Thursday 17 January 2013

In Search of Brunello di Montalcino´s Soul - Chapter XI

These notes are a follow up from the post on the 1988 Ottantotto from Argiano, tasted last friday, aka the Argioano weekend! The following day I opened the two Brunello´s I mentioned in the post.
Info about Argiano here.

1979 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Argiano
This may have spent some of its life on a little too warm place. It is still fine and drinking really well with the food, but it is not as good as I suppose it could be. When I mailed Argiano about the Ottantotto I mentioned that I would open these two bottles the day after, and they described the 1979 Brunello as "tasting as nectar".
The nose is big, ripe and (over)mature with notes of dried cherries, orange peel, green raisins, old leather, meat stock and balsamic notes. This has the signs of an otherwise fine wine but that have been stoored too warm.
The taste is fresher and tighter than the nose with notes of ripe cherries, dark chocolate, autumn leaves, old leather and violets. A long, warm, sweet finish. A good weight to the taste. Very fine with the food. Much better than the nose. Would love to try another bottle!
85p   (tasted 2013/01)

The 1979 to the left and the 1985 to the right

1985 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Argiano
This on the other hand is in a perfect place this evening. Mature, sweet, hedonistic but with just the right amount of firm backbone.
A deep, profound, cool nose with notes of red and black cherries, red currants, tobacco, violets, mushroom forest and that stunning Tuscan gravel road scent. Very deep and just delightful!
The taste could be described as Argiano described the 1979, as nectar. It is tight, it is sweet, it is hedonism in a glass. Gorgeous notes of perfectly ripe cherries, orange peel, warm herbs, violets and a touch of chocolate. The finish is all about velvet until the polished tannins take hold of the last tail of the finish. Gorgeous stuff! For drinking now and the coming 5-8 years.
94p   (tasted 2013/01)

Had no luck/skill with the corks...


  1. A quick question, when you open old bottles, what kind of bottle opener do you use?

    Thnx /D

    1. Hi David!
      It depends on the age and visual appearance of the cork. If really old, meaning from the 40´s and back, I usually use this kind of instrument - - check out the video on the top - opening a 1978 Barolo.
      Otherwise I use a normal sommelier corkscrew, which works well in 99% of bottles. The key is to take it slow and not being impatient... Which I obviously didn´t do in this case - I needed some wine...:-)

  2. Hello.

    What particular smell/taste is usually the case when the bottle have been stored too warm? And another question. When much of the fruit has disappered, what have happend to the bottle in that case, is it corkproblems? Thank you! /Karl

    1. Well, its hard to describe, but I would say when the fruit seems to have a "lid" on it and the feeling is of a nose compressed, pair with a warmth, it is usually a sign of a heat storaged bottle. But they come in all shapes, from the bleeding obvious to the very tiny.
      I usually feel that you normaly feel it more on the nose than on the palate, but that varies to.

  3. I'm working on a Brunello project on my own, though in a smaller scale! Will post my findings in a couple of weeks! I'm going for the Salvioni '93 as well and some other great wine! Thanks for the inspiration!


    1. Interesting! Looking forward to read about it! Just bought the 97 and 01 Salvione - really looking forward to that! :-)

  4. That's just crazy! Where did you find those?