Tonight we opened a bottle of what was one of my favorite Vin Santos since getting to Florence - the one from Castello Verrazzano. The new wine is the 2003 vintage, the 2001 was the last vintage and it has been gone from shops in Florence for awhile. Unfortunately on the first taste I have to say this wine is a major pass - all I could get from the nose was alcohol, and after the initial strong alcohol smell blew off, it just smelled like a weak glass of rubbing alcohol. It tasted the same, with maybe a butterscotch candy thrown in. The alcohol actually burned my throat and the finish was very hard. Nothing like the 03, no warm flavors of honey and caramel, no aromas of flowers, peaches or toasty oak. It was almost grappa like - very surprising, and ultimately disappointing.
To make this story even worse, the bottle is now a half liter - it was formally a 750 - but the price is the same - €21! So overall not a very good effort from this large, reputable vineyard - and expensive at that. Maybe it was just an off bottle, but at that price, it will be hard to try another one.