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Montalcino visit june 2012
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It has taken quite some time to compile all my notes, but here it is....


MONTALCINO VISIT JUNE 2012 - Montalcino (8-6-2012-10-6-2012)

During this stay I have tasted many 2007 Brunelli, some '06, several 2010 and 2007 Rosso di Montalcino and some IGT's. Over the past years I've always tried to make a mix between tastings in town at some of the enoteca, visit some of the lesser know / smaller producers and visits to some of the 'classics'. Same this year.

My overall conclusions can be found below. I did not publish notes on some of the wines that I tasted because I only wrote down: "don't like". Those where La Gerla, Pinino, Caparzo (regular), Altesino (regular), Fanti and Fattoria die Barbi. This was mostly due to some dominant candied fruit element that I didn't like.

I also have not been able to taste some of the wines that I was curious about: Fuligni, Salicutti, Valdicava. If you are missing them in the list below, its not because I didn't like them!
Various tastings in town
  • 2006 Azienda Agricola due Portine (Gorelli) Brunello di Montalcino Le Potazzine - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    This wine is a good example of the character of the 2006 BdM vintage that I like so much: lots of freshness and great structure.
    Full aromas of cherry, fresh berries and some cassis and hints of leather. Full bodied with chewy tannins and fresh acidity. A very long and spicy finish. Give it some time to develop. Drink 2015 - 2024. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Cupano Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Light ruby color. Expressive aromas of fresh red and black fruit, some cedar and hints of leather. Following trough full bodied, mouth coating layers of smooth tannins and fresh acidity. The finish is very long and keeps on lingering. This is one of the best 2007 Brunelli that I've tasted to date! It is very open and expressive right now, but has loads of structure to develop for many years to come. It might close down like may classic Brunelli do. Drink now or 2017 - 2035. (95 pts.)
  • 2006 Cupano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Full aromas of cherry, fresh berries and some blackcurrant and licorice evolving with hints of leather and indian spices. Following trough full bodied with silky smooth layers of tannins and lots of fresh acidity and good fruit. The finish is very long and keeps on lingering. This wine has loads of potential to develop with some upside potential. It will benefit from some time in the bottle. Drink 2016 - 2035 (96 pts.)
  • 2007 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Aromas of dark cherry, dried plum and hints of dried herbs. Medium full bodied with ripe black fruit and chewy tannins. Medium long finish. (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    A big difference with the regular BdM from Banfi!
    Ruby color. Full aromas of cherry, ripe blackcurrant and some licorice and boxwood. Full bodied with refined tannins and balanced acidity. A long finish that remains fresh throughout. Drink now - 2020. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Aromas of dried strawberry and some herbs with hints of red licorice. Slightly hot, medium bodied with smooth tannins. And a long finish.
    A disappointing showing of this producer that has been otherwise very consistent over the past decade. Bottle variation? Not sure about that, it has many of the dried/candied fruit characteristics that I've tasted in other '07 Brunelli. (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Tenuta Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Initially some hints of burned rubber. This blew off after a few minutes in the glass.
    Light ruby color. Full aromas of ripe red fruit, some dried herbs and cedar. Full bodied with smooth tannins and balanced acidity. A long finish. Not even close to the great 2006 Brunello of this producer. (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Bright aromas of cherry and some strawberry, hints of red licorice, boxwood and dill. Full bodied but a bit fragmented with chewy tannins, fresh acidity and bright fruit. A long and fresh finish. This wines needs time to settle down. But it does not seem to be built for the long haul. Drink 2014 - 2017.
    Quite a bit better than the '04-'06 vintages, but definitely not on the top level of the '97, '99 and '01 that I loved so much. Not sure what is happening at this estate (see also my note on the 'regular' label). (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Azienda Agraria Lisini Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Full aromas of ripe blackcurrant, some red licorice and spices. Full bodied with chewy-smooth tannins and ripe fruit. The finish is long and spicy.
    This wine is slightly fragmented on the palate and I would give at a year or so before drinking. Its not for the very long haul, but a well made classic Brunello to enjoy over the next 8-10 years. (90 pts.)
  • 2006 Azienda Agraria Lisini Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    A typical Lisini Brunello with some excellent aging potential, but already quite nice to drink now:
    Ruby color. Full aromas of blackcurrant and cherry with some hints of licorice and leather. Full bodied on the palate with chewy smooth tannins, fresh acidity and balanced fruit. The finish is long and remains fresh throughout. Its youthful and accessible, but I think you will be rewarded with more complexity if you leave it in the cellar for 5 years or more. Drink now - 2026+ (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Aromas of cherry, red licorice and some candied fruit. Medium bodied with chewy tannins and fresh acidity. Medium finish.
    This house has made much better wines, this one is quite disappointing. Many producers in Montalcino have made much better Rosso di Montalcino! (86 pts.)
  • 2007 Podere Loreto (Mastrojanni) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Aromas of cherry and candy-sticks and some spices. Full bodied with ripe fruit, but slightly hot. Medium-long finish. Quite characteristic of some of the '07 Brunelli I've tasted. Perhaps I'm just being put off to much by the candied fruit charter. Some may like it. I don't.... (87 pts.)
  • 2007 Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino Madonna delle Grazie - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Expressive aromas of ripe black fruit with some indian spices, red licorice and tar. Full bodied with balanced acidity, smooth tannins and ripe fruit. The finish is very long and turns a bit spicy. Quite approachable right now, but could develop for many years to come. Drink now - 2025. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Fornacina Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Full aromas of cherry, blackcurrant and red licorice with hints of spices and boxwood. Full bodied with silky tannins and balanced acidity. The finish is long and spicy. Well approachable right now and will develop for a few more years to come. Drink now - 2020. (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Full aromas of ripe black fruit and some raisin with hints red licorice and plum. Medium-full bodied with smooth tannins and ripe fruit. The finish is long and turns slightly bitter (89 pts.)

