JS,

I know that Brunello is a difficult wine and I am trying to understand all it's nuances and characteristics. I posted similar questions in the "99 Brunello Vintage Rating" thread, but will move them here for better visibility.

I tasted many of the 97's upon release and agreed with your scores and assessments on many of the wines, so I know that our tastes aren't completely different. I completely agreed with your rating of the 97 Castelgiocondo normale, as it is one of my favorites of the vintage. However, you describe the 99 as "thick and powerful" and I tasted recently and all I got was "thin and weak" at best. Based on the wine at that time, the best score I could give it would be somewhere in the low to mid 80's. I had a similar experience with the 97 Riserva upon release (which you gave 98 points), and was extremely disappointed given how much I liked the 97 normale. Did I get two bad bottles, or do these wines change that quickly from the time YOU taste them and they are released here in Italy? Are they going to get better over time? Is it possible for a Brunello to go from "thick and powerful" to "thin and weak", and then back again at some point in time? Also, I didn't see the same thing in the 97 Pian delle Vigne that you saw. Do you rate the wines on how they are drinking at the moment, or on their future potential? At this point I'm scared to open another bottle of the 97 Castelgiocondo Riserva.

On a different matter but still rating oriented, how does a vintage rate a 99 (the 1997), yet not a single wine rated reach the vintage score? I understand that the vintage score encompasses the vintage as a whole, and 97 was an outstanding vintage overall (hard to find a bad 97 Brunello); but shouldn't the vintage score reflect more or less at least a high-mean of the individual wine scores? Shouldn't at least one wine meet the overall vintage score?

Thanks for your help in advance.
Original Post
As a fellow Brunllo fan, I'll provide the "bump" on this.

I have not tasted any 99's yet, but my main store is getting Banfi's and Frescobaldi's next week. I'll try one to get an initial feel. I'd be interested to compare notes.

I think JS (responding to my vintage thread last week) said the next WS issue is all Brunello. Vintage rating and all. Maybe I'll try my first 99 as I read the issue.
Hunter,

Let me know what you think of the Frescobaldi. I'd be real interested to get another opinion. If I have to I'll get another bottle and try again, but when I can get the 97 for the same price, I'm hard pressed to buy the 99 right now.

I've got Fanti, La Poderina, and Ciacci on order right now. In fact they were supposed to be in today, I'll go check tomorrow and provide notes when I open them.

I saw one place online from Siena that was selling the Fanti for 35 euro until the WS issue came out. Now it's up to 45 euro. Surprisingly (or not), when WS speaks those wines shoot up in price even over here. Many of the 97's cost as much as they do in the States, unless you know where to go.

One other thing. The other day I saw another Brunello from Frescobaldi that I've never heard of before. It was a 1998 named Cortone or something like that (My bad, it is Campone not Cortone). Has anybody ever heard of this one? Is it a new offering from Frescobaldi?

[This message was edited by louzarius on May 15, 2004 at 11:23 AM.]

[This message was edited by louzarius on May 19, 2004 at 04:08 AM.]
quote:
Originally posted by louzarius:
Hunter,

Surprisingly (or not), when WS speaks those wines shoot up in price even over here. Many of the 97's cost as much as they do in the States, unless you know where to go.



a bit off topic:

Hi there, my grandmother lives in battipaglia, i will be paying her a visit next month, can you suggest a few good wine stores to visit while im there?
thanks
quote:
Originally posted by Looking4Moccagatta2000:
Hi there, my grandmother lives in battipaglia, i will be paying her a visit next month, can you suggest a few good wine stores to visit while im there?


I just drove by Battipaglia a couple weeks ago coming back from Sicily. First thing I thought of was Joe Battipaglia that used to be a stock analyst for Gruntel. Sorry, don't know anything about that town or their stores. It's small enough though that finding most of them shouldn't be a problem. All I know is that prices in Naples are MUCH better than Florence and the rest of Tuscany, or Italy for that matter (from what I've seen).

[This message was edited by louzarius on May 15, 2004 at 11:25 AM.]
I have to admit, I thought about just what you are asking. The 97's got a 99, but none of the wines were rated a 99. Seems strange, but I am no expert. It seems to me the vintage rating should be close to either the average or the midpoint of the wines tasted. I know if would never work out exactly, but you would think it would be close.

I have enjoyed the Castelgiocondo 97, both the Banfi 97's, and have yet to open the Casanova di Neri, but am looking forward to trying it. I haven't had any of the 97 Riserva's.
I haven't sat down and averaged what the 97 Brunello rating would be, but I assume that it would be much lower than a 99, and probably not indicative of how outstanding this vintage really was. So I understand why the "average" method may not serve it's purpose, but even a "mean" of the top 25% of the wines or something......

I'm not even sure it matters for the most part, but being analytical I would like to see at least one of the wines rate a score equal to the vintage rating.

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