Thematic Tasting: Brunello Reunion

April 2, 2015

Thematic Tasting Brunello 1

BACKDROP

A short while ago our friend flew into Kyiv from San Francisco for a short stay. He doesn’t visit very often so this was a special occasion and, thus, called for special tastings. We settled on Brunello and Barolo as the themes.

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2006 Silvio Nardi

April 2, 2015

Name:Silvio Nardi
Vintage:2006
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Sangiovese Grosso
Producer:Brunello di Montalcino
Region:Italy / Toscana/ Montalcino / Bosco
Alcohol:13.5%

Unmistakably modern in style, but more conscious of the limits than some.

Starts off with cream and tobacco nose, but instead of going heavy into vulgarities of the oak use, it takes the savoury wood route.

I guess that’s where their restraint in usage of new and small barrels comes into play. The elevage is one year in a mix of new and old barriques is followed by a year in botti.

However, it is still quite big and brawny, oaked and weakish in the middle. Not my style.

2008 Canalicchio di Sopra

April 2, 2015

Name:Canalicchio di Sopra
Vintage:2008
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Sangiovese Grosso
Producer:Brunello di Montalcino
Region:Italy / Toscana / Montalcino / Casaccia
Alcohol:13.5%

An off bottle. Diluted nose and lack of vibrancy. Dusty warm leather. Some hint of violets, but quite flat.

2007 Baricci

April 2, 2015

Name:Baricci
Vintage:2007
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Sangiovese
Producer:Brunello di Montalcino
Region:Italy / Toscana / Montalcino / Montosoli hill
Alcohol:13.5%

Baricci, is one of the very few anti-pop winemakers from the prized Montosoli hill in Montalcino. Poduction is quite small and limited to only Brunello (no Riserva) and Rosso. Notably, the entire Brunello production from its 5ha is aged in one botte for 36 months to yield roughly 12-14,000 bottles.

Normally Baricci produces Brunelli which are light, elegant, gentle and somewhat shy.  Distant bloody cherry pit and creamy violets in the nose carry onto the palate not only in flavour, but also in texture.

Airy and light texture make it extremely quaffable and easy to enjoy, but do not discount it as simple. It is one of those wines which deliver simple pleasures easily, but are more than capable of giving you seriousness and depth if you give it more of your attention and focus on listening rather than just drinking.

Best when drunk alone versus being crowded by other wines. Its a ballet dancer, so don’t expect it to perform like a gentleman fighter or an aristocrat fencer. Unfortunately, I feel that, at least for me, this bottle of Baricci fell victim to the context of the tasting (read more of my thoughts on this here) and three stars reflect this.

Bottom line: One of the best inexpensive Brunelli with a focus on elegance and quiet charm. I am still a big fan.