Monday, February 25, 2013

Terenzi Morellino di Scansano

Tasting: Terenzi "Madrechiesa" Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2009

Here is the first of several posts I will be sharing about this DOCG that offers great value and quality for lovers of Sangiovese and wine in general. I tasted this lovely wine at the Gambero Rosso event in NYC on 2-15-13.
Elegant nose of leather, tobacco, dried red cherry, dried flowers, and soft perfume notes. The palate has a bit of softness at first, with pretty fruit, lean black and red cherry that has a clean and fresh quality about it. The finish is long and rustic, with plenty of grip, and lingering notes of charred sandalwood, and leather. A serious approach to Morellino that seems capable of development over time. 90 Pts.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Il Palazzone 2004

Tasting: Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino 2004

Opened about one hour beforehand. The first impression I got with this beautiful wine was the great depth of character on the nose. There is a solid focus of dusty black cherry, dried herbs, anise, sweet leather, and more. The level of complexity in the nose makes labeling some aspects difficult. The palate is savory, with grilled meat and fragrant herb notes, along with solid black cherry and some aromatics on the fruit. The acidity is nicely mouthwatering and balances well with the fine, clean tannins. The finish is long and lovely with dried black cherry and underbrush. This wine strikes a great balance between finesse and rusticity and showed no signs of fading after three hours open. A very well built, classic Brunello. 94 Pts.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Poggio di Sotto 2007

Tasting: Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2007

The nose is fine toned, and a bit reserved at first, showing fresh dried cherry, some orange peel, and a bit of incense.On the palate there's a big meaty / savory note, that is very appealing, accompanied by more aromatic red cherry, dried herbs,  moderate acidity, and good balance. The finish is long and elegant, with aromatic sandalwood, and fine grained tannins. 93 Pts.

This tasting note is from two samples at Gambero Rosso on 2-15-13. I look forward to sitting with a bottle of the '07 over dinner, to get a more complete impression.

A point of interest on this wine: the grapes for the 2007 were grown by, and most of the wine's production completed by, Piero Palmucci, prior to the sale of the estate to Colle Massari. This will continue to be the case for the next few vintages. I had opportunity to discuss the wine making philosophy of the new owners with their sales director, Maarten Leereveld, and I will share more on that subject in a future post.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tasting: Baricci 2007

Baricci Colombaio Brunello di Montalcino 2007

Here is a wine with strength and finesse, in the classic style. On the nose there is solid black cherry skins, with charred brambles, subtle incense, and a distinct beam of sweet spice. There's great balance on the palate, with dark fruits, good acidity, and medium grained tannins. The finish is quite long, with more fine spice, some tobacco, and more brambles. Still needs time to integrate, but beautiful now. Complete and complex. 
The grapes are sourced from the Montosoli hill, located north of Montalcino. Nello Baricci is one of the original members of the Consorzio, founded in 1967. This fine, traditional Brunello is produced in the limited quantity of only 12,000 bottles. 91 Pts.

Tasting: Canalicchio Di Sopra Brunello Riserva 2007

Tasting: Canalicchio Di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 

A quick note from the Benvenuto Brunello event in NYC on 1/31/13:

Combined notes of charred earth, dried flowers, and dark roasted cherry on the nose. The palate is well balanced with lean black cherry, leather, and a nice aromatic finish. Complete, solid, and satisfying.  92 Pts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Benvenuto Brunello NYC

Benvenuto Brunello NYC

Last week I had the great privilege of attending Benvenuto Brunello 2013 at Gotham Hall in NY. Approximately 40 different producers participated, pouring their  Rosso di Montalcino (2010 or 2011), 2008 Brunello di Montalcino and 2007 Brunello Riserva, along with assorted other examples from the Montalcino zone and Sant' Antimo DOC.

 The venue this year was nothing short of outstanding. Gotham Hall, located at 1356 Broadway in Manhattan, was both spacious and dramatic, with its high rotunda ceiling and looming columns. The food went well beyond the simple cheese and charcuterie selection typically found a trade tastings. Several hot hors d'oeuvres were served, at a centrally located station, along with fine cheeses and cured meats. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the food was the fact that it was still in good supply near the end of the four and a half hour event.


The Wines 

In general, the 2008 Vintage, as represented by the selections present, struck me as classic and somewhat rustic, with many examples showing lean dusty fruit, very nice aromatics on the nose, some elegance, and good balance. Another impression I came away with, that I will need to spend more time considering, is the seeming trend toward more classically vinified Brunello, especially from new producers. I spoke with a number of newer producers who indicated their preference for large Slovenian barrels, and their wines showed lean, aromatic fruit. Of course there was still a well represented contingent from the new-oak / heavily extracted style, but they were in the minority. Since this group represented less than 20% of the  more than 200 producers of Brunello that exist today, there is much to be considered before drawing any firm conclusions. Bottom line, Brunello is one of the world's greatest wines, and is alive and well. 

In future posts I will share specific tasting notes for some of the wines tasted at this event, along with others. Cheers!