2007 Modus: Guess I’ll never learn…


I’ve done this now for 16-17 years. Tasting wine. I have many to thank along the way for guidance and recommendations on what to buy – and what to avoid. The last three or four years however, I’ve started to walk my own way out of plain curiosity and because it is more rewarding; at least for me. But still there are those irresistible occasions that I simply can’t reject, even if I know I sometimes should. If I say I’m not buying wine with high ratings from a qualified  taster, I’m lying. Of course I am. After all, how can one resist 96 points at 30 Euros?

Somewhere deep inside I knew it was too good to be true. Still, out of curiosity and of course eager to make the buy of the decade, I ordered to check it out – 2007 Modus from Ruffino. A wine receiving such a respectable score and also entering the Wine Spectator Top 100 list last year (#25), I just had to try.

Friends visiting. Bottle decanted and served blind. I’m the only one who knows. I’m keen on seeing the reactions around the table.

Nothing happens. It doesn’t go down quickly that’s for sure. “Probably Italian” I hear. “Some tannins in this one, huh” is another reaction. “I think the other one we had was much better” is another comment (this one).

Personally I must say this is a young wine in need of some further bottle age. It’s a very nice glass though. But somewhere along the way, it doesn’t really kick ass which I’d expect a 96 points wine should do. To give the wine a fair chance I’m saving it for the next two days, to see if it is in need of more time to bloom. On the second day the toasted oak is taking the lead. I pick up a fascinating iron scent on the nose, some moist leather, fennel and pepper. Besides that, there’s Victoria plums, morellos, licorice, tobacco and a slightly green/herbal note.

On the palate it has a compact tannin structure, a good portion fruit, fine classy acidity and intense length. Bordeaux meets modern Tuscany taste. Plums, blackcurrants, licorice, tar, iron, morellos, spices and toasted oak. Almost oriental spices. Extremely well-made but I miss the elegance. I tries to, it really does, but never reaches. You can almost taste the frustration of the wine; “Why can’t I be elegant?”

Still. I’m a nice guy. I mostly write about wines I do like and although a bit disappointed, I do consider the 2007 Modus an outstanding wine. Not nearby 96 points but still a wine I like to drink. It is great with food by the way. But I have again yet again not learned the lesson; if it sounds too good, then just move along. Yes; rejecting it could mean I miss the buy of the decade but please Niklas; you’re still waiting for such a buy! Guess I’ll end up falling for the 96 p trick again, again and again…

2007 Modus, Ruffino, Tuscany, 90-91 p

Can be found here. The retailer has invented a new rating system as well for the wine; 96 Parker points given by Wine Spectator.

Want to read more about the wine? Check out the producer’s site here.

PS. It’s a blend of 50 per cent Sangiovese and equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

  • http://svenssonsmakaren.blogspot.com David

    Once again, thank you. Thank you for your point of view when I once again failed to order. Now I wonder what was in my basket ;)

    I, also, pointed out for the retailer the absurdness of 96 RPPs in Wein Spector but they didn’t answear. And more important, haven’t get taken the missleading information from the home page.

    Best R


  • Zoli

    Great post, again! Thanks, I really liked this one

  • http://www.winepunk.net Winepunker

    My friend, I have since long realized there is more difference in quality between a €30/96p and a €60/96p than between a €100/96p and a €100/100p. Price (almost) always matter, in particular if you stay out of the ‘prestige label’-sector where the show-off factor plays little part.
    There are no free lunches so to speak, not even cheap ones.

  • NiklasJorgensen

    Thanks guys!

    Winepunker; that’s the hard part! I know there’s a difference. Empirical studies in the subject should have resulted in not falling for the trick again, but tell that to the bargain hunter in me!



  • petter

    Sorry, but I do have to disagree with Winepunker. Sure, this argument might hold if you are considering exactly the same kind of wines, and then especially Big Reds. But when considering whites in general, and odd(er) whites (and semi dry Germans) in particular? It is my opinions that this analysis tend to fail. Big market, as in the case of Big Reds, big money to be made and there won’t be any free lunches. But when you can buy Prager Smaragds for 22 euros, the greatest Mosel Spätleses for less than 30 euros and not to mention all the sweet wines, there are indeed – not free – but definitely affordable great lunches out there.

    And yes, I am very keen on buying the 2009 Müller-Cartoir Schlössel Rieslaner Beerenauslese, which scored a fantastic 99 Parker points for under 50 euros. And yes, like Niklas – I will never learn either.

  • jackson

    Just FYI- I bought 2007 Modus- drank 2 bottles with friends at a dinner in early 2011 -(earlier than suggested by Parker et al) found it a bit harsh- disappointing – but let the rest of case cellar – Just had 3- bottles (june 2012) with same friends – & Italian food- One of the best wines I ever have tasted – Everyone agreed – Guess the suggestion about when to drink- is just as important as rating- Jackson

    • http://winevirtuosity.com Niklas Jorgensen

      Hi Jackson,

      Age is indeed never to be underestimated. Still, if a wine is not showing well in its youth I seldomly think it does so with age. Sure, it can be in the so called “tunnel” but this wasn’t the case here for me. A fine wine without doubt, but as great as for example Suckling stated, I have serious difficulties understanding. A retry within a year though!

      Thanks for writing here! Appreciate it a lot!



  • jackson

    BTW- I found it in a small local shop for onlt 18.00 /bottle- with an additional 10% off for case purchase- As i purchased case and realized I had maybe made TOO good a deal offered to have the guy check pricing- He said no it’s ok – Came back week later looking for something else and saw it had jumped to $25.00 per – …..


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