Brunello di Montalcino Tasting in 2006

Tasting: January 23, 2006 - Report: January 27 - Joanne
Old Federal Reserve Banking Hall - San Francisco, CA



Located in the heart of Tuscany, Montalcino is about 24 miles north of Siena, Italy.
Wines made in the area include Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello di Montalcino, Sant'Antimo Bianco, Sant'Antimo Vitgni Bianchi, Sant'Antimo Rosso and Sant'Antimo Vitgni Rossi. Brunello di Montalcino is made exclusively of Sangiovese and bears the D.O.C.G.

Looking at my scores for the Brunellos, the 1999 and 2001 vintages seem better than the 2000. But the 2000 is much more approachable (esp. compared to the 2001s) at this time.

It was really great to taste so many Montalcino's at one time; I can conclude the Brunellos aren't great young and require finding a producer whose style you like best. There were a few excellent Rosso's and these I may seek out. Seven producers really stood out to me: Tenuta Caparzo, Col D'Orcia, Il Poggione, Pian dell'Orino, Solaria, La Lecciaia, and Valdicava. (The tasting notes are Joanne's, the bottles desired (right column) are mine.) Joanne seemed to like the unoaky Brunello's and the fruitier Rosso's she was a fan of Tenuta Caparzo, La Gerla (no US importer yet) and Valdicava but agreed that the Col D'Orcia Poggio al Veneto Riserva Brunello di Montalcino was spectacular. She really liked the winemaker at Pian dell'Orino's style. - Jack

Year
Producer Wine Joanne's Tasting Notes
Jack's No.
of Bottles Desired
2003
Barbi Rosso di Montalcino Oaky with a slightly bitter center.
2
2000
Barbi Brunello di Montalcino  Medicinal nose.
1
2001
Barbi Brunello di Montalcino  Sour finish. Young.
2
2000
Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Slightly sour finish. Good fruit. Young.
3?
2004
Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino Very fruity. Creamy fruit.
1
2000
Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino  Sweet nose. Sweet fruit. Sweet finish. Drinkable now.
2-3
2001
Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino  Dry. Red fruit on finish. Good.
1
2003
Camigliano Sant’Antimo 100% Cabernet. Some herbs. Hard. Finish. Very nice wine. Good acids. Young.
3
2004
Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montalcino Very tart Almost slightly effervescent finish.
1-2
2000
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova A bit of over-ripeness on finish. Very tannic center. Good fruit. Maybe a bit watery on finish. 
2-3
2001
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova A lot of oak. Heavy wood on finish. No.
3
2000
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto A bit of sourness. Tannic center.
 
2003
Casanova di Neri Sant’Antimo PietradOnice The first bottle was corked. 90% Cab. 10% Sangiovese. Sweet finish. Ok. Cherries.
2?
2003
Col D’Orcia Rosso di Montalcino Grilled strawberries. Slight bitterness on finish.
2
2002
Col D’Orcia Banditella Rosso di Montalcino Single Vyd. Light oak on nose. A lot of oak/vanilla notes.
3
2001
Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Good acids. Fresh. Clean. Good fruit. Good!
2-3
2000
Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Sweet nose. Slightly sweet finish. Some bitterness but approachable.
3-4
1999
Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Harder. Grilled cherries. More concentration. Slightly bitter finish.
3
1998
Col D’Orcia Poggio al Veneto Riserva Brunello di Montalcino Dried strawberries. Strawberries and chocolate. They described it as “the most traditional Brunello on the market.”
6-12
1998
Col D’Orcia Pascena Moscadella di Montalcino - Late Harvest Light delicious. Great! 
 
2003
Fanti Rosso di Montalcino Very red cherry. Really really fruit.
2
2003
Fanti Sant’Antimo Rosso di Montalcino Really interesting. Tannic finish. Blueberry!
3+
2001
Fanti Brunello di Montalcino Oaky but somewhat integrated. Good acids and fruit.
3-4
2004
Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino Dry. Dried fruit with hard acids.
1-2
2003
Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino A bit of raisins. Dry. A little hard.
2-3
2001
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Dry. Young. Hard to judge. Tight.
2+
2000
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino More concentration. Almost too much. Acids harsh. Young. Hard to judge.
3-4
1999
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Dried fruit. Hard. Good fruit. Very young.
3-5?
1998
Il Poggione Vin Santo 5 years in barrel. Good.
 
