Benvenuto Brunello 2013: The 2008 Vintage

Benvenuto Brunello 2013

Benvenuto Brunello 2013

The 2008 Brunello Vintage was judged a 4-star vintage in 2008, and while these evaluations do have to be taken with a grain of salt, I did hope it would be accurate as I entered the tasting room this year to sample the newly released wines.

Unfortunately, the first impression was less positive: Many of the wines proved to be lacking in both fruit and acidity, with tannins that were rather flighty and astringent. Not what one looks for in a Brunello, and when I continued to find wines of this sort I began to worry. But continued to taste, and with the subsequent flights the picture began to improve as I also found wines with deft though not overwhelmingly powerful structure and fruit, sufficient acidity to provide direction and a degree of ageworthiness, and tannins that while not too powerful are smooth and fairly mature. In short, wines that are quite approachable, especially considering their youth, and that display pleasing freshness and drinkability in a classic lesser vintage key: They’re not wines to be bought by the case and set aside for posterity, but rather wines to be enjoyed with foods in the fairly near term, say within the next 5-8 years, though a few may age further.

Purchasing will require careful selection because of the problems I encountered in the first couple of flights. Having said this, however, the bottom line is that there are some fine 2008 Brunelli to be enjoyed now, while we await those of some of the more powerful recent vintages, for example 2006 and 2004.

The wines, Tasted on February 22 and 23 2013

To keep everyone from starting with the same wine – which would have resulted in long waits for some – the Consorzio decreed that each table would start at a different point in the list. My table began with wine number 40. Unfortunately, due to a personal problem I was not able to taste as many wines as I might have liked, and hope to return to Montalcino to taste further later this spring or this summer.

Castello di Velona Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Elegant almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is vinous, with some brambly acidity and delicate dried flowers mingled with sour red berry fruit. Pleasant in a traditional key. On the palate it’s bright, with delicate sour cherry fruit supported by pleasant berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and fairly smooth, and flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a fairly traditional key and quite young, and good aging potential and will likely become ethereal with time.
2 stars

Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Moderately intense garnet with black reflections and garnet rim. The bouquet is vinous, with brambly red berry fruit and some greenish vegetal acidity supported by hints of wood smoke and some underbrush. On the palate it’s ample and smooth, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a fairly long clean sour cherry  finish with a slight tannic underpinning. It’s polished, and quite approachable in a slightly more international key.
2 stars

Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is deft, with balsamic accents and some wet leather, supported by slight savory notes and and moderate underlying berry fruit. Fairly traditional in feel. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by delicate berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a slight youthful burr, and flow into a fairly long sour berry fruit finish. It’s fairly traditional in feel, and still very young; it needs a couple of years for tannins to fold in.
2 stars

Castiglion del Bosco Campo del Drago Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2007
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense,  with smoky berry fruit supported by some greenish accents and bu underbrush and some wet tree bark; the tertiary elements are a bit stronger than I might have expected in a young riserva. On the palate it’s ample, with moderate berry fruit supported by some spice and tannins more than acidity, though there is some, and it flows into a decidedly tannic fairly dry finish with some underlying berry fruit. I’d have liked more fruit to contrast the tannins, which are pleasant enough but overshadow the fruit.
1 star

Cava D’Onice Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice mingled with underbrush and vinous warmth. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense dusky minerality more than fruit, supported by tannins that are smooth and flow into a rather tannic finish. It’s harmonious and deft, but is lacking in fruit, and revolves more around tertiary elements.
1 star

Citille di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Fairly deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with underbrush and some balsamic accents with hints of camphor. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by mineral acidity that’s fairly savory, and by tannins that are ample and fairly smooth, albeit with a youthful burr. It’s somewhat lacking in fruit, which to a degree surrenders operations to the tannic structure, but this is in the style of the wine, which is harmonious.
1 star

Citille di Sopra Vigna Poggio Roncini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with vinous notes mingled with some balsamic accents and wet leather, and some spice; it’s deft and  interesting in a fairly mature key. On the palate it’s ample, with moderately rich cherry fruit supported by delicate almost floral berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have a warm burr and flow into a fairly long slightly bitter berry fruit finish. It’s elegant in a rather ethereal key, and if you like the style you will enjoy it. If you prefer more fruit driven wines you won’t like it as much.
2 stars

Col di Lamo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with wet leather and some spice supported by deft balsamic accents and some spice; it’s harmonious and fairly mature. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense cherry  fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth and flow into a warm cherry finish with a pleasantly spicy tannic underpinning. Middle of the road in key, though I’d have liked a little more intensity to the fruit.
1 star

