I'd be up for a 1997 Brunello offline. I'll post something in the offline folder and we'll see what materializes.
I like the NYC idea, especially if it were a weekend. Hunter, I'd love to share some wine with you and debate the merits of aging the '97 brunellos!
May I suggest Montrachet?
Alright ... here are the '97s I've tasted in the past 18 months:
Castiglion del Bosco
Col d'Orcia Riserva Poggio Al Vento
Poggio Antico Altero
Poggio San Polo
Of these, some were okay, some were quite good, with a definite upside. The tannins weren't integrated enough for my liking, and a lot of the secondary nuances that define Brunello for me were hidden behind the wall. With a couple exceptions, I think there was still enough fruit to last. Admittedly, not all of these are top performers, so I will extrapolate based on how these showed combined with the history of my favourite estates to determine the longevity of what's in my cellar.
Here are the '97s in my cellar:
Banfi Riserva Poggio All'Oro
Poggio Antico Riserva
Most of these I have a few bottles of, while a couple I have one. For those that I have multiple bottles, I'll probably start tasting them come 2007, especially since I can't replace them in the Ontario market.
That said, I had the opportunity to buy some '97 Costanti at Premier Cru (I think they still have some), and so I'm bringing two bottles to the Vegas offline next month. I look forward to tasting them, and I'll be sure to report on its progress.
As has been stated in this thread, how evolved people like their wine is a personal preference. For my palate, I like my wine more mature - but not dead.
For those that brought 1990 into the picture, people said that vintage was quite hot as well and that the wines wouldn't age properly. Well, Eric already mentioned his experience with the Ciacci, and I've posted notes on a fabulous Riserva from Poggio Antico, which I'm very happy to have more of.
Based on what I've put in my cellar, I think I have some great stuff to drink over the next 5-10 years.
Oh, and BTW, about a '97 Brunello tasting - we did it in the U.S. last time! Let's take it to the other side of the border and do it in Toronto!
There's a restaurant in town whose chef/owner trained in Montalcino ...
I'm in for that, fut!
BTW, to which restaurant are you referring?
As for the 1990's, they're certainly more structured than the 1997's. Infact, I'd say 1990 was more akin to 1995 than 1997.
I've had two 1997's recently, the Argiano and the Poggio Salvi, and I have them 92 and 93 points respectively. That having been said, the 1997 Poggio Salvi was showing more depth, complexity, and intrigue, not to mention assertiveness, 2 or 3 years ago, and I don't see this particular wine improving at all from this point forward.
While Brunello is produced in a relatively small area and (supposedly) from 100% sangiovese, perhaps it's more wise to talk about individual wines than the vintage as a whole. However, certainly an offline would provide lots of illumination.
Jay, I can't make it up to Toronto due to medical school, but you should consider coming down here if we end up getting something together.
Hunter - I have a six pack of each except for the Ugolaia (only 3). I would agree with you on the La Casa. I forgot to mention I tasted this in July and it is right in its window currently. The nose is fantastic. Actually got to taste it at the estate in a blind tasting against the '98, '99 and the '00. By the way, the '00 is a tannic bastard right now. Hard to tell what it really might have in the future.
Thanks for the complements on my purchases. I am lucky and get to travel to Italy on business several times each year. I always take some time to visit the Montalcino area and try estates that I have not visited before. The people are great and actually remember you when you happen to return to one of your favorites. I was able to taste almost all the '97's I bought at the estates which helped me make my own decisions instead of "point chasing".
I have drunk more than three dozen 1997 Brunelli over the summer, and I continue to be amazed by their wonderful quality. They are fresh, balanced, rich and structured. They are wines with wonderful balance for great longevity. I even did a dinner with a dozen 1997 Brunelli and a dozen 1997 Baroli with producers from each area including Giacosa and Pacenti. But that's a column for the magazine. I am sorry people have their doubts, but it's just not true. 1997 is a superlative vintage. You can drink them now, if you decant them before serving to give them some air or hold them for another decade, at least.
