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