My wife and I visited some friends in New Buffalo last weekend and we all decided on a theme of 1997 Italian wines for the weekend. Friday night was 1997 Brunellos with steaks and Saturday was 1997 Barolos with lasagna. The menu on Friday included grilled steaks, sauteed mushrooms in a Brunello wine sediment sauce, roaste asparagus and baked potatoes. For dessert we arranged a cheese course to finish off any leftover Brunello. This was the better of the two night in terms of wine quality. Here are my notes on the 3 Brunellos opened:

  • 1997 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    5th time I have had this. Decanted for about 2 hours before we tried it. This put pon substantial weight and depth with time. Some bricking in the color. Wonderful mouthfeel as always. Notes of licorice, fennel and black cherries. The most elegant of the 3 1997 Brunellos poured. Great match with the steaks. Approachable tannins. The depth in this wine is what set it apart. This wine is not fading. 95 points.

  • 1997 Fattoria di Sant'Angelo (Lisini) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    2nd time I've had this wine. Decanted for 2 hours. Brickish red color. It was the lightest in color of the 3 wines. This wine had wet earth and slate on the nose. Moderate tannins. This was also the fruitiest of the 3 Brunello's. Notes of cherry, wild berries and currants with some raw meat on the finish. Drinking well and still going strong. 92-93 points.

  • 1997 Fanti (Tenuta San Filippo) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    This was opened by our friends. I have not had this wine since its release in 2002. Back then it was hugely tannic and probably the most powerful Brunello I had tried from the 1997 vintage. This was decanted for about 3 hours. It was the darkest in color of the 3 wines. A blackish red hue. Qualitatively it was right up there with the Ciacci. Full bodied with firm tannins. Notes of black pepper, chocolate, boysenberry and a floral aspect. Although I enjoyed this wine very much, in my opinion it could still use some time and there is room for improvement. 94-95 points.

VM
Original Post
Thanks for the great notes. A beautiful line-up. It seems that '97 Brunelli are slowly getting into their drinking window.

What exactly is a 'Brunello wine sediment sauce'?

BTW I always prefer not to decant a Brunello. Slow-Oxing does more justice to the delicate aroma's IMO.
"Brunello wine sediment sauce" was inspired by your fellow Dutchman, Stevie Cage I believe. At a recent offline in Florida, Emilio, who had met Stevie, relayed a story how he always used his sediment in cooking. I think Stevie even spreads it on toast. My wife decided to use the sediment from the Brunello we decanted as part of the red wine sauce for marinating the mushrooms. Not sure of her exact recipe.

VM
VM, we had '97 Fanti on Saturday night, so I'll add my brief comment as an additional data point here:

1997 Fanti Brunello di Montalcino -- I did not expect this to be so open, but it was drinking well last night, plum, cherry, charcoal, quite supple, long finish w/fine tannins, will go for years but very good right now too

I would rate it exactly as you did; a wonderful wine.

VM
Thanks for the notes; 'great line-up. I've got the '97 Lisini normale and the Ugolaia, but I've not heard of Fattoria Sant'Angelo. Is it the same wine?

I'd love to hear explanations from those who said that '97 Brunellos would have a short, insipid life-span. On the contrary, I kinda' wish mine would hurry up and grow up a little faster, as all of my experiences in the last couple years indicate that they're all adolescents to young adults at very best.
Yes, it's the same wine stickman. Many of these things stem from original legal names for taxation purposes and new names. Sant'Angelo in Colle is one of the communes around Montalcino where Brunello can be made. Now there are many producers in that area, so Lisini is the "brand" since you can't exactly distinguish a wine that was made from "The farm in Sant'Angelo in Colle."

P.S. Ludavica Lisini is pretty hot.
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
I'd love to hear explanations from those who said that '97 Brunellos would have a short, insipid life-span. On the contrary, I kinda' wish mine would hurry up and grow up a little faster, as all of my experiences in the last couple years indicate that they're all adolescents to young adults at very best.


Suckling got this vintage right. Parker and Thomases did not. I'll be checking in on some of my 97s this year. I dipped into a couple last year also, and what I did check in on was early drinking window at best.
Sediment sauce??? Very interesting. Never would have thought of that.

quote:
Ludavica Lisini

Nice. Is that a daughter or wife or what?

I have about half of my 1997s left... wish I had more. Part of the reason I drank so many was that I trying to figure out which producers I wanted to buy from the '99, '01 and vintages beyond.
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
"Brunello wine sediment sauce" was inspired by your fellow Dutchman, Stevie Cage I believe. At a recent offline in Florida, Emilio, who had met Stevie, relayed a story how he always used his sediment in cooking. I think Stevie even spreads it on toast. My wife decided to use the sediment from the Brunello we decanted as part of the red wine sauce for marinating the mushrooms. Not sure of her exact recipe.

VM


Thats the first good reason i've heard to decant a Brunello Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
"Brunello wine sediment sauce" was inspired by your fellow Dutchman, Stevie Cage I believe. At a recent offline in Florida, Emilio, who had met Stevie, relayed a story how he always used his sediment in cooking. I think Stevie even spreads it on toast. My wife decided to use the sediment from the Brunello we decanted as part of the red wine sauce for marinating the mushrooms. Not sure of her exact recipe.

VM


I save the sediment from all of the vintage port that I drink. Put it in a bag in the freezer. When you have a few bottles worth you can use it in many cooking applications. I've marinated steaks in it, made a sauce, even used it in stuffing.

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