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1999 Castelgiocondo Brunello
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A few days ago I bought one bottle to try to see how much I would buy. Yesterday I opened it up. I tasted immediately and was overwhelmed by the tartness of this wine. I decanted the wine, then my wife and I tasted it over the next six hours.

I do not know how these professional raters rate all these Brunello's right at release. Many of them are very closed and nowhere near ready to enjoy. This wine never did open up and at this particular stage I couldn't score it more than an 80. Perhaps JS is rating the wine on potential, I don't know.

All I know is that I loved the 97 from release until about 6 months ago when I believe it went into it's "dumb" phase. I cannot imagine that this 99 is already in that stage, but it showed me absolutely nothing other than tartness and an occasional tobacco note. Seemed very thin and flat compared to the 97.

In 4-5 years this may be a fabulous wine, I'm not sure. But since I can still buy the 97 at the same price as the 99, I believe I'll be stocking up on more of the 97 instead of the 99.
 
Posts: 3027 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the comments. Is it possible that you had an off bottle? Have you tasted any other '99s? If so, have you noted the same problems in them?
 
Posts: 10948 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, 2 things from me. One, you have to cut a 1999 some "slack", especially Frescobaldi. They produce outstanding Brunello, year after year. Way too early to open any of these, but if you really didn't get a "hint" of anything, then maybe it was an "off bottle"

Two, unless you know a 99 Brunello has a limited production, I would wait most of these out before buying. I am not going to stock up on Banfi, Altesino or most other large producing 99's now. I'm still Grabbing up all the 97's and some 98's first. They are still out there and 98's really are drinking nice right now.

Side note: Bought 2 Col D'orcia BdM 1998 .750 (92 points) at Costco for $33. I am exhausting these deals first, and they are out there.
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There aren't a lot of the 99's out just yet, here anyway. The Argiano has been out for awhile, but they want too much for that one. It always seems to me to be a "just ok" Brunello, so I haven't bought it. I have some Fanti and La Poderina coming in a couple weeks, but I'm afraid to open them now.

When the 97's were released I had similar experiences with some of them as well; the Pian Delle Vigne, Poggio Alle Mura, and the 97 Castelgiocondo Riserva come to mind. I opened a Poggio alle Mura a few weeks ago to try again, and what a difference from when released. So much better than the first one I tried. I haven't opened anymore 97 Antinori or Castelgiocondo Riserva's since they were released; and probably won't for another few years.

Gosh I've got a lot of wine that I can't drink. But in 3-4 years I'm gonna be drinking good.

[This message was edited by louzarius on Aug 10, 2004 at 04:09 AM.]
 
Posts: 3027 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Hunter:
Well, 2 things from me. One, you have to cut a 1999 some "slack", especially Frescobaldi. They produce outstanding Brunello, year after year.

Side note: Bought 2 Col D'orcia BdM 1998 .750 (92 points) at Costco for $33. I am exhausting these deals first, and they are out there.


I understand it's too early for the most part, my point was how can JS rate it a 95 as it is, unless he's anticipating how it will be. Reading his notes on it, I didn't get anything even close to that. I don't believe it was an off bottle, just so tight that it wouldn't let anything out right now.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Foghorn Leghorn,
 
Posts: 3027 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Outstanding!

Now there is advantage of Italy! Yes, there are many people in between you buying and us buying (by the time everyones pockets get filled - Distributors, duties, taxes, stores etc.)
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Outstanding is right! At those prices they become everyday drinkers.
 
Posts: 10238 | Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Dec 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yep. The first bottle of Comunali that I tried, I thought was a fluke because it was so good, and for $15. I went back and tried another one. It was exactly the same as the first, so I went back and bought 4 cases. It had become a fairly frequent dinner companion for my wife and I, but I think it too has gone into that dumb phase. The 98 is almost as good but the price went up to $24 with a price increase and the dollar's fall to the euro.

Like I said, I'm going to have a lot of good wine to drink in a few years, provided I live that long.
 
Posts: 3027 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the notes! Wink

Despite the fact that it wasn't what I wanted to hear. I just bought nearly a case on pre-arrival. Hopefully it was an off bottle and Suckling's 95 pts. has some merit. Confused

Cheers,

-DRAB

So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Had this tonight.

I bought a case of this last month for $44 per bottle, which for NY is pretty good.

Decanted 3 hours - a must for this wine. Smell was muted when initally poured in the decanter. Small taste 2 hours in. This is a gigantic wine waiting to open.

Sat in the glass another 1/2 hour, after 3 hrs in decanter. Initial taste of big floral multi flavored fruit (cherries, a little minty) - Beautifully floral character and a nice raisiny mid palate kick. Big finish with more strength behind it. Big wine that has legs for a decade+.

94-95 points. Frescobaldi just makes solid Brunello year after year. I loved the 98's (had 6), the 99's are big, but time will pay off.

11 more in the cellar and I will "ladder" them out accordingly.

[This message was edited by Hunter on Aug 08, 2004 at 10:21 PM.]
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hunter, can I presume that is $44 each, not a case. I state the obvious. Please correct me if I'm wrong...

...and I understand about the NY prices.

Joe
 
Posts: 13658 | Location: Arlington, Texas | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is per bottle (when bought by the case) -

Man, I'd really have a drinking problem if that was a price for the whole case!
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heard that! Big Grin

Joe
 
Posts: 13658 | Location: Arlington, Texas | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My experiences with the 1999 Castelgiocondo Brunello have been fascinating. I found the wine to be open and enjoyable immediately after it's opened--medium bodied, with nice acidity, and almost ethereal in nature with great traditional Brunello character. However, the wine seemed to oxidize after only 90 minutes in a decanter. Maybe it eventually opens up again? I’m going to try another bottle of mine and see if it eventually opens up again. Of course, with a producer this large, some degree of bottle variation must occur.

