Robert Parker (erobertparker.com; Wine advocate), the number one wine critic in the world, who’s opinion is very important in world’s wine business tasted Santomas wines and got them great scores:
Cuvée Quattro 2013 – 91/100
Made from a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Refosk, the 2013 Quattro is a big, fruit-loaded, hedonistic effort that offers up lots of sweet oak in its toasted bread, plum, blackberry and chocolate-laced bouquet. While it certainly doesn’t lack for fruit, it stays nicely focused on the palate, has outstanding purity of fruit and a great finish. It should drink well through 2021, if not longer.
Antonius Refošk 2007 – 91/100
Tasting like a California Tannat (or maybe a Petit Sirah), the 2007 Antonius is made from 100% Refosk, which is the indigenous grape of the region (as well as common in northern Italy). Grown on steep hillside plots and aged all in 300-Liter barrels, it boasts a big, exuberant bouquet of dark fruits, truffle, chocolate and tobacco that stays lively and fresh. Full-bodied, structured and serious on the palate, it still tastes like it was just bottled, and has good acidity and focus on the finish. I’ve no experience with the aging curve here, but would be shocked to see this not still be going strong for another 5-8 years.
Antonius Refošk 2009 – 93/100
A step up over the 2007, the 2009 Antonius is drop dead gorgeous. Deep, decadent and ripe, yet still incredibly fresh, focused and clean, it yields tons of chocolatey dark fruits, liquid smoke, truffle, licorice and distinct minerality on the nose. Full-bodied, concentrated and layered, it’s another serious wine from this estate that’s worth the effort to track down.
Grande Cuvée 2006 – 94/100
The top cuvee of the estate, the 2006 Grand Cuvee still tastes like it’s a year or two old. It exhibits fabulous notes of black currants, white truffle, smoked earth and hints of chocolate, and there’s an almost Bordeaux like quality on both the nose and palate. Full-bodied, pure, concentrated and fresh, with vibrant acidity and plenty of tannin, who knows how long this will continue to age.
Grande Cuvée 2008 – 92/100
Another superb wine from this estate, the 2008 Grand Cuvee is still an infant, with lots of acid, tannin and fruit still needing to mesh. Showing dark fruits, leather, truffle, chocolate and minerality, it’s full-bodied on the palate and has the hallmark purity of fruit that’s common from this estate. Give it another 2-3 years and I bet it’s still drinking nicely at age 20.
Grande Cuvée 2009 – 94+/100
Lastly, and my favorite of the lineup, the 2009 Grande Cuvee is another rock star. Offering up lots of truffle, dark fruits, white pepper and melted licorice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, stunning purity of fruit and the inherent acidity and freshness of this variety. Like the other Grande Cuvees, this is incredibly youthful. According to Consultant Claude Gros, these are all difficult to taste in their youth due to the high acidity and tannin, nevertheless, at this point, these are all showing beautifully. Highly recommended!