Tasting at Sesta di Sopra
Besides the wines below I also did a barrel tasting. Its always difficult to predict where wines are heading when they are still in the barrel. So, please take the points indications even less serious than you would do otherwise with my notes!
- 2008 lots of bright fruit, chewy tannins with a slight edge. 90-91
- 2009 ripe black fruits, loads of structure, smooth and harmonious. It seems that its ready to bottle! 93-94.
- 2010 opulent and fresh with mouth coating layers of silky tannins and loads of fresh fruit. This will be a big one! 95-97
- 2011 hard to judge, very primary, strawberry, medium structure.
  • 2007 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Intense aromas of dark cherry, some red licorice and sweet tobacco and hints of cinnamon. Following trough full bodied with silky smooth tannins, fresh acidity and some dark fruit. The finish is very long has a spicy zing to it. This wine has a long life ahead, and might close down in the next few years. Drink now or 2017 - 2025. (93 pts.)
  • 2010 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Dense aromas of dark cherry and fresh berries with some spicy hints. Full bodied with chewy-smooth tannins, fresh acidity and fresh fruit. The finish is long and remains fresh. This is some great Rosso, reminds me of the '04 and '06 from this producer. Could use half a year to balance out a little more and has lots of structure to last/develop for some time with perhaps a notch upside potential. Drink 2013 - 2020. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Sesta di Sopra Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (9-6-2012)
    Bright ruby color. Full aromas of strawberry, cherry and some allspice and floral hints. Full bodied and dense with smooth tannins and lots of fresh acidity and fruit. A long and fresh finish.
    This wine is the surplus of the Brunello/Rosso di Montalcino production that was sold in bulk in the past. I think its a great decision of Sesta di Sopra to bottle this without oak aging. Its perhaps only held back a little by its lack of complexity, but its density and smoothness is some of the purest expressions of Sangiovese that I know. Likely also thanks to the superb vintage that 2010 seems to be (see also some of my Rosso di Montalcino notes on the 2010 vintage). (88 pts.)

