The 2007 vintage is very highly regarded in Brunello di Montalcino. Seven Riservas shown by the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino tasted earlier in the year demonstrated power, depth and complexity. Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s 2007 Riserva and Antinori’s Pian Delle Vigne, Vigna Ferrovia 2007 were especially impressive. Carparzo also produced a chewy, satisifying Brunello di Montalcino Riserva and single vineyard Brunello, La Casa.
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At Vinexpo earlier this year I had the opportunity to taste twenty-nine Brunello di Montalcino wines from the 2008 vintage and eight Riservas from the 2007 vintage. I’m a student when it comes to Brunello and the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino offered a great opportunity to get down and dirty with the wines. There’s a lot to appreciate here. The best show balance, structure and acidity, with warmth and alcoholic punch. Not as dark as young Bordeaux, the thinner-skinned Sangiovese having less colouring matter than Cabernet and its relatives, the grape still provides Brunello di Montalcino with plenty of depth, sap and chew on the palate. When the balance is right there is a fascinating tension between the power, the warmth and the bite. I focus in this post on 2008 Brunellos, with thoughts on the 2007 Riservas up next.
Brooding skies, torrential rain, leaky roofs gave Vinexpo 2013, Bordeaux’s biannual wine fair, a distinctly wet vibe the week before last. The dreadful weather further pointed up the difficulties that vignerons are already facing this year in Bordeaux. Vineyards are three weeks to a month behind usual growth cycles, with the gossip from some that these early season conditions have been the worst since 1984. Despite the brave faces worn by chateaux owners at the various dinners coinciding with Vinexpo, there is no doubt that the forthcoming vintage will be a late one, whatever the outcome. Fine weather in July, August and September may turn things around, so it’s far too early to pronounce on the vintage yet. Still the Bordelais must have been hoping for a much better start to the year than they’ve had. They could do without another mediocre vintage to try and flog.
Plodding on, minding the pennies, paying off the debts…oh ‘Sod it!’, there comes a point when you have to say that this will all count for nowt when you’re six feet under, pushing up the daisies. A tasting organised by a friend this weekend, reminded me of the importance of doing something exhilarating.