WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

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WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:05 pm

Brunello di Montalcino Dinner

2004 Nino Franco Rive di San Fiorano Prosecco – a single vineyard vintage dated offering, unusual for a Prosecco. Pleasant slkightly yeasty nose, clean finish, nice way to start.

2004 Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo Nova Sera – the reserve bottling of this wine made from a traditional local varietal. Very little of the traditional nose of this wine – used to smell like Parmesan cheese! Now only a nice fruity international style of nose, tasty and well balanced on palate, an almost mineral element and good acidity.

1999 Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano Riserva – big fruit in this nose and smooth in the mouth, lower acidity than many and ready to drink – great with food, which ws an antipasto platter.

Brunellos:

1998 Sesti Riserva – corked and although what fruit remained was pretty good, impossible to assess.

1995 Il Colle Brunello – slight grassiness in the nose nice flavours, some tannin, lots of acidity. This is at, or perhaps just past its peak. With sage and Gorgonzola pizzas

1996 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello – replacement for the defunct Sesti. Nose not bad, finish a bit shot and ending too acidic, and lacking fruit in the middle. With food the acidity softened and it turned around quite a bit, although it still wasn’t up to the Il Colle, IMO. Served with really great pastries filled with radicchio, tallegio and truffle.

1990 Castelgioconda Brunello – I’ve drunk this over 10 – 12 years and while it is still holding up very well, it is now beginning to slide a tad.

1990 Poggio Antico Riserva Brunello – the superior wine in my view, with a stinkier nose, greater depth, an all over larger framed wine with more weight, tannin and length. Quite good. Served with a lovely porcini pasta dish with truffled cream sauce.

1990 Castello Banfi – this was the main event and something I had been planning for many years. I bought single bottles and magnums on release and when a friend mentioned that he had half bottles, it seemed a natural to wait until the wine had sufficient development to show if there were any differences and then to taste them against each other. Served with rare lamb chops, veggies and fennel.

Split #1 – a definite difference noted between splits. The first showed a decent nose, smooth and not much tannin.

Split # 2 –musty nose, and less fruit – both had seen better days..

Bottle – Younger wine with spicy nose, more tannin and drinking about perfectly right now.

Magnum – best of all, with even better fruit than the single bottle, another step up in tannin and also better length – lots of time left. Served with pine nut and gorgonzola tart and cheeses.

Conclusion – 3 formats bottled at the same time, two of them cellared together since release, showed definite differences in development, with the bigger bottles showing the youngest. Some people say they don’t see any difference in wine bottled in large format. All that proves is that there are people that can’t tell any difference, because based on our unanimous opinion, those differences are definitely present.
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Re: WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:14 am

GREAT tasting, Bill. But wow, I'm so surprised at how much we differ on our impressions. Like, take the Poggio Antico vs. the Castelgiaconda. I bow to your far greater experience with these wines and the fact that Nunga and George both favored the Poggio Antico, but--let's say these were Oregon Pinots and not Italian Sangioveses, I tend to think we'd be saying that the Castelgioconda had remarkable fruit for its age and enough acidity to keep going, where the Poggio was deeper into secondary development and closer to the end of it's life. I wonder if our different impressions were more a matter of timing--I was in the kitchen when those got poured so I didn't taste them without food.
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Re: WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:51 am

Bill
Many thanks for the notes. Brunello's have mostly by-passed us, but I know it's only a matter of time... 8)
I'd be interested in your views on the old 50% rule based on the Banfi's

i.e. Magnum lasts 50% longer than bottle which lasts 50% longer than halves.

I've always felt the %'s were a little high and 30% might be closer to the figure, however your notes suggest the sort of differences that would be consistent with the 50% rule.

What's your feeling based on these wines?

thanks
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Re: WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:36 am

Jenise, the change with food was quite large. I'm sorry you didn't get to taste without (always more revealing). Similarly, the Vitanza was merely OK, a bit lean and mean, but improved a lot with food, which muted the sharp edges and acidity, and supplied some of the lacking flavour/fruit.

Ian, I find it hard to be so quantitative about it.

The difference between split and bottle was greater than between bottle and magnum in any case, so you'd have to have a sliding scale.
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Re: WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Ruth B » Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:27 pm

Hi Bill,
We have had the 1990 Banfi in a 750ml, a mag and a double mag--and there was a pretty dramatic difference between the 750 and a three litre (which tasted very young when we consumed in in 2003).

We just increased our wine storage in the basement and I thought of you as I moved my Rhones!

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Re: WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:30 pm

maggiesaaz wrote:
We just increased our wine storage in the basement and I thought of you as I moved my Rhones!



Ruth! Nice to hear from you.

So when are you guys going to visit the wet coast again? I might be able to rustle up at least a couple of bottles of Rhone to sip......
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Re: WTN: Brunello Format Tasting

Postby Ruth B » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:52 pm

It seems like all of our available travel time/budget is being expended in Europe!
Happy to host you here though if you want some Bruno's or Rhones!

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