VIPa-11 第 15 場 — The Magic of Biondi Santi and Le Chiuse

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組織與報告:抱青

生物動力曆法﹕2023 年 8 月 9 日 – 7 點 根,8 點轉

Biondi Santi 的神級 Brunello Riserva 能百年不衰,靠的其實是一條用了一個世紀的獨門秘方 — 把他們同時擁有的中部 Il Greppo 與北部 Le Chiuse 兩塊田最好的葡萄來混釀。1990 以後兩者分道揚鑣了,Biondi  Santi 仍被世人膜拜如常,誰不知神仙已下凡,與衆同樂,而絕非深不可測了。Le Chiuse 卻一直少人聞問,近幾年才開始叫好但遠遠沒有 Biondi Santi 那麽叫座。

這個謎團我是兩年前在一場名爲 VIPa-9 第 4 場 — The Magic of Biondi Santi 的隨意行揭開的,我當時這樣總結了我的發現:

  1. Biondi Santi 的感覺是從地上來的,Le Chiuse 卻來自地底下;一個開朗、明亮,一個深沉,糾結;BS 的靈魂是酸度,LC 的靈魂是礦物。這是個絕佳的搭配,難怪 Tancredi 當年囑咐女兒 Fiorella 不要把她繼承的 Le Chiuse 葡萄園賣給外人。
  2. 沒有了 Le Chiuse,Biondi Santi 變得輕快,而且蠻好喝的!Annata 與 Riserva 的分別也不是大得那麽厲害。須知好喝、開放從來不是 BS 的特色,但人不能勝天與地。從混釀變單一田,性格一定隨之而變的。
  3. 相比之下,Le Chiuse 深奧很多,所以即使 Annata 也沉甸甸的,丹寧比 BS 强大得多。這樣我們可以理解爲何 BS 的 Annata 今天更好喝(贏 LC 9:2),而他的 Riserva 卻輸了給 LC(比數 4:7),因爲論複雜度,的確稍遜。

我因此推論,如果我們把 1990 年以後兩個莊的 Riserva 混合了,便可以複刻昔日的神品 Biondi Santi Riserva。我用 2010 做了一次示範(見:Love in the Time of Coronavirus (18): 如何複刻經典 Biondi Santi?)。這次品試一方面讓我發現了複刻經典版 Biondi Santi 的簡易方法,同時也清楚的顯示了 Le Chiuse 最適宜花日開,最好避免根日。Biondi Santi 因爲酸度好,不同日子可以有不同觀賞的樂趣。

這次我們再深入的探討。我選了四個年份(2001,2004,2006 與 2010)來比較兩個莊的 Riserva,所以這次可以視爲 VIPa-9 第 4 場 — The Magic of Biondi Santi 的續編。我還想回答一個我悶在肚子裏很多年的的問題 — 究竟 Le Chiuse 的老莊主 Nicolo’ 與 2006 年起掌舵的兒子 Lorenzo 風格上有差別嗎?我有個模糊的印象,似乎老爸偏力量,兒子偏優雅。

我們擺出的陣容如下:

1. Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2001
2. Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2001
3. Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2004
4. Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2004
5. Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2006
6. Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2006
7. Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2010
8. Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2010

所有酒在兩天前便拔塞作瓶醒,一天前晚飯時倒了 8 小杯作小試,當時是果。

我有點奇怪 Le Chiuse 的兩個新年份特別鮮活,相對沒有 2001 與 2004 那麽沉。我在想會否 Lorenzo 登場後換過比較新的桶,於是便向 Lorenzo 求證。

他的答案是 Riserva 一直用最老的木桶,所以他的兩個年份用的桶年紀比爸爸用的更老才是。兩組年份當然有人的差異,雖然 Nicolo’ 是他的老師。不過他認爲最大的差別是天氣的暖化,酒表達多了點力量,少了些優雅。

他很羡慕我們能辦這場比試,他認爲作爲釀酒人也應該多些這種機會。我答應第二天我們試了以後告訴他結果如何。

當晚參與的都是資深的酒友,大部分跟了我十年以上,對兩個莊也試過多次了,所以相當熟悉。大家都非常期待也好奇結果會怎樣。

我們每一回合都從一對中選一支自己比較喜歡的。

2001

前一天小試,感覺跟 VIPa-9 第 4 場 — The Magic of Biondi Santi 的兩瓶 1999 Riserva 一樣:Biondi Santi 飛上天,Le Chiuse 沉入地底;BS 偏果,LC 偏泥土;BS 更“簡單” 易喝,LC 卻深不可測。一句話:BS 此時比 LC 更開放討喜。

