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1997 Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello
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Well, my hat's off to James Suckling. I tried this wine almost two years ago when it was released. I thought he was crazy for giving the wine 97 points. It was showing absolutely nothing. A few mineral notes on the nose, no fruit to speak of, tannins were there and deep dark color, but just not anything near 97 points.

Last night I decided to give it another try to see if things had changed. Wow! What a difference. I didn't decant the wine at all, just opened it about an hour before dinner. The immediate nose was like sticking my face into a large fragrant rose. The fruit was definitely there this time with multiple berry flavors. Tannins were firm and well integrated, and perhaps holding the full potential for this wine for years to come. The most amazing part of this wine to me though, was the creamy texture along with the creme de cassis finish. This finish led me to give up on dinner and just drink the wine.

I saved about 1/3 of the bottle for tonight and it was very similar to last night, except the finish was less creamy and more abrupt; yet still an outstanding wine.

All in all, I must say that IMO this wine now warrants the full 97 points given by JS, and perhaps will even get better in the next few years. It has the tannins to keep things together for many years, but I believe that you can enjoy this wine sooner if you'd like. This was one of the best Brunello's that I've tasted in some time.

This wine has led me to hold off on my judgement of these Brunello ratings for at least a couple years until after release. Sorry James.
 
Posts: 3020 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Going to Olivetos tonight (great tuscan-style place near Berkeley) with the wife and was thinking of pulling this wine from the cellar. You helped me make up my mind, thanks! I had this wine about 2 yrs ago in Hawaii (of all places) and I really enjoyed it then (after a good bit of time in the decanter).
 
Posts: 54 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: May 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just what I needed! An excuse to open another 1997 Brunello!! Smile

Nice notes.....

PH
 
Posts: 14631 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the TN!

Just what I wanted to hear for the 6 pack I have sleeping!

-DRAB

So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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knocked off that bad boy last night. Agree with the original TN however it took about an hour (two would have been better) for this stuff to open up. During the first hour is was wound tight as a drum but at about 61 minutes it realized it was free and opened up dramatically. I need more of this stuff! Awesome...
 
Posts: 54 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: May 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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thanks for the note, i have 1 of these, i had the other 1 year ago and it was not showing much.
 
Posts: 714 | Location: Toronto Canada | Registered: Sep 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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brunello needs time or a quick spin in the blender when young. i still have 90s and they are mighty fine. and as for the poo pooing about international styles, the 90 banfi puts that to shame.
 
Posts: 38 | Location: Portland | Registered: Feb 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I ran out and bought quite a few of these bottles to represent the vintage for my cellar. While I have bought and tried others (Caparzo, Caprili, Col D'Orcia, Castello Banfi, Castelgiocondo, La Poderina, Camigliano, Campogiovani, etc.) I found this one to be the most disappointing. Yet I am happy to see the recent note posted here because having tasted the Pian delle Vigne several months ago, it prompted me to post a note regarding the "so-called DUMB" phase into which many wines fall while aging. Perhaps based on your notes, this is the case. Suppose I will crack a bottle and see for myself. Thanks
 
Posts: 916 | Location: Plano, Texas | Registered: Nov 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Brunelloman, glad you enjoyed it. We sure did.

Here's my disclaimer:

I just wanted to say to those of you that may be contemplating opening one of these now, unless you have an ample supply of them I would wait a couple more years. I've been blessed with being in the right place at the right time and was able to buy many of the 97 Brunello's at very good prices. It has been interesting and quite a learning experience for me to see the changes that these wines are making from when first released. If I had paid more or had bought less, I would be waiting at least a couple more years to open most of these wines. They will definitely benefit even more from the extra time.
 
Posts: 3020 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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louzarius, you sure know how to throw water on the party!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: May 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry, I just don't want somebody out there to open their last bottle this week based on my recommendation, then wish they had waited longer. If I had paid US prices for these things, I wouldn't be drinking them yet unless I had plenty to spare.

From what I've tasted of the 99's, I don't think I will be drinking many more of them for a few years.
 
Posts: 3020 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just retasted this wine (for the third time) again 2 weeks ago. It has always underwhelmed me, although I must say it has improved in the last 2 years. It is pleasant, fruity but a bit too acidic for me. In my book this is a 91 point wine, not 97.

It was drunk before a bottle of 1998 Raymond Reserve Cab that completely blew the Pian delle Vigne's memories out of everyone's head. And this is no star wine. Confused
 
Posts: 499 | Location: Monterrey, Mexico | Registered: Feb 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pelochain....

