Reply to "Vintages January 19 2013"

Well, to get the full experience of Brunello, it does need cellaring. Obviously there are vintage and producer discrepancies, not to mention vineyard variations since Montalcino has many microclimates within it. Generally speaking, from excellent vintages, I like 10+ years on them, and 6-8 from average-to-very good vintages at a minimum.

That said, young Brunello can be consumed, but it's finicky. I've found that you can check in on bottles within the first 6-12 months of release before they shut down. Sure, you won't get the full development that only bottle age will provide, but at least you can get a sense of the wine at a young age. The problem is that this guideline that I use is based on release from the cellar - not from when it shows up in the market. DOCG laws dictate that Brunello can't be released to market until five years after the harvest - therefore 2007 Brunello couldn't be sold until 2012. As a result, you're playing with fire drinking 2007s now, as they may be open and drinking well, or they may have already shut down. Since 2007 was a warmer vintage, that "open" window seems to be a little longer. 2006s at the same point were already shut down pretty firmly. Again, I'm making generalizations.

Anyway, there are several threads on Brunello producers, aging, etc, with great comments from the Italophiles on this board such as Longboarder, Jochems, PurpleHaze, and others. A quick search will point you in the right direction.

As for the 2007 Caprili, if you have access to some, I'd give it a shot. I followed a bottle over four hours last night and it was very enjoyable. Much better than dealing with the -14C weather here in Toronto.

Here's a link to my note on the wine.
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