當晚的第一回合,BS 有花有果,雖然丹寧明顯,但活潑的花、果與酸度像洪荒之力把千斤的重量舉起來,力量中見平衡與優雅。

LC 跟前一晚一樣深沉,好像埋在厚厚的充盈著各種礦物質的泥土裏,丹寧有點粗獷、裸露,感受到他的原始力量,但此刻難言好喝。

在開放與封閉之間,大家 9:1 一面倒的選了 BS,奇怪的是酷愛 Burgundy 的飛魚卻獨愛 LC。我問他爲何,他說嫌 BS 有點空洞!妙哉,我還記得他多年前第一次開給我喝的 BS Riserva 是 1988 年,大概那是他用的標準,與此相比,自然 2001 會顯得空洞。我前一天不也認爲他 “簡單” 易喝嗎?

我把兩個杯子餘下的小量酒混在一起,毫不奇怪的比兩款 “單一園” 都要好喝!

第二回合,兩者都整合得更好了。BS 少了花粉,感覺更有深度,連酸度也更漂亮了。LC 最大的變化是果明顯出得多了,酒突然活潑起來,仍然以深度與複雜度見勝,但丹寧融合得相當好。應該說兩回合之間 LC 的進步比 BS 要大。我看一下時間,這回合是 8:30 開始的,而半個小時前,月曆剛從根轉到果。這正好證明了根對 LC 不利,而果好得多。原因明顯不過:LC 的礦物感原來便比較重,根令他過度負荷;花對他最適宜,果也不錯,起碼有更多的果來平衡他極重的礦物。

這回合 LC 果然以 6:4 反敗爲勝。

2004

這是今天最亮眼的一雙。前一天晚上小試,兩者都相當全面,連 LC 也不會一味的沉,礦物味沒錯更豐富,但有足夠的果令酒有起碼的平衡度。

第一回合,兩者勢均力敵,BS 相比嬌嫩一些,LC 孔武有力一些。BS 像是 2001 的擴充版(或者説 2001 是 2004 的簡明版),更嬌滴滴,更多花粉,沒有 2001 那麽由果佔主導,而是全面鋪開,兼有很多的層次,所以廣度與深度都比 2001 要好。

LC 龐大,以礦物味主導,像一顆漂亮的黑珍珠,現在嘗不到層次,但他豐厚兼圓潤,强大而不霸氣,是個優雅的武將!

這回合以 5:5 打平。我留意到飛魚已改投 BS 了,他必定認爲這次 BS 不再空洞了!

第二回合,BS 的礦物味蜂擁而出,開始秀肌肉了,花粉變成他的底色,酸度仍然充當絕佳的支撐。這是難得的一刻,如果要示範什麽叫 “完整”,這便是!Arthur 打趣的說:今晚這支 BS Riserva 又重新恢復他的江湖地位了!這也可圈可點,可以解讀為:在不完美的年份,BS 的 Il Greppo 需要些補品,但今天補品斷供了!

礦物味蜂擁而出,對 BS 是絕好的補充,但 LC 本身不缺礦物味,同樣的發展便令他的 “能見度” 越來越低,有人說他的香氣越來越輸,我認爲那是因爲酒在朝黑洞的方向發展。2004 是太完美的年份,行李裝得多,卸貨需要的時間也必定更長。我會推論說如果 BS 在 2004 年仍是混釀,大家不會喝得那麽開心。

因此這回合 BS 以 9:1 大勝。用另一角度詮釋,我們可以說 BS 卸載了 LC 沉重的包袱,今天變得輕盈可愛了,剩下的 LC 卻有如 Monfortino 一樣深不見底,但在 Brunello 世界中,這是難得一見的 Monfortino moment!這回合唯一投 Monfortino 的是我的太太,她說:好香!

2006

這一雙有點詼諧,BS 與 LC 好像換了角色。前一天小試,我覺得 BS 特別沉,反而 LC 有點飄揚(lifted)。

晚上第一回合從 7:45 開始,在根盡轉果之際,BS 很沉,有點燒焦的感覺,丹寧粗,酸度不太足夠。相反,LS 向上衝,圓潤,有足夠的果味,酸度亮麗,這大概是酒飄揚的最大原因。這回合 LC 把 BS 完全打垮了 — 9 比 1!