Unless you're a "Brunello Fan", they are wines for consumption with food (hearty, greasy food IMHO b/c of the high acidity), and wines of subtlety. Even a crappy CA wine is going to "fruit bomb" a Brunello off the table.

Just my $.02...

-DRAB

So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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agreed ... it's all about the food (and cheese!). Brunellos shine with deep green grassy olive oil, fresh tomatoes, cracked sea salt, garlic and italian bread (isn't there a name for all of that together??)
 
Posts: 54 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: May 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is that a rhetorical question, or are you really asking? (Bruschetta - in case you're asking).

Although I've had Brunello with grilled chicken, steak, hamburgers, or whatever else comes off my grill each day. It works for me.
 
Posts: 3020 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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10-23-05

Decanted 3+ hours. Dark, dark ruby. Inital and continuing nose of flowers and dark fruit. Soft mouthfeel, with medium body. Suckling's description of "layered frult" is spot on, but tannins were subdued, the finish was shorter than predicted (half minute or so) and as the evening progressed, the wine offered less and less. A half bottle is being saved for the next day.

10-24-05

quote:
What a difference a day makes,
Twenty-four little hours


Re-decanted at 4PM, and first tasted at 7PM. Oh, man. Am I glad I didn't sell my Italian collection. More dark fruit, and less floral nose. Spicy. Rich, powerful, dark and brooding Brunello tonight. Gum and cheek coating tannins. Double the finish of last night. One minute plus and counting. I have food waiting, and I'm typing this, so make your own conclusions. The food will wait.

Sorry, but recommend "hold" for at least 2 more years based on the 2 day, 2 decant experience to get to this point. Sufficient fruit to hold for this long, and much further IMO. 94 points with potential for a bit more in time. Be patient.

PH

This message has been edited. Last edited by: PurpleHaze,
 
Posts: 14631 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Unless you're a "Brunello Fan", they are wines for consumption with food (hearty, greasy food IMHO b/c of the high acidity), and wines of subtlety. Even a crappy CA wine is going to "fruit bomb" a Brunello off the table.


Agree. Drinking a BdM without food is a waste of the bottle.
 
Posts: 7448 | Location: Long Island, NY | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The last bottle of this that I opened a few months ago, was as uninspiring as the first bottle I opened upon release. "Dumb phase"?? Who knows. Not a bad bottle just not what I experienced with the second bottle notes which started this thread. That bottle was the best '97 Brunello that I have opened.
 
Posts: 3020 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by louzarius:
The last bottle of this that I opened a few months ago, was as uninspiring as the first bottle I opened upon release. "Dumb phase"?? Who knows. Not a bad bottle just not what I experienced with the second bottle notes which started this thread. That bottle was the best '97 Brunello that I have opened.


Maybe I have just been lucky, but I have had the PdV three times over the past year and I would agree that this is the best '97 Brunello that I have tasted. One bottle came from my cellar and was purchased in Italy, the other 2 came from restaurants in Chicago and SC. All were decanted for at least 2 hours before drinking and none have disappointed. Had with Osso Bucco, rack of lamb and a nice juicy NY Strip. Great pairings.
 
Posts: 2104 | Location: Virginia | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
"Dumb phase"?? Who knows.


Not sure. Typically, wines that I think of as in a "dumb phase" never really open up. This wine really started to come alive after 24 hours. I think it's just not ready.

PH
 
Posts: 14631 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Quite a relief. Thanks, PH....


Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity....

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS - 2010 and 2012 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!
 
Posts: 9634 | Location: Elk Grove, CA, USA | Registered: Dec 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had the wine about two times in Sardinia,Italy and it was very delicious with great food over there. But I'm not sure whether it will improve more or not because it's lack of structure or depth. Is it too young to drink now? Nope.Maybe you can wait a few more years but I don't think it will change dramatically.


Central Florida online-wine shop wine-barn.com
 
Posts: 321 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: Mar 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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andyhugg,

If you are describing this wine as lacking structure and/depth, you may well have experienced what I did on day one. The metamorphosis of this wine over 24 hours was amazing.

PH
 
Posts: 14631 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe I should give it another try.


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Posts: 321 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: Mar 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Medium-dark ruby colour with black tinges. Aromas of blackberry, vanilla, currant, and earth. Medium-bodied, with red berry fruit, purple flowers. Moderate finish, with red fruit and earth. Again, quite closed. More expressive on the nose than on the palate, and needs more time to come around. 87-88 points for now (11/19/2005).



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