Le Tastevin - October 15, 2014 - 1997 and 1999 Brunello (Host: Kareem and Ron)
Brunello di Montalcino
1997 is considered more refined and balanced, elegant, whereas the 1999 is more tannic and powerful. Almost all the wines come in at 13.5% alcohol, and are 100% Sangiovese. The area was greatly impoverished in the first part of the 20th Century, with two world wars and phyloxera decimating the area's viniculture. Production has greatly expanded since the 1960s: whereas there were only 12 or so producers in 1968, and 25 by 1972, international exposure and uptick in quality and demand has resulted in about 250 vintners currently making wine in the 2010s. Most vineyards are < 20 ha. Variations in tastes and structure result from north vs south hillside exposures as well as the use of new oak barriques. The 1980s and 1990s began a golden era as theso who had passion to establish the brand are now dying off. Stock up on Brunello now. 2010 is a great vintage.
1997 Val di Suga (Angelini)
WS88. Two years in Alliers oak barriques. Producer also has estates in Chianti Classico
1999 Caparzo (Angelini)
WS92. This wine "aims for grace over power". Producer has vineyards on all 5 sides of the hill, and uses traditional Slavonian oak. This wine is "extremely long lived"
2011 Poggione Rosso di Montalcino
At $18 this should show as extreme value; large scale operation, multiple labels
1999 Pertimali (Livia Sassetti)
WS91, "expect lighter color, more complex than powerful"; 12 ha vineyard N of town; in 1967 Sassetti was one of the founders of Consorzio, now run by his son Lorenzo
1997 Greppone Mazzi (Ruffino)
WS92, WE89, south side of hill; best bet 2004, 2010; may be softer and riper than many, but balanced
1997 Talenti Pian del Conte Riserva
WS 90, not made every year; 36 months in Slavonian oak
WS95; old vines, traditional (no new oak), somewhat of a cult wine, with typical scores 90-92
1997 Poggio Antico (buff label)
WS93; Typically expensive, 5,300 cases, Top 200, #59, CY 2002
1997 Poggio Antico Altera (brown label)
WS94; 1,100 cases, "blockbuster ... yet soft" (= oak?)
1997 Castelgiocondo (Frescobaldi)
WS96; many sites within Tuscany including much in Chianti; family managed Brunello site since 1974, bought it 1989; 380 acres of Brunello (21K cases, #2 vol); S side of hill (= softer?); 2009 tasting WS: "very concentrated", "maybe too simple for cognoscenti"; Botti
1999 Castelgiocondo (Frescobaldi)
WS95, WE90 '97 was supposed to be a superior year but some have now said that it was over rated ... check this against previous to compare
1999 Castelgiocondo Ripe al Convento Riserva
WS97; is the Riserva cost worth the taste difference compared to above? Botti+ barriques
1999 Fanti, Tenuta San Filippo
WS98, WE92; 3,000 cases, 12 acres at 350-430 m; 14.5% alcohol; Castelnuovo dell' Abate (South end); "rich, dark, lush ... modern", new wood shows; "jammy, mouth watering fruit & only modest acidity; super star wine maker arrived in mid-late '90s; does high rating reflect the bias of Parker?
Possible good vintners: Casa Bosse, Barbi (rustic), Altesino, Poggio di Sotto, Soldera, Casanova di Neri (new oak), S. Nardi, Col d'Orcia (balanced) (Mastrojanni (new oak= softer), Costanti & Casse Basse rustic
Images of some of the sampled wines:
Page last edited: January 14, 2015 (EB)
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