The randomness of Twitter. “ Scali Blanc 2009 – a bit too odd for it’s (sic) own good? Distinctive and characterful, but a bit wild for me. Like sherry + new oak”, tweeted Richard Hemming this past Friday. Now Hemming is a wine writer on Jancisrobinson.com and a MW student and I picked up on his tweet entirely incidentally. My immediate response was “I think it is crazy-assed and we need more crazy-assed wines” but subsequently found myself in a bout of introspection.
I liked the wine so much when tasting it for the 2012 edition of Platter’s that I nominated it for 5 Stars. It was not endorsed by my colleagues and remained at 4½ Stars. My tasting note then was as follows: “Intellectually demanding, from 50% Chenin, 20% Chardonnay, rest Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, year older oak. Hugely complex with great breadth & depth of flavour, apple, green melon, peach, apricot, nuts, spice, weightless intensity before super-dry finish”. Purple prose which I can hardly improve on now, although I might add that I do get how many might find this wine weird.
After Hemming’s tweet, I was compelled to open my last sample bottle this weekend. Due to both its failure to earn endorsement in the Platter taste-off plus Hemming’s misgivings, I was initially inclined to fixate on the wine’s flaws. But, man, I dig it, and the reason I dig it is because it’s left of centre. 15/20 or 18/20? I have no idea other than it gives me a bit of a thrill and I like the way it introduces a flavour profile outside of the conventional. It’s different but nowhere near as different as some of the stuff Lammershoek’s Craig Hawkins is doing and if we can’t accommodate Scali, how on earth are we going to accommodate the even more alternative but potentially great?