Poggio il Castellare Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Fairly deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with balsamic notes mingled with spice, and as it opens delicate sour cherry  fruit and pleasing dried floral accents. Pleasant. On the palate it’s ample, and fairly soft, with bright cherry  fruit supported by delicate sour cherry acidity that’s laced with hints of plum, and by tannins that are smooth and sweet, and flow into a clean cherry finish with a slightly pungent underpinning. Pleasant in a middle of the road key, and will also age nicely for many years.
2 stars

Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Lively cherry  ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with berry fruit supported by hardwood ash and warm greenish balsamic accents, with underlying alcoholic warmth. On the palate it’s full, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm fairly tannic finish. It’s middle of the road in key, and will drink well now, though it will profit from a couple of years of aging.
2 stars

Coldisole Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, and quite oaky, with a great rush of cedar and some spice that casts a blanket over the wine, covering all. On the palate it’s again oaky, with moderate berry fruit supported by tannins that have a distinctly cedary vanilla-laced burr, and flow into a fairly quick tannic finish with sweet vanilla accents. There’s lots of oak, which covers the fruit, and I found it to be a bit much.
1 star

Collelceto Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with some camphor and balsamic accents but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s moderately intense, with fairly slight fruit supported by moderate acidity and tannins that are smooth and flow into a soft berry fruit finish. It lacks the depth,  power, and verve I would expect from a Brunello.
1 star

Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and pale almandine rim. The bouquet is greenish, with berry fruit  and some balsamic accents and spice.  On the palate it’s ample and soft, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by soft berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly dry and flow into a fairly quick finish.
1 star

Corte dei Venti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with animal tang mingled with balsamic accents and some greenish acidity; it’s not rustic but fairly tertiary and there is also some hardwood ash. On the palate it’s fairly full, with bright cherry  fruit supported by delicate berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a clean fresh fruit laced finish with a slightly splintery tannic underpinning. Pleasant, with richer fruit than many, and fresher too; it’s drinkable now, but will age nicely too.
2 stars

Cupano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry  rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with greenish accents and some balsamic cedar mingled with vinous accents and dusky coolness; there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample and soft, with moderately intense cherry  plum fruit supported by slight mineral acidity and by tannins that have a sweet vanilla overlay and flow into a fairly long vanilla-laced finish with slight fruit underpinning. It’s fairly international in style, but could have had more fruit.
1 star

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some balsamic accents and slight green leather. On the palate it’s ample and rather flat, with less fruit than I might have liked, supported by some spice and tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a spicy tannic finish. The fruit, which should guide the wine, surrenders to the tannins, to a degree that I found excessive.
1 star

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Prime Donne Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is slightly richer than the annata, with some balsamic accents and slight spice, though not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample, with moderate – quite – berry fruit supported by mineral more than berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are ample and smooth, with a moderate burr; they give an impression of being rather retiring, and flow into a soft slightly smoky tannic finish that becomes drier.
1 star

Fanti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some balsamic notes mingled with spice and slight green leather, and delicate floral accents. On the palate it’s brighter than many, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth, with a slight burr, and flow into a fairly long sour berry fruit finish with a slight tannic underpinning. Pleasant, and will drink nicely with succulent red meats.
2 stars

Fattoi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, and fairly balsamic, with greenish accents and some animal tang, and slight underlying hardwood ash. On the palate it’s ample, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit that has some plum notes to it, and is supported by moderate berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are fairly smooth, albeit displaying a fairly dry burr that flows into a cherry plum finish with a dry tannic underpinning. The fruit is more intense than in many of the other wines presented, but I’d have liked more richness and verve.
1 star

Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with strong balsamic accents supported by some spice and slight animal tang, there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s ample, with very moderate fruit supported by some berry fruit acidity, but not much, and rather slight tannins that have a slight dry burr, and flow into a rather pungent plum cherry finish with underlying dry tannins.
1 star

Fornacella Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though some cold black coffee emerges supported by slight graphite shavings. The palate reflects the nose to a degree, there is slight sour cherry fruit supported by sweet tannins that have slight coffee laced accents and flow into a fairly quick finish that simply fades. I would expect more from a Brunello.
1 star

Fornacina Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents mingled with some spice and moderate berry fruit. On the palate it’s ample,with fairly soft cherry fruit supported by spice and moderately intense cherry acidity supported by tannins that are fairly splintery and flow into a warm sour cherry finish with a slightly splintery tannic underpinning. It’s fresh and ready in a lesser key.
2 stars

Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with some berry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and some spice. On the palate it’s ample, with moderate rather soft berry fruit that has slight savory overtones, and is supported by slight mineral acidity, while the tannins are smooth and light, albeit with a dry burr. It’s softer than I might have liked, and lacks verve.
1 star

Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rather metallic with some red berry fruit and some greenish accents; as it opens the metallic notes fade. On the palate it’s ample, with fairly bright cherry  fruit, more than one would have expected from the nose, supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth and flow into a fairly deft berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. It’s ready, I would say.
2 stars

Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is moderately intense with spice and some balsamic accents mingled with slight wet leather; there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s soft, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by delicate berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly ample and smooth, flowing into a warm delicate moderately tart berry fruit finish with a slight tannic underpinning. It’s a more delicate interpretation of the vintage, and ready to drink, I’d say.
2 stars

Greppone Mazzi – Ruffino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with dried flowers mingled with sour cherry  fruit and some splintery notes, while there is also heather and a fair amount of alcoholic warmth. On the palate it’s fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are ample and fairly smooth, though they do display a warm burr, and flow into a fairly long fairly tart berry fruit finish. It’s readier than it might be in some vintages, but displays a pleasing grace in a lesser vintage key, and will drink well with foods.
2 stars

Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with slightly candied berry fruit supported by intense cedar and some spice. On the palate it’s ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and tannins that are fairly light, and flow into a warm sour cherry finish with a fairly strong splintery tannic finish. It has richer fruit than many, but the tannins are fairly aggressive, which means it will work best with fairly rich red meats. Like many of the 08’s it’s already ready to drink.
2 stars

Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with balsamic accents and some camphor mingled with spice and some nose tingling acidity, and a fair amount of alcohol too. On the palate it’s bright, with cherry fruit supported by fairly deft berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and have a fairly pronounced burr, and flow into a cherry laced finish with slight tannic support. It’s a big wine, but softer than I’d have liked from a Brunello, and the way the tannins fade in the finish is a bit disconcerting, because the acidity fades with them, leaving the fruit on its own.
1 star

Il Paradiso di Manfredi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense and quite vinous, with some balsamic notes and some underlying spice as well, with moderate red berry fruit and some berry fruit acidity as it opens. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and tannins that are warm and rather splintery, in keeping with the vintage, and flow into a warm rather tannic berry fruit finish. Bright, and fairly light for a Brunello, but it displays a pleasing freshness and is pleasant to drink.
2 stars

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with rather haunting greenish notes mingled with red berry fruit and some spice, and also some balsamic accents. On the palate it’s ample with rich cherry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and by tannins that are warm, with a fairly pronounced burr, and flow into a long warm sour cherry finish with a pleasant slightly splintery tannic underpinning. Pleasant, in the context of the vintage, and will also age nicely for a few years.
2 stars

Poggio Celsi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit supported by balsamic accents and hints of yellow peaches with a warm greenish underlay. On the palate it’s fairly full, with fairly bright cherry  fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and tannins that are fairly smooth, with slight bitter accents, and flow into a fairly long cherry finish with a warm tannic underpinning. It’s fruitier than many of the 2008 wines presented in the course of the tasting, and is ready to drink now, through it will also age nicely for a number of years.
2 stars

Montalcino's Fortezza, In The Fog at Benvenuto Brunello

Montalcino’s Fortezza, In The Fog at Benvenuto Brunello

La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Fairly deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is elegant, with rich slightly vegetal cherry  fruit supported by greenish berry fruit acidity and underlying balsamic accents; it’s fresh and has a fair amount to say. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly intense cherry  fruit supported by warm berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do display a young greenish burr, and flow into a clan peppery sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant and approachable; it’s close to being ready and will also age nicely for a number of years.
2 stars

Lambardi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Fairly deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is moderately intense,with greenish vegetal notes mingled with red berry fruit and some peppery spice. On the palate it’s bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have a peppery burr and flow into a warm bright sour cherry finish with tannic underpinning. Quite pleasant in a fairly traditional key, and also young; it will improve considerably over the next 2-4 years, and while not aging for too long will age nicely for up to a decade, I think. If you like the style you will enjoy it.
88-90

Le Chiuse Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with floral accents mingled with slight cut flower pungency and warm spice, and some balsamic notes and some savory minerality, with slight underbrush as well. Nice balance, in a somewhat more tertiary key. On the palate it’s ample and soft, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly tart berry fruit finish. Quite traditional, and deft, with considerable finesse, and is worth seeking out if you like this style.
88-90

