TN: 1999 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino

Upon opening, the aromatics are somewhat muted. In short, after smelling, I wasn’t optimistic, and I was afraid it was shut down. Upon entry into the mouth, the wine showed bright Bing cherry notes and hints of mint. Then, for a moment, they give way to an earthier element of sottobosco and tar before ending up with a beautiful hint of dried fruits, in particular dried cherry and perhaps a little dried fig. The spectrum of flavors in this wine is nothing short of remarkable. The presence of such a wide array of fruit flavors, from bright and ethereal to dried is a testament not only to the vintage but also the winemaker’s judicious hand. This wine has great structure with ideal levels of acidity and tannin that ensure it will age effortlessly for years, and yet, this wine is remarkably accessible and enjoyable now. At this young age, its balance is exceptional. This is one of the greatest Brunellos I’ve ever tasted. 96-97 points, with the chance of perhaps gaining an additional point with further maturation.
Original Post
limestoned,

What's the exact controversy? I haven't been following it. All I know is that I find it to be typical of his wines. Elegant and refined, it's definitely something special. If I had any of this (I got shut out of the normale here, but did get some Riserva), I would still be holding on to it.
mwagner,

You might not be able to buy any at the winery by the time you get there. Roberto's wine has been selling like hotcakes (naturally), and when I asked for 4 '99 Brunello and 2 '02 Rosso, he said that he could only give me 3 Brunello.

His Riserva might be available by then, however.
I haven't tasted the '99 normale, but I tasted the final blend of the '99 Riserva, just prior to bottling. It was excellent. Roberto said he prefers his normale to the Riserva, however.

Ultimately, the Riserva is going to be more expensive, but they'll both be outstanding wines, I'm sure.
I opened another bottle of this wine last night. Granted, it was from a different source, but this bottle had nothing on common with the bottle described above.

The wine was soft in texture, with some floral notes and soft red fruit, but most notably showing was a predominant note of vanilla from the French tonneaux. Perhaps this wine is "shut down" or perhaps this is bottle variation. Very disappointing, but still 89-90 points.
Tasted with Valentine's dinner 2006 at Martine in SLC. Dark maroon color with a somewhat muted nose of star anise and cherry to start. The primary fruit on the palate, however, was blackberry - very deep and almost sweet. Especially when first tasted, there is notable influence of oak, but it harmonizes well with the lifting effect of the acidity and with the fruit. Tannins are there on the finish, but once again, they fold in nicely with the other impressions. With a little aeration, a very subtle note of mint/menthol joins a wonderful, floral (lilies as my date identified) impression with even deeper dark fruits, led still by blackberry. Paired perfectly IMO with a smoked-chicken, crepe-like dish, which brought out a light smokiness in the wine.

Balance is the key in this wine, and it's wonderful, though I beleive it will be much better in the future. This did not open as much as a '97 Riserva did the previous year (under nearly identical circumstances). 93 easily, with room to improve. Definitely a wine that deserves contemplation even now.
  • 1999 E. Fuligni (Cottimelli) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (12/15/2012)
    Allowed to breathe for two hours in a glass before consuming. Gorgeous, crystal-clear ruby red colour. Typical Fuligni notes of strawberry, and current notes, now trending to the dried side. Sottobosco, dried acacia flowers, plums, cherries, and a hint of balsamico also present on the palate, through to a moderate-long finish, ~35-40s. Just starting into its drinking window, but those looking for more tertiary nuances will hold another few years. The oak has integrated nicely, and is a slight accent. Drink now-2022+. 93 points. (93 pts.)

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