Sunday, June 23, 2013

San Giorgio "Ugolforte" Brunello Di Montalcino 2005

Here is a moderately priced Brunello that starts off reserved, but opens into a lovely wine.

Opened about 45 minutes in advance, and not decanted, the '05 Ugolforte played it cards close to the vest initially, and required a good 20 minutes in the glass for it to come around and open up. I would recommend an hour in the decanter before pouring. San Giorgio ages this for 12 months in a mix of 50% new, and 50% one year old, French oak barriques. Next, it spends 24 months in large, traditional, Slovonian oak botti.

Who is Ugolforte, you may ask? The story goes that he was a good hearted bandit, like Robin Hood, who sought to free the people of Montalcino from Siena. Here is a wine too, that has a good heart.

San Giorgio "Ugolforte" Brunello Di Montalcino, 2005 13.5% ABV
Montalcino Zone: Castelnuova dell'Abate
Initially, quite reticent on the nose, showing faint notes of fresh red cherries and leather. With time in the glass, the nose revealed lovely spiced red cherry, saddle leather, and earth. The palate is clean and firm, with a light weight in the mouth. There are dried red cherry skins, aromatic leather and flinty earth notes on the palate. The acidity is a fairly crisp, and the tannins moderate. The finish is brief, but pleasant, providing nice grip. The Ugolforte gives a general impression of finesse and elegance, with some strength beneath. It really showed its best toward the end of the bottle, after plenty of time to open up. 88 Pts

Monday, June 3, 2013

Soldera Case Basse 2001 Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino, 13% ABV

Opened, decanted, and poured, this note is based on an hour or so of time opening up with a beautiful NY Strip Steak.

 Early on, the nose shows musky / earthy aromas, along with sweet spice and sandalwood, over a base of pomegranate and dried strawberries. On the palate, there's a delicate sweetness and fine red cherry on the tip of the tongue that combines with the sweet acidity and firm tannins to create a very pleasant texture and mouth watering impact. This Brunello has that textural, spiced, earthy cherry character on the palate that I see in many of my favorites. The balance is perfect, with plenty of finesse, although it needs a lot of time to integrate and settle into the Soldera it will ultimately become. Later, notes of anise, faint smoke, vague spearmint, and more sandalwood grew on the nose and palate. The finish was long and pleasant with good grip. It's excellent now, but has so many components that should come together beautifully as it matures. 95Pts Tasted 5-25-13.