Tasting at Casanova di Neri
  • 2007 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Expressive aromas of dark fruit, spices and some meat. Full bodied with huge mouth coating chewy tannins, balanced acidity and dark fruit. The finish is long and spicy. It is quite approachable right now, though still a bit fragmented on the palate. Give it some time if you drink it now, drink trough 2020.
    One of the best QPR of my Brunello tasting in June 2012. (92 pts.)
  • 2005 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    This wine has definitely improved since I last tasted it 2 years ago! It now shows:
    Deep ruby color. Full aromas of ripe black fruit, some leather and spices and hints of toast. Full bodied with silky smooth tannins, ripe fruit and balanced acidity. The finish is very long and turns slightly bitter. (93 pts.)
  • 2010 Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    This wine needed quite a bit of air to open up, but then it turned into a great Rosso with quite a bit of potential for further development.
    Deep ruby color. Expressive aromas of cherry and blackcurrant with some allspice and hints of boxwood. Full bodied on the palate with big and smooth tannins well balanced with fresh acidity and red fruit. A long and fresh finish.
    Could use a year or so to settle down a little. Drink 2013 - 2017. (90 pts.)

Tasting at Querce Bettina
This is one of the most recent new producers in Montalcino. I first discovered this winery in 2009 with the release of the 2004 vintage. It has since then been producing some of the better Brunelli that I tasted in recent vintages. The Rosso have a freshness and refinement that I like so much in some Rosso di Montalcino (others are Costanti, Poggio di Sotto and Salicutti).
  • 2007 Querce Bettina Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Expressive with loads of blaccurrant, blackberries and some fresh red berries and cinnamon with hints of leather. Full bodied with chewy smooth tannins balanced fruit and acidity. A long and fresh finish. This bottle seemed a bit more harmonious than the one I had in back January, it was opened 6 hours before drinking. This wine has quite a bit of structure left to develop over many years to come. If you drink it now give it some time to breathe, otherwise drink 2017 - 2025. (94 pts.)
  • 2006 Querce Bettina Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    This wine has everything that the regular '06 BdM has, and more! The bottle was opened 6 hours before drinking and in great shape.
    Ruby color. Full aromas of blackcurrant, cherry and some fresh berry and leather and evolving hints of licorice and allspice. Following trough full bodied with silky mouth coating tannins, fresh acidity and lots of good fruit. The finish is very long and remains fresh with a hint of eucalyptus to it.
    If you drink it now, give it quite a bit of time to breathe. But I think it will be worthwhile to let this wine age, there is certainly some upward potential and it has a long life ahead. Drink 2016 - 2030. (96 pts.)
  • 2007 Querce Bettina Rosso di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    This wine is in a much better spot than last year spring.
    Medium ruby color. Fresh aromas of cherry, berries some tobacco and hints of red licorice. Full bodied and fresh with smooth tannins and red fruit. The finish is long and fresh. Drink now - 2015. (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Querce Bettina Il Campone Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (9-6-2012)
    This is the excess production that could not be bottled as RdM or BdM. It has not been aged in oak. Perhaps its mostly due to the great 2010 vintage, but this is some great Sangiovese.

    Ruby color. Loads of cherry aromas with some strawberry, cinnamon and red licorice. Full bodied with smooth tannins, concentrated fruit and fresh acidity. The finish is long and fresh.
    Could improve with one or two years in the bottle. Drink now - 2016. (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Querce Bettina Rosso di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Ruby color. Cherry and fresh berry aromas with some toast. Medium-full body with chewy, tannins and fresh acidity. A long finish.
    Has settled down since I last tasted it in spring 2011. Drink now - 2014. (88 pts.)

Tasting at Conti Costanti
After many visits to this winery over the past years, I finally manage to meet with Andrea Constanti. This was a memorable event that gave even more color to my experience with this historic estate. Perhaps the most notable fact is that everything Andrea told me about his work in the vineyard and the cellar confirmed what I appreciate so much about his wines: its all about maintaing freshness, elegance and complexity.

