1997 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna gli Angeli, La Gerla
This comes from a one hectare single vineyard. It seems though that they have stopped making this bottling, according to La Gerla´s website there is now only the ordinary Brunello and the Riserva gli Angeli, instead of previously three bottling of Brunello.
The nose is wide open, sweet, decadent and fantastic, with notes of sour/sweet cherries, raspberry licorice, pipe tobacco, undergrowth, cherry liqueur and old leather. A really exuberant nose. Very deep and fine.
The taste is big and steady with layers upon layers of juicy, sweet cherries and notes of licorice, mushroom forest, violets, tobacco and a small gravel pit in the end of the taste. Big, chewable tannins. A long, long, sweet finish. This is drinking perfectly now, and will surely keep for 8+ years, but will it get any better? I doubt it.
93p (tasted 2013/05)
1997 Brunello di Montalcino Cerbaiola, Salvioni
I surrender! There is nothing else to do in front of this (almost) perfect specimen. I felt though that this was coming, the previous vintages tasted - the 1993 (stunningly good but not a perfect vintage), the 2004 and the 2006 (two great bottles but still very young) - have somehow whispered to me - "wait until you get a mature bottle from a great vintage". And here it is.
The nose is bottomless deep, perfectly balanced, tight and elegant, with stunning notes of ripe cherries, very expensive tobacco, even more expensive leather, dried flowers, viol pastilles, a Tuscan gravel road and a gorgeous perfumed note. You could sit and sniff this all night long. Ethereal in the true sense of the word.
The taste is a poster child for the proverbial "an iron fist in a velvet glove". First you notice the velvety, sweet, yummy fruit, the notes of ripe cherries, dried strawberries, viol pastilles, hard cherry candy and the sweet tobacco. But then the finely polished tannins creep up from behind and lends support and structure. They don´t take over, they just balance the taste in a perfect manner. The finish is over a minute long and goes from strength to strength all night long. Very, very aristocratic. Has begun to mature but I would say that this is 4-6 years (at least) from its peak. Best wine so far this year, a privilege to drink.
98p (tasted 2013/05)