I’m just going to quote straight from the press release here. It says everything needed:
After winemaker Simon Burnell’s tragic passing last year, his friends and family have come together to bottle his last wine, the 2014 Burnello Sangiovese, which was to be released under own label (at some point).
I wrote a little piece last year after Simon’s death. It seems awkward reading that article now, and I always feel dirty writing anything approaching an obituary as it just seems wrong. I can only hope I’ve communicated something useful…
Anyway, this Sangiovese is typically clever. The name – Laterite – is a nod to Geographe’s lateritic gravel soils. There’s also a double meaning as Simon was never known for his punctuality (Laterite = the gravel always late is written on the bottle), not to mention ‘Burnello’. Such a clever guy.
I’ve spent today looking at Sangiovese from all over Tuscany, which brought this into sharp relief – it’s very much a proper Sangiovese. That pale ruby colour is classic Sangio, all cherry cola and some of that forest berry varietal character. The oak is just a bit toasty, but the DNA is so clear, complete with fine gravel tannins, complete with a Chianti Riserva style mocha cherry richness on the finish.
At first, I thought this looked just a tad simple, but in glass the oak settles down with a lovely cherry fruit juiciness, balanced acidity and proper tannins. It’s not profound, and Chianti it’s not, but this has so much genuine appeal just waiting to get out. Nice wine – important wine – with very important plus signs. Best drinking: 2018-2028. 17.5/20, 91/00+. 14.1%, $30. Would I buy it? Sure would.