I also tasted his 100% Merlot from '07: the Ardingo. According to Andrea "much easier to make". And I guess for some people also 'much easier to drink' when young. An interesting merlot nevertheless with some of that signature refinement of the Costanti wines. It reminded me a bit of Galatrona, while not reaching the density and complexity of that wine.
  • 2007 Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Full aromas of dark cherry, blackcurrant some dried herbs and licorice and hints of leather. Full bodied with silky smooth tannins, fresh acidity and balanced fruit. The finish is very long, keeps on lingering and remains fresh throughout. Very refined and fresh compared to many other '07 Brunelli. Could use some time to balance out a little, but it seems classic enough to be closing down in a few years. Drink 2016 - 2027. (93 pts.)
  • 2010 Conti Costanti Rosso di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    Medium ruby color. Full aromas of cherry and fresh berries with some dried herbs and hints of tobacco. Full bodied with fresh acidity and fruit and chewy smooth tannins. The finish is long and fresh.
    Another great '10 Rosso di Montalcino! (90 pts.)
  • 2006 Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (9-6-2012)
    This is how I like my Brunello: refined and complex! And this wine was quite approachable right now, where other '06 seem to be closing down already.
    Medium ruby color. Expressive aromas of cherry, fresh berries some blackcurrant and leather and some floral hints. Following trough full bodied with layers of silky tannins against a strong backbone of acidity and balanced fruit. The finish seems to going on for ever!
    This wine comes close to the '01 riserva, which is one of my favorites of this house. It has a long life ahead and will develop more complexity over time. Drink 2016 - 2031. (95 pts.)
  • 2007 Conti Costanti Ardingo Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (10-6-2012)
    Medium ruby/red color. Expressive aromas of freshly crushed blackberries and violets with some smoke, sweet tobacco and hints of allspice. Following through with silky smooth mouthfeel, mouth coating dusty tannins and some fresh acidity. The finish is long and remains fresh throughout. It is drinking excellent right now, well integrated and smooth. It does have quite a bit of structure left to develop for lots of years. But why wait? Drink now - 2017.

    This is some wonderful merlot wine with lots of Tuscan/Montalcino typicality, but more internationally styled than the very classic Brunelli that Costanti makes. Next time I visit Montalcino I'll definitely try to get hold of a little more of this! (92 pts.)


Some overall conclusions:
- I tasted some great '07 Brunelli that are almost on par with '06. I prefer the freshness of the '06 vintage in most cases.
- I also tasted many that I didn't like because of the heat, the candied fruit and sometimes hints of burned rubber.
- The few '06 riserva that I've tasted where simply superb. Some of the best Brunelli I've ever had.
- All 2010 Rosso di Montalcino I tasted where great. I expect that this will be an outstanding vintage with some similarities to '06 (the freshness) but with more density.
- Several producers have decided to bottle their surplus Sangiovese production without aging on wood. They do it under the IGT denomination. I've tasted 2 of them, both showed great density of fruit and smoothness. Way better then most Sangiovese wines that go for the same price in supermarkets.


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
Posts: 719 | Location: The Netherlands | Registered: Aug 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow what a report! Thanks for the great notes. I am a great fan of Querce Bettina and have the pleasure of enjoying their wines quite frequently! Your notes seem to also highlight another winery which I do not know; Cupano. Is it a new producer? Thanks again!
 
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What a trip! My wife and I had the pleasure of staying at Banfi for an evening on our honeymoon, it was tremendous. Great Notes


I think I might be able to help with the Pan, Pam dilemma
 
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An review nothing less than excellent, Jochems.
A well appreciated read and provides me some insightful and valued guidance towards upcoming releases.

Well done!
 
Posts: 15354 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
Well done!


Yes.

PH
 
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Jochems, sorry I missed you by two days, but thanks for reaching out to me.

Perhaps next time.
 
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Thanks for the great report. The biggest surprise to me was your report on Cupano. The owner and winemaker is a Frenchman who, when I have tasted his wines, uses only French barrique and the oak was overpowering. The last vintage I tasted was 2001 so he may have changed his style. Glad you finally got to meet Andrea. He is truly passionate about his wine and I can't wait to taste the '06 Riserva.
 
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Yes, the Cupano was really the biggest surprise to me. It was definitely not over-oaked. I have an almost as sensitive 'dislike' factor for that as for the candied fruit that I tasted in some of the '07 Brunelli. It was one of the most fresh and refined '07 Brunello that I've tasted.


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
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Originally posted by wine+art:
Perhaps next time.


