
     
    不知道您試過 Montevertine 的 Le Pergole Torte 和 Poggio di Sotto 的 Brunello 沒有,同樣精彩萬分。很巧的是,他們也用 Giulio Gambelli 當顧問(意大利人稱他為 Master Taster )。
     
    數風流人物,還看今朝! 這對 Sangiovese 是很好的寫照。 

  2. 個人的筆記能被您引用,真的十分榮幸和不敢當…
    台灣市場近年好的Brunello進口較少,大抵除了Soldera、Biondi Santi是大家都認識,其他酒款進口也不好賣…Bordeaux blends倒是一直有其市場,是以我喝到Brunello的機會也相對較少了,也許得等台灣市場更成熟吧。
    gwaihir
    [版主回覆06/18/2010 09:58:00]這太可惜了! 處理得好的 Sangiovese 是酒中極品,而且除 Soldera 與 Biondi Santi 以外,價格比較低,比好的 Barolo 還要便宜!這是 branding 的原因而不是酒的品質的問題。個人認為好的 Sangiovese 是 the last undiscovered secret! 

  3. when can I try one…it could be the ultimate experience indeed!!
    [版主回覆07/01/2010 10:25:00]Go ahead, you'll never regret …

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