In past conversations with wine maker, and owner of Le Ragnaie, Riccardo Campinoti, it was clear to me that he loves the traditions of Brunello, and is intent on making wines that convey the elegance of which Sangiovese is capable. This is also clear in the glass. One fine example is his 2006 Brunello di Montalcino normale.
Decanted thirty minutes before drinking. The lovely translucent garnet appearance of this wine is an early clue to what can be expected on the nose and palate. The nose starts off with warm strawberry and subtle spice (cloves?) and a slight dairy note early on, that fades over time. Cedar is present from the start to the finish, providing a structural element to the aromas.With a little time, notes of char-broiled meats and flinty earth developed as well on the nose.This nose is complex and hard to pin down. The palate is light to medium weight with aromatic brambles, plum / necterine, lean red cherry, shale, more cedar and a hint of forest floor. Still youthful, it is a bit disjointed, but complete. The finish is firm and of good length, showing more fine cedar notes, dried cherry skins, Asian spice, and some tart earth. Distinctive, serious, and elegant. 92 Pts.
Although it can sometimes be difficult to locate in the U.S., it is well worth the effort to seek out this classic example of fine Brunello.