第二回合肯定轉果了,BS 變得通透了一些,酸度仍然不太足,丹寧也有點突出,不過比第一回合好了些。LC 也通透了些,酸度仍然是亮點,不過礦物味傾盆而出,小房間顯得有點擁擠了,那是 LC 的老問題或者說來自土地的本質性的問題。我是欣賞的,因爲這次起碼有足夠的果來襯托礦物,不過投票結果由 BS 以 6:4 反超。

爲什麽這一雙有此表現?Kerin O’Keefe 老早已在她的專著給出答案了,讓我們重溫:

Overrated.  If some 2006s boast exceptional structure and balance, many more are unbalanced, with massive tannins, low acidity and soaring alcohol, sometimes topping 15 and 15.5 percent.  Many will not age well.

她的描述對今晚的 BS 貼切不過,但我認爲 LC 能倖免,原因出在酸度 — LC 的向北位置令葡萄免受極端的熱浪襲擊。這確實是個不容易的年份。

2010

雖然仍然新,今天在杯裏令我覺得這年份太像 2004 了。LC 尤其是神似 2004,以礦物為主導,但各種元素非常完整。比較這兩個年份,我相信 Nicolo’ 與 Lorenzo 的風格很一致(consistent),正如 Lorenzo 所言,微細的差別更多來源於氣候的暖化,令 Lorenzo 主政的年代有更多的果來平衡這塊田特重的礦物,因此在年輕時,酒的平衡度和鮮活度會感覺好一些。

父與子,師與徒 — Nicolo’ 與 Lorenzo 的風格很一致

在 LC 旁邊,BS 簡直是另一世界 — 花香,輕盈,非常勻稱的古典風格,很平衡,與 LC 比較,幾乎可以說 BS “簡單易喝”,或者說有點空洞。能放他一百年嗎?或者可以,但肯定不是 1955 與 1964 那種老而彌堅的風格!LC 則必然是百年之酒,我懷疑没有四五十年難見真章。

這回合 LC 贏了 6:4。

第二回合 BS 長了肉,花香之外,伴以石灰和礦物,丹寧也變得明顯了。LC 這時更上一層樓,爆香,很立體的香氣 — 香粉、紅果與黑果,比 BS 的顔色深黑許多,豐滿而圓潤,整合也相當好。

溫柔與力量打成平手,5:5。

Wine of the Night

我們意猶未盡,仍然玩了 WOTN 的游戲,結果如下:

第一名: 3. Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2004(加權 30 分)

第二名: 4. Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2004(加權 17 分)

第三名: 兩支 2001(同分,加權 4 分)

第五名: 8. Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2010(加權 3 分)

第六名:7. Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2010(加權 2 分)

兩支 2006 一分也拿不到。

其實結論很簡單:咖啡或茶?

BS 亮麗、適飲;LC 深沉、開得緩慢。兩者在不同的賽道上,不可比。一般來說,LC 在愉悅度方面可能不太討好,因爲礦物味太重了,很多人受不了。這當然把我們帶回了歷史 — Biondi Santi 的前人爲何發明了用兩塊田混釀的妙法。BS 容易討好得多,雖然這並不是他成爲神話與傳奇(myth and legend)的特質。無論如何,Biondi Santi 今天賣了給法國人了,此情不再,我們只好等待 Le Chiuse 的 La Pullera 長大的一天。愛與和諧有一天終會重逢的,我有這個信念。兩者分家的今天,我們只好從咖啡或茶中選一,除非你自己來混。

因此今天的評分,主要的意義是評年份。2004 肯定是大贏家,暫時 2001 次之,雖然我判斷 2010 應該與 2004 是同一個檔次,只不過今天還沒發揮出來。至於 2006,追求優雅口味的人要嚴選了。

 咖啡與茶   各有所愛

後記

Lorenzo 對這場比試非常感興趣,下面我把我給他的報告和我們之間的對話作爲附錄,大家也可以參考:

抱青

I did a detailed analysis of our vote by two vintage groups: the older (01 & 04) and the younger (06 & 10), and found something very interesting.

For the older vintages, BS has 67.5% of the votes (27 out of 40), but for the younger vintages, LC has 60% of the votes (24 out of 40). 

Clearly, more people like BS better than LC in the older vintages, but LC is the winner in the newer vintages.

Of the 4 vintages, 2004 was stunning.  It was so complete in everything: the aromas, the presence of fruit, minerals and acidity, and the COMPLEXITY was incredible.  I myself thought the 2010 is very similar to the 2004, in its richness, completeness and complexity, but of course at this stage, it is much less detailed. 

2006 was a bit disappointing in the 4 vintages, particularly in BS.  I myself thought the LC was quite good given the warmth of the vintage.  Kerin O’Keefe was right in saying 2006 was probably overrated.

When we asked for the top 3 wines of the night, it was no wonder that most of the votes went to 2004, placing BS 2004 in the first place, and LC 2004 in the second place.  The third place was shared by BS 2001 and LC 2001, but they were far behind 2004.

