Monday, December 25, 2006

A Tale of Three Brunellos

On Thanksgiving we drank a 1997 Brunello di Montealcino that broke everyones heart. It had been properly cellared, lovingly cared-for, gently de-corked and decanted, and given plenty of time to breath surrounded by beautiful crystal. It turned out to be crap. After we all had a taste, we sinked it. Unfortunately I didn't remember to write down the name.

On Saturday, the same owner of the above brought over another 1997 Brunello, this one from Mastroianni. It was okay. I liked it well enough, though it felt a bit weak sitting next to two Aussies and and the Cougar Crest Cab Franc. The owner was clearly disappointed and began to question if he even knew what the big deal about Brunello was. My Aussie friend merely tasted it, said, "tastes Italian" and poured himself another glass of The Ball Buster.

Then, for Christmas, he gave me a bottle of the 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova. This was the Wine Spectator Wine of the Year. Its a 98pt Brunello. It is now safely in my cellar and in about 10-15 years, we shall see what the peak example of Brunello really is. Until then, I reserve judgement.

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