I keep wondering if some of the bad bottles in the states that many of you mention are through poor shipping or storage. My bottles were bought in Tuscany and have never left my temperature controlled cellar there.
Now wouldn't we all love to hear about that cellar, James!
My point exactly. Well said. I rest my case....Don't rest yours too long (PI)
Looking forward to that!
I have obtained (thanks Louzarius) several '97s recently:
Antinori Pian delle Vigne
Lisini Riserva Ugolaia
Banfi Poggio all'Oro Riserva
Banfi Poggio alle Mura
Poggio San Polo
Villa Poggio Salvi
La Magia Riserva
The only one I have tried is the La Magia Riserva, and it seemed to me (based on my very limited experience) to be early in its window, but in its window.
I can't afford six packs or cases, nor have I had an opportunity to taste before buying most of my brunellos. So I have only one bottle of most of my brunello collection.
I'm going to try to err on the early side with the less well-regarded wines, and use my experiences there to decide if waiting on the more special bottles seems smart.
It's a bad plan, I know, b/c the producers make different styles. So I'm also relying on y'alls tasting notes for the ones I'm saving. So keep posting, please.
James - I have wondered the same thing since I have not experienced some of the disappointments that others in this forum have. Although, the experience I had with the Pacenti was at Arnolfo in Colle di Val d'Elsa. They replaced the bottle and the second one was wonderful. The '97 Brunelli that I have tasted from my cellar were all purchased at the Estates or at enotecas in the Montalcino area. I can attest to their provenance.
Like your name. Do you surf?
The Pacenti 1997 is one of my favorites! It shows such wonderful richness and balance. Giancarlo Pacenti will be at the Grand Tasting tonight in New York. I think he is pouring his 1999 Brunello.
Yes, it is my second passion (after wine). I will be at the NYWE tonight. I have the '99 also in my cellar. I look forward to tasting this wine. Will you be in NY tonight?
Yes. Say hello to me. I am there for the whole event. I have to moderate three tastings....
I used to surf a lot when I was growing up in Newport Beach, CA. Not much surf in Tuscany....
I have to agree with James on this one. I believe that the 97's are wonderful. I have probably tasted close to 40-45 of the 97's, and in some cases multiple bottles of different producers. All my bottles were purchased in Italy. I have had some bottle variation within producers, and some Brunelli that was just good; but I have yet to open a 97 Brunello that was not good.
The most consistent that I have had are the Castelgiocondo, Comunali, and the Campogiovanni. I just noticed the "C's", what's up with that? I could add Ciacci, but I haven't opened that many bottles of it. Every one of these three Brunello that I have opened have been outstanding, with the Campo remaining virtually unchanged between bottles.
Sorry I missed you last night. Too many people (especially on the 5th floor). The '00 Pacenti was poured. Not bad for the vintage but I think I will pass on most of the 2000's. I really enjoyed the '98 Poggio alle Mura. Probably the best '98 BdM I have tasted. Seemed to be in its drinking window right now.
Really. Thanks. There's still some available around here so I may have to pick some up on sale.
Longboarder - Would be interested in your notes, if you took any. I had this wine about a year ago and the wood notes virtually overwhelmed the fruit. It was borderline undrinkable. I think louzarius had a similar experience around the same time. I'm glad to hear it's coming around.
No formal notes due to the sheer volume of wine tasted but the fruit is definitely prevelant now, almost like an amarone. Tannins were very refined and well integrated. Full bodied with a nice finish. Very enjoyable. I did write down a 92.
Thanks, LB. I'll dig one out for later this fall. I buried 'em deep after the first one.
I have two Antinori PdV left so I am inclined to sit on them. With three Banfi Poggio Alle Mura left, I want to pop one. I haven't seen anyone say they have had this lately. Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?
Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity....
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The 1997 alle Mura is probably best left for a while. I have not tasted it recently, but did have a small pour several years ago. I made a note to hold until 2008 at a minimum.
Great thread. I think I'll crack a couple of my '97's and see where they're at tonight. I made some cacciatori last night, in preparation for tonight, so that should work well with the wines.
So much wine.....so little time!!!
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