1999 Castelgiocondo Brunello

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.
Original Post
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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.]
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
quote:
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.
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.
quote:
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.
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.
I've been thinking about this for a while, and finally curiosity got to me. I decanted a bottle this morning.

This is very dark, verging on inky with dark ruby at the edges. Reticent nose, suggesting more mineral than fruit, some violets; still tight, but loaded with plum and mineral flavours, faint hints of espresso, fills the midpalate; very long finish, tannins and fruit fight for a while-- call it a draw for now. Needs a lot of time, but this has lots of stuffing. 90+ pts., and I guess we'll know how + in a few years. I don't think I'll open another for at least 3 years.

I'll try to remember to put a few ounces aside until tomorrow, but I'm not able to equate what I'm drinking now with some of the comments above. This is a fairly intense wine.
Seaquam,
I bought 6 bottles upon release and have left them to sleep. From what I can gather, this wine needs 5 years or more. Despite some comments from respectable forumites, many experts (not just JS) have scored this wine in the mid 90's. Hopefully, patience will pay off in this case. I could think of few things better than opening these with you and your wife (and the TWC, of course) in 2010.
BTW, the next Canadian Pediatric Society annual meeting is in Vancouver in late June, but I'll be vacationing in the Alps and unable to attend. I will make a serious effort to head out west and visit. Cheers!
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Seaquam,
I bought 6 bottles upon release and have left them to sleep. From what I can gather, this wine needs 5 years or more. Despite some comments from respectable forumites, many experts (not just JS) have scored this wine in the mid 90's. Hopefully, patience will pay off in this case. I could think of few things better than opening these with you and your wife (and the TWC, of course) in 2010.
BTW, the next Canadian Pediatric Society annual meeting is in Vancouver in late June, but I'll be vacationing in the Alps and unable to attend. I will make a serious effort to head out west and visit. Cheers!


Dok, there's some kind of big sports thing going on in my area in 2010, so I'm looking for a chance to get out of town and avoid it, but I'm sure we'll see each other before then to discuss it. Let me know any time you're headed this way...

BTW, we'll sort of be in the Alps just a couple of weeks after you-- we're spending two nights in Lucerne on the way to Venice, Tuscany, the Riviera, and a couple of weeks in Spain. I'm sure we'll have some notes to compare at the end of summer. We should do it somewhere between our two homes-- maybe Chicago.

And grossie-- you're invited too! Smile
had this with the mavbabe tonight. It was quite delicious. colour was violet in the middle and brown tinges at the edges. middle Mocha, violets, and a hint of minerality on the nose. very elegant to taste with hints of latte that linger in my mouth. I agree with the ratings. This is definately a good change from cali cab. It is a great wine that I will enjoy tracking its development.

mavratings: 95 points
quote:
1999 Castelgiocondo Brunello

The 1997 Castelgiocondo Brunello was the best Brunello I've ever tasted and I tried of 20 different 1997 Brunellos. I have 3 1999's Castelgiocondo in storage, waiting to 2007 (best after year) and I just ordered 2 bottles of the 2001 as pre-arrivals from Zachy's. I tasted the 1999 last year and thought it was tight and tart and need a few more years of aging. I plan on drinking my one bottle of 1997 Reserva in 2008 on my 60th birthday. Long live Frescobaldi, even though they just sold some of their vineyards.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Mav,
That's good to hear since it was panned last year right after it's release from LCBO. My 6 are restfully sleeping, but if more notes like this ensue, I may have to try one.


Let 'em sleep DoktaP!! 2010 aint' that far away!! Razz

PH
  • 1999 Castelgiocondo (Marchesi de' Frescobaldi) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (3/8/2009)MTL BDM tasting 2009/03/07
    Initially, this wine was ok rather muted and not very expressive and I rated it 91 points. But over the course of the evening in a glass that I set apart, this wine really blossomed into something very special. There was an elegance and class to this wine that none of the other BDMs drank that night demonstrated. At first a vegetal nose but it took a back seat to spicy, black pepper notes of blackberry and plums and vanilla, More dark cherries and cedar notes as well on a palate that was so silky and smooth. The finesse reminded me of a top-notch Bordeaux or Burgundy. It was really nice and stole the show for me. Long mouth caressing finish. 94+ (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
This one just wasn't rocking my world, upon initial tasting, and I began scoring it 89 points. Good, but by no means great.
After a bit of time in the glass, it got to a '91' for me.

You nursed yours the longest, Mimik, and I believe liked it better than most.
Just serves to show, a bit, the stage of evalution these wines are going through right now.
  • 1999 Castelgiocondo (Marchesi de' Frescobaldi) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (10/30/2010)
    Dark ruby red, still purplish on the edge. Coming strait from the cellar, the nose was rather muted, after about 30 minutes the nose came alive with blackberries, some oak and sweet cherries. Much of the same on the palate with nice texture, the tannins were fine and starting to integrate as is the acidity. Very nice showing of this bottle, and beginning its life of the drinking well stage. Medium-plus length finish (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

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