2004
La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino Hard edge. Lots of fruit. Good balance. Ok.
1?
2003
La Fortuna Sant’Antimo Rosso  50/50 Cab/Sangiovese. Awful. Still effervescent. Jack liked it much better.
2-3
2001
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Intense fruit. Good concentration. Pretty balanced.
2-3?
2000
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Even better fruit than the ‘01/  Slight bitterness. More friendly than the ‘01
3
1999
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  Searing acids. Joanne suspects it is corked.
1?
2003
La Gerla Rosso di Montalcino Lots of berries - Raspberries. Slightly bitter. Likeable.
1-3
2001
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino Lots of berries. Good fruit
1-2
1999
La Gerla Angeli Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Single vyd. Good fruit. Slightly watery finish.
3
2001
La Gerla Angeli Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Almost fresh meat. Sausage. Really unique flavors. Good.
4
2001
La Lecciaia Rosso di Montalcino Oak on nose. Good fruit. Perhaps a bit of over-ripeness.
3+
2001
La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino Lots of fruit and acids. Delicious. Drink now.
2-3
2001
La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino Manapetra Interesting flavors. Almost  a salty finish. Black fruit. Good concentration
4+
2003
La Mannella Rosso di Montalcino Sweet nose. Strawberries. Lots of fruit. Great.strawberry jam finish.
2
2000
La Mannella Brunello di Montalcino Wow. Young. Great fruit and elegance. Really balanced.
 
2003
La Pescaia Rosso di Montalcino Raspberry flavors. Fruity. Good.
2+
2001
La Pescaia Brunello di Montalcino Harder. Good fruit hiding under tannins. Young..
?
1999
La Pescaia Brunello di Montalcino Medicinal notes. Tannins integrated but show on finish. Nice wine. Good.
3+
2003
La Velona Rosso di Montalcino Too sweet. Lots of fruit.
2-3
2002
La Velona Sant’Antimo Mefysto Rosso Sangiovese/Merlot. Sweet. Good Fruit. Clean acids. A bit watery on the finish.
2
2000
La Velona Brunello di Montalcino  Hard. Good but young and hard to judge.
3
2003
Lazzeretti Rosso di Montalcino Lots of medicinal flavors. Joanne did not like the style of this winery.
2-3
2001
Lazzeretti Brunello di Montalcino  Oak and mustiness. Is this wine corked? Tight hard and tannic with fruit hidden underneath.
3
2002
Le Machioche Rosso di Montalcino. Sweet nose. Good acids. Bitter finish. No.
0
2001
Le Machioche Brunello di Montalcino Bright acids. Almost a chemical finish.
1
2000
Le Machioche Brunello di Montalcino Still that chemically tasting finish.
2-3
2004
Pian dell'Orino Rosso di Montalcino Dark meaty fruit. Good acids on finish. Yum.
2-3
2000
Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino  Tight. Fruit veiled. Very dry finish. A little bitter. Good.
3
2001
Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino  More accessible than the ‘00. Good fruit. Drinkable now.
4+
2004
Poggio Antico Rosso di Montalcino Musty nose but not corked. Good acids. Harder style - not so much fruit. Good acids on finish
1+
2001
Poggio Antico Altero Brunello di Montalcino  Modern style. 2 years in oak. Hard tannic. But somewhat balanced.
3
2001
Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Traditional style - 3 years in oak. Slightly herbal. Richer. More balanced.
2+
2000
Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Aged 5 years in barrel. Complex. Intense flavors. Good balance.
 
2003
Solaria Rosso di Montalcino Oak but good fruit.
3+
2002
Solaria Rosso di Montalcino Slightly raspberry
0-1
2000
Solaria Brunello di Montalcino Hard. Oak on finish.
4
2001
Solaria Brunello di Montalcino  Dry. Tannic - but fruit is there.
3+?
2004
Tassi Rosso di Montalcino Inaugural vintage. 14% new oak. Barnyardy. No.
0
2003
Tenuta Caparzo La Grance Sant’Antimo Bianco Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay/Gewurztraminer blend. Huge acids but clean. Really interesting wine.
1
2000
Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino Good fruit. Slightly sweet. Really balanced. Strawberry.
3+
2001
Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino Really good. Balanced. Not so much fruit.
2-3+
2000
Tenuta Caparzo La Casa Brunello di Montalcino Nutmeg on top notes. Clean Balanced.
3
1999
Tenuta Caparzo La Casa Brunello di Montalcino Good acids. Curranty. Dark currants. Needs lots of opening time. Harder to judge
2-4
2001
Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino Tannic center. Fruit on finish.
1+
2004
Uccelliera  Rosso di Montalcino Good. Really bright lush fruit. Bing cherries.
1
2003
Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino Drinkable now - but tight. Try in 2 years. Sweet nose. A lot of wood. Very young. Sweet finish.
3
2001
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino  Intense. Good concentration. Good acids.
3
1999
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino  Great curranty lush fruit. Earthy nose and center.
6
1999
Valdicava Madonna del Piano Brunello di Montalcino  The single vineyard Riserva. Minerals. Harder style. Grilled cherries.
3+



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