….Welcome to the New Year!
I’ve loved Summus for a long time and I’ve enjoyed so many of them that I’ve come to realize that I appreciate the wine more when it’s got considerable age on it. Why? Summus is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Syrah. In it’s youth, the wine is dominated by the Cabernet. It’s almost clarlet like. Lost are the character of the Sangiovese and the Syrah. However, as the wine ages, this personality seems to reverse course and the Sangiovese becomes more prominent once the Cabernet mellows. And it’s that mellow undertone, the subordinate role from the Cabernet that allows the Syrah to peek through. You get racy Sangiovese fruit that exhibits wild berries and flowers all driven by a smokey pancetta like essence from the Syrah.
You would think, knowing this, that I’d lay off these wines until they were older. Well, as I started saying, I’ll finish with….the more things stay the same.
I opened a 2004 Summus over the New Year and pretty much immediately regretted it. The wine was double decanted for almost 60 minutes and there was no sediment to remove. It’s pitch black purple – it looks like a Cabernet or Syrah for sure. On the nose, there were plenty of precise aromas of dark berries, mocha, eucalyptus and a steely minerality. I don’t sense any presence of the Sangiovese. None. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with a large core of dark berry fruit and lots of ripe tannins. Adding complexity to the fruit are cedar, mocha, and a lean graphite edge that finishes with a smokey olive note. This is not a happy wine at the moment. It seems a bit disjointed and angular and some of that comes through as “leanness” in terms of the body of the wine. Right now, you would never know there is Sangiovese in this blend and never that it was present in equal proportion. The Cabernet fans loved this wine – for me, it’s got to show more of what older versions have to fully impress me. Judgement slightly reserved. 88 points, about $45.
|~ Summus is 40% Sangiovese Grosso, 40% Cabernet and 20% Syrah ~|
January 2, 2014