Hunter, what do you think the ideal decant time for this wine is? Did your initial observations seem to correlate with my notes at all?
 
Posts: 670 | Location: Philadelphia, PA | Registered: Apr 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On my way to Italy last month I bought a few bottles of the 99 in Frankfurt airport for 28 each.
 
Posts: 565 | Location: Southern Cal | Registered: Oct 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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louzarius

Sounds like you had a bad bottle. I have found many wines like that this year due to cork problems. The wines didn't have the "classic" wet cardboard character but they were thin and tart. Some were simply flat. In any case, a second bottle proved that they were much better.

My experience with the 1999 Castelgiocondo has been that the wine is open and luscious like most of the 1999s, but it has plenty of structure for the future. I will try to find a bottle and taste it. But it's a 95 pointer for me.
 
Posts: 969 | Registered: Dec 10, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I served the '99 Banfi normale blind on Saturday at an offline, and after 4.5 hours of time in a decanter, it was just starting to show its stuff. It was still very tight, however. Full notes to come. If anyone did want to open a bottle, I recommend at least 6 hours of air. I'll be holding the rest of my bottles for quite some time.
 
Posts: 10948 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Futronic, I also found the Banfi's much tighter than the Frescobaldi and I agree that a lot of airing is needed. I really prefer the Catelgiocondo to Banfi almost every year.

The best Banfi's (to drink now) I have had this year are 1995's and 1998's. Both are much more forward. The 97 Banfi I tried last month was soooo tight, I actually had to re-cork it and have it the next day. Made a big difference, but I don't want to do that anymore, so I'm holding on those.

Daniel, hard to say. All I can tell you is it was much better at 3 hours, than 1 hour and I did not find that it faded at all. I've only had one though, so I'll gladly give it another go soon and see.

Perhaps as JS said, there could be some bottle variation. I hope not too much. Got 11 more to get to, and the one last night was awesome.
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by James Suckling:
louzarius

Sounds like you had a bad bottle. I have found many wines like that this year due to cork problems. The wines didn't have the "classic" wet cardboard character but they were thin and tart. Some were simply flat. In any case, a second bottle proved that they were much better.


Very interesting. That might help explain the bottle of 99 La Palazzetta Brunello I had a few months ago. I had never tried any of their wines so wasn't sure if it was normal or not, but it was painfully tart. Couldn't even finish the bottle. I guess I'll have to try another now of the La Palazzetta and the Castelgiocondo. Thanks for the info.
 
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Louzarius,

You can afford more "off bottles" than me with the prices you pay!
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Hunter:
Louzarius,

You can afford more "off bottles" than me with the prices you pay!


With the weak dollar and Italy's price inflation the gap is closing quickly. Many of the top-rated 99's are selling for similar prices over here now as in the States.

It doesn't help to get an off bottle when I'm shopping around for what I'd like to stock up on. My 99's are few compared to my 97's because I've had so many "off" tester bottles. On the other hand, I had a corked 97 Castelgiocondo a few weeks ago; first bad 97 of the whole bunch I've tried.

Sure, I'll stock up on all my favorites but this year I'm trying to look for some new ones that I haven't had before. The La Palazzetta was a very good deal at $23 but not if I can't drink it. It rated 92 points which shouldn't be bad.

Most the 99's won't even show up in Naples until next month or so. They don't stock them until after the summer because nobody will buy them until Fall. Too hot to drink them.
 
Posts: 3027 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tasted yesterday, opened for 4 hours; elegant perfumes but subtle, sometime bothered by insistent tar nuances. Time in bottle give complexity to wine, but I wonder if these perfumes will open, why bouquet of this wine in youth is always indecipherable? Mouth offers great power and high level of glycerin, with the usual smooth charme well known by Frescobaldi fans.

Im drinking his Brunellos for a short time and I don't know how much they can improve, but I have the opportunity to buy 2 magnum of Brunello 97 for €50 each. Do u suggest me to buy? Can someone reassure me about a nose improvement of this kind of wine?

Anyway, as for Brunello 99, today it's very luscious in mouth and I've given it 90.
 
Posts: 417 | Location: Enotria | Registered: Nov 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Im drinking his Brunellos for a short time and I don't know how much they can improve, but I have the opportunity to buy 2 magnum of Brunello 97 for €50 each. Do u suggest me to buy?


I would definitely buy, it's a very good price, but I happen to really like the wine. If you don't really like it, then you should pass - or sell it later.

I would not worry about aging potential for magnums of 1997's.
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BABA,

This wine is being released here in a few weeks at $50CAD per bottle (31EUR), so I'm going to buy a few to put away.
 
Posts: 10948 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a similar experience to many of you with this wine while in Italy. I had it after it had been opened for about 4 hours and I couldn't tell whether it just hadn't opened up yet, or was fading. All I got out of it was a faint raisin and spice character that left my nostrils feeling strained from trying to find something else in it. It was certainly a dissappointment and kept me from getting any bottles of it, which is too bad considering the WS rating. There were just too many others out there that more clearly showed their potential that I loaded up on. Oh well, hope to be able to taste it again soon so that I can either feel good about my decision of not buying or regret it.
 
Posts: 161 | Location: New York, NY | Registered: Jan 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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