|86 of the 112 bottles tasted|
Well, do I "get" Brunello now? I think I do, at least much more so than before. I would be so bold to say that if I were to get a Salvioni poured (much appreciated, thanks!) to me blind, I would at least be able to place it in Brunello land. I think - but then again blind tasting is often lessons in humility...:-)
When Brunello is done right it is a big mouthful of ripe, warm, structured Sangiovese. And the best are big yet elegant and light on their feet. Salvioni is the best example of that combination.
They are more broad shouldered than the Sangioveses from Chianti land. But most of the time they have a balance that make them easy to drink, albeit the hefty tannins and the 14% alcohol. Then again, I have during this year (mostly) tasted wines from good producers and from fine vintages. I´m sure that there are examples out there of Brunello´s that are too big, too warm and without finesse.
What then, are the highlights of this year?
Here are the 5 moste memorable bottles of the 112 tasted:
In 1975 there were not that many producers making Bruello, and it was long before the hype for this region. The 1975 CastelGiocondo proved to be an enchanting image from a time long gone, yet full of life, joy and pleasure.
The 1982 Poggio al Vento, Col d´Orcia proved to be a really impressive debut vintage of this wine. Almost fully mature it delivered immense pleasure on that night.
I had tasted the 1998 from Valdicava before this bottle was opened and while that was a good wine it didn´t shine. But the older sibling, the 1990 Valdicava was a whole other creature. Ripe, structured and intense, this made my taste buds really happy.
Salvioni doesn´t just get one spot on this list but two. The 1993 was drunk in one of the first chapters last year and it blew me away, really showing what Brunello is capable of. I immediately went looking for more vintages and when I opened the 1997 I just had to surrender, a perfect wine in the making and impossible to resist. I have become a true Salvioni aficionado during this year. :-)
It has been a fascinating project with lots of great wines and great opportunities to get to know a wine that I prevoiusly hade very little experience with. And needless to say, there will be much more space in the cellar devoted to Brunello in the years to come.