Just give me a (virtual) shout next time!
I have some business reasons that make it a bit easier to make a quick trip to Italy these days. Please do give me an excuse to do it Big Grin


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
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There is one thing that I want to emphasize a bit more: Do try the '10 IGT if you can get hold of them. I think that Ettore from Sesta di Sopra mentioned that K&L would be getting some.

These are fine wines in their own right, but also a quite unique chance to get a flavor for what a Brunello tastes like when it is transferred from the steel maceration tanks to the casks. I had the '10 from Querce Bettina last year just a few weeks before it would be transferred from steel to wood. The Il Campone is just that. But perhaps only a Brunellophile like me finds it fascinating to learn something about the development of such a great wine Cool


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
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Thanks for sharing your tasting experiences. I'll be there in two weeks and will make sure to try the Cupano.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by on the wine:
Thanks for sharing your tasting experiences. I'll be there in two weeks and will make sure to try the Cupano.


Lucky you!
Make sure you try the Costanti and the Querce Bettina and some Rosso '10 too Big Grin


Albert Jochems
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I tasted the '04 Costanti Riserva alongside the '06 Riserva, the '07 Normale and the 2010 Rosso di Montalcino. Some quick observations:

2010 is going to be a great year for Montalcino wines. The Rossi that I have tasted are excellent and the 2010 Costanti is no exception. This wine is quite frankly as good as some BdM from 2000, 2003, and 2005.

The 2007 BdM is a polished wine with very pure fruit, better than average acidity, and a medium to long finish. It was actually less expressive than the '04 and '06 Riservas. I enjoyed it very much.

The 2006 BdM Riserva is a fantastic wine. If any of you have tasted the '01 and enjoyed it in its youth you will love the '06. I agree with Jochems, this is a refined and complex wine. Great structure for the long haul. I would definitely say this wine is a buy without any reservations.

The real eye opener for me was the '04 Riserva. I remembered this wine as somewhat backward and not really having an identity. There had been pretty drastic bottle variation on this wine. This bottle was beautiful. I did not expect it to be so expressive. The bottle was popped and poured and I then took it to lunch. Wonderful aromas of tart cherries, leather, and even a slight scent of porcini mushrooms. The wine evoked what I love about Brunello - the sense of place that Sangiovese only tastes like this from one place in the world. I hope the bottle variation was an anomoly and that future bottles will be this good. What an absolute treat.
 
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Very nice! Costanti is one of my favs every year.
 
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Originally posted by GlennK:
Very nice! Costanti is one of my favs every year.


+1, my favourite producer. Thanks for the update on these wines Longboarder...I'm well-stocked on the 04 Ris. and 06 Normale, and this is a good reminder to take the plunge and pick up some of the 06 Riserva.
 
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Longboarder, thank you for all your Montalcino notes. Much appreciated.
 
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Another day of tasting in Montalcino. I visited with Mastrojanni and Argiano, along with Poggio Antico. I also tasted 10 additional Brunelli in the Enoteca Piazza.

Too many wines to take detailed notes but this is what I wrote down:

Mastrojanni - I had a bottle of the '95 normale for dinner last night so that was my reference point. The '95 was an excellent wine that is drinking beautifully right now. I also tasted the '06 normale beside it. The debate is whether the newer wines will evolve like the '95 has. Really nobody knows but I guess only 11 more years to find out. One of the most experienced palates in Montalcino is Mario who is the owner of Il Giglio. He feels very strongly that the good wines of today will be as good or better than the wines of the past. He is one of the few people that would have tasted the older Brunelli in their youth. That gives me reason to be optimistic.

Now to the 2007's.

2007 Mastrojanni Normale - Bright ruby color with nose of plums, anise, and tobacco. Fresh acidity, with tannins present on the back of the tongue. No evidence of the candied fruit that Jochems mentioned in the Loreto. 92 points.

2007 Mastrojanni Loreto - This is a new wine for Mastrojanni and comes from a single vineyard next to the winery. The vineyard is at about 400 meters above sea level. Ruby color with raspberries and cherries. I would not have called them candied but they are predominant. A little less apparent acidity but not a bad wine. 90 points. BTW, I also tasted the 2009 version of this wine from botti. I would say they are definitely learning what to do with this vineyard. The '09 was very good which surprised me greatly.