Well, the numbers are just for fun.  But we learned a lot, which I will try to summarize below:

  1. 2004 is a super vintage, 2010 grows up to be similar, but 2006 is not easy;
  2. Il Greppo and Le Chiuse have very different characters – IG lifted, floral, blasting with acidity, and has a good balance of everything, an all-rounder, in short; whereas LC is deeper than deep, a philosopher type, needs more time to open up, and when it does, the complex but round, powerful but harmonious character is rare to find. I suddenly remember what Franco told us when we visited him in 2012 with your mother.  He said Biondi Santi stands for love and harmony.  Perhaps now love is left in BS, and harmony in LC!
  3. All of us agree that BS Riserva is not the same thing without Le Chiuse. My students used to tell me that they could not understand BS Riserva — they were talking about the old days when BS was a blend – vintages like 1955 and 1964 could last forever, but perhaps not for current vintages like the four we were tasting.  All of them are approachable and delicious!  These qualities may be a plus for many wines, but not for BS as a legend.  One friend half-jokingly said last night that he felt BS Riserva is no longer a cult wine, except perhaps for 04.  But I would correct him by saying that perhaps we should say 04 is a cult vintage!
  4. Is LC better in 06 & 10 than 01 & 04? Secretly I would tell you that I used to think that 06+ are better, but comparing 06 & 10 last night, I believe Lorenzo when he said the difference perhaps is in the weather getting warmer and warmer.  The reason is when I compared your 04 and 10, I really found them to be so similar, almost like twins.  It was like a great hymn sung by a great chorus, and the lead singer was the dark minerals.  Or call it a cello concerto.  It has many singers, many musical instruments, but they sing/play as one choir, one orchestra.  ‘Armonia!

I also did an interesting analysis of the 10 people last night.  One voted mostly for BS, and one mostly for LC, but the rest either gave the same votes to each, or the difference is tiny (one vote).  So, I can safely say that BS and LC are near equals for 8 out of 10 palates.

And these are very experienced drinkers.  Most have followed me for 10 years, and the youngest for 6 or 7.

Lorenzo

Che bello, thanks for sharing.

Did you do blinded? If not do you think doing the same thing blinded would gave you different results?

Everything makes sense for me and I’m honored when in a way our wines talk to the people like all of you about this place.

I have to retaste 2006 vintage because until lust time (maybe 2 years ago) it was my favorite of that decade.

抱青

Which one do you prefer?  Some wines obviously have more potential, but are late to open, and should this earn extra marks?  This we have discussed many times during the tasting.  While each can make his/her own decision, I think most of us will pick the one that delivers the most at this particular moment.  In fact, I said you don’t need a wine to be good throughout the evening, you just need to find its best moment, when it gives you the greatest emotion.  A moment that you will remember almost forever

That’s why late bloomers are at a disadvantage.

In fact, I have a personal opinion, or rather bias, when coming to the particular terroir of Le Chiuse.  I could imagine that something that Burgundy does, i.e. naming a wine with the cru, and not dividing it into a 3-tier Rosso, Brunello and Riserva, will make Le Chiuse stand out more with its particular terroir.  By blending all or most of the grapes into one cuvee will give it a distinct personality, earlier approachability than your best wine Riserva.

In the present structure, we should really compare the two producers on all three levels: Rosso, Brunello, and Riserva.  But here you hit another problem: as the criteria for the three levels differ from producer to producer

So, the Burgundian method – something similar in Barolo and Barbaresco, to me makes more sense

But I know there is history, and also there is the problem of pricing.  You can sell at a higher price when it is a Riserva, but this can be abused, etc. etc.

A difficult subject

Lorenzo

Yes, I was asking you about blinding because you had 2 wineries that could influence (irrationally) the opinion of the wines. But i could understand your point of view.

Yes absolutely Riserva is made looking for a wine with the longest potential life….so thinking about the difference between Rosso, Brunello and Riserva in our case there are not in term of quality. What we want to show are 3 different expressions of Le Chiuse with their own identity but at the same time preserving the expression of our terroir.

This is why we decided to old Riserva 4 extra years. Because Riserva is made by the smallest cluster from the oldest vines, so perfect for a long term aging wine. At the opposite Rosso is made by the biggest ones from the sunset side of the field, so perfect for a wine that could be drinkable just after 2 years

Anyway I believe that as Sangiovese is not “an aromatic grape as Pinot noir” it needs more time to express the terroir, this is why I like Brunello with some years

There are many points to talk about it so I’m very happy to see you later this year 😊

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