2010 Mastrojanni Rosso di Montalcino - Again, 2010 is going to be special. This is a powerful RdM that can stand some additional aging. 90 points.

2012 Mastrojanni BdM from Stainless - The miracle of 2012 was once again made evident to me while tasting all three brunelli to come. What was so enlightening was that all three wines (normale, Loreto, and the Schiena di Asino) were totally different. The normale's tannins hit you right up front on your palate. The Loreto concentrated on the back of your tongue. The Schiena just coated your mouth. I have to say that I have never tasted brunello this young that showed so well. No wood treatment and still structured with excellent acidity. I was very pleasantly surprised.

2004 Poggio Antico Riserva - I must admit that I have never been a fan of Altero from Poggio Antico so I decided not to taste it today. I was running short of time so I only tasted the '04 Riserva. A nice wine but I can't seem to get excited about the house style of this winery. Great people and a beautiful spot. I know others like it much better than me. That's what makes wine so interesting.

2007 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino - This estate is going back to their roots since the scandal with the 2003 vintage. IMO, the '07 is the best BdM they have made since 1995. It is extremely well balanced and more elegant than the recent vintages. Ruby color with tart cherries, spices, and silky tannins. I liked it very much. 93 points.

Now for my very quick observations from the tasting at the Piazza:

2007 Fuligni Normale - Excellent with tart fruit and balanced acidity. 94
2007 Lisini Normale - Good but not great. Something a little off with this one. 88
2007 Canalicchio di Sopra - Very good with silky tannins. 91
2007 Poggio San Polo - Good but not up to the 2006. 89
2007 Sassosole Normale - Very good wine. This estate is moving up. 92
2004 Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento - An excellent wine that has everything I look for in a Brunello. The very distinctive nose of rosemary is there with all elements in perfect balance. One of the best young PaV's I have tasted. 96-97
2006 Il Poggione Riserva - Excellent and very traditional in style. 94
2006 Il Paridisio Riserva - Tasted like a dirty wine with some brett. Maybe an off bottle. 85
2006 La Poderina Poggio Anale (Banale) - Not bad but overpriced. 90
2005 Soldera Case Basse Riserva - Some VA so not sure what to think. No score.

Good to see that Fuligni continues to perform so well year in and year out. The Poggio al Vento is a tremedous wine and 60 Euros here. Many '06 and '07 Normali are that price or higher.

2007 is a very good year that should evolve similarly to the 1993 vintage which I think has always been overlooked for quality. It appears that most prices have held steady or have dropped slightly from 2006. There are actually some relative bargains to be found. Sassosole is one as it is 21 Euros here.

Planning to taste some Super Tuscans tomorrow.
 
Posts: 2155 | Location: Virginia | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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LB,

Thanks for your update!
The 2010 seems to become a superb vintage. Good to read that you enjoyed the '06 riserva.

quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:
The real eye opener for me was the '04 Riserva. I remembered this wine as somewhat backward and not really having an identity. There had been pretty drastic bottle variation on this wine. This bottle was beautiful. I did not expect it to be so expressive. The bottle was popped and poured and I then took it to lunch. Wonderful aromas of tart cherries, leather, and even a slight scent of porcini mushrooms. The wine evoked what I love about Brunello - the sense of place that Sangiovese only tastes like this from one place in the world. I hope the bottle variation was an anomoly and that future bottles will be this good. What an absolute treat.


I have had the '04 normale now 4 times. The first time was during our offline. This must have been a single off-bottle. All three other bottles were really good (2 of them being half bottles).


Albert Jochems
- life is to short to drink bad wines -
 
Posts: 719 | Location: The Netherlands | Registered: Aug 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Update on the 2007 Lisini Normale - This bottle was much better than the one I tasted last year. In fact, I considered it one of the best 2007 normali that I tasted. Expressive nose and a relatively long finish. Nice red cherry fruit and a spiciness that was pleasing. I hope the wine has progressed beyond what I tasted before.
 
Posts: 2155 | Location: Virginia | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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