Lisini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Fairly deep garnet with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is elegant, with rich red berry fruit supported by slight dried flowers and some greenish vegetal accents, with fairly rich spice and elegant balsamic notes. A lot going on. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by balsamic notes and warm mineral berry fruit acidity, while the tannins are smooth and savory, with a deft youthful burr that flows into a long fairly bright berry fruit finish with peppery tannic underpinning. Quite elegant, and a very nice expression of a difficult vintage.
90

Mocali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Intense almandine with black reflections and brilliant ruby highlights, and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal notes mingled with red berry fruit and a fair amount of alcohol, while there is also some wet tree bark and slight camphor. On the palate it’s ample and fairly ripe, with bright sour cherry  fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth, albeit with a slightly peppery burr, and flow into a warm rather tannic finish. Pleasant, with nice rich fruit, and will drink very well with succulent red meats already, though I would if I had several bottles give most of them time to develop, 3-5 years at least.
2 stars

Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is elegant, with sour cherry  fruit supported by bright sour berry fruit acidity and by slight balsamic accents; there’s great finesse and elegance in a traditional key. On the palate it’s full, with bright cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and quite smooth, though they do have a burr to provide definition, and flow into a long deft sour cherry finish with a pleasant tannic underpinning. Great finesse in a traditional key, and a wine well worth seeking out even if you are generally more international in your tastes, because it has stories to tell.
90

Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal accents and a fair amount of alcohol supported by spice and red berry fruit; it’s fairly intense and has something haunting to it as well. On the palate it’s ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderate more mineral than cherry  acidity, and by tannins that are ample and smooth, with a slight bitter burr, and flow into a clean berry fruit finish with some bitter accents. Pleasant, and though quite young is already drinkable.
2 stars

Maté Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with smoky cedary notes mingled with some hardwood ash and tart berry fruit and citric acidity, and some underlying greenish accents. Not much fruit, but it is harmonious. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by tart berry fruit acidity that has some greenish accents, and by tannins that are smooth and flow into a clean sour cherry finish. Pleasant, and will already drink nicely with succulent red meats, though it also has the capacity to age nicely for a number of years.
2 stars

Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is deft, with elegant cherry fruit supported by some balsamic accents and clean cedary notes, with some underlying greenish notes. Quite pleasant, and has a lot to say. On the palate it’s rich, with fairly bright cherry  fruit supported by moderate acidity, which is quite enough to provide direction, and by tannins that are smooth and sweet, and flow into a warm slightly sour cherry finish. Elegant and quite approachable; it’s not as aggressive as some, but displays considerable finesse and will be pleasant to drink.
88-90

Poggio Antico Altero Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, opening with cedar that is supported by berry fruit and some greenish accents; with respect to the Base it is more charged and a little oakier on the nose, though one must keep in mind that it’s still young and developing. On the palate it’s fairly rich, with moderately intense cherry  fruit supported by moderate sour berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are smooth and sweet, flowing into a warm tart cherry finish. It’s a little laxer on the palate than the base, but shares the base’s approachability, and also displays considerable finesse. I found myself preferring the base now, slightly, but both are fine wines.
2 stars

Sesti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with cherry  fruit supported by greenish vegetal notes and fairly bright sour cherry acidity. Harmonious and nice depth. On the palate it’s full, with fairly bright cherry fruit supported by delicate sour cherry acidity and by tannins that are smooth and sweet, with slight balsamic accents, and flow into a clean warm fresh tannic finish. Pleasant, and quite approachable in a moderately tart key, and while already quite approachable will drink nicely for a number of years.
2 stars

Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry  almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, and spicy, with red berry fruit supported by greenish accents and nutmeg, and by some peppery accents as well. Fresh, in a lively slightly international key. On the palate it’s ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by dusky dry tannins and moderate acidity, which flow into a warm rather dry tannic finish. It’s quite young, and a bit drier than some, but does have nice fruit, and will because of the aggressiveness of the tannins work well with succulent red meats.
2 stars

Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fresh, with lively cherry  fruit supported by slight greenish accents and powerful spice. Pleasant in a fairly rich key. On the palate it’s ample, with moderately rich cherry  fruit supported by mineral acidity and tannins that are smooth, with a slight balsamic cedar overlay, and flow into a warm bright berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a lesser vintage key and quite approachable; while it’s not a wine that will age indefinitely it will contribute nicely to the table in the next 3-5 years, and perhaps a little longer.
2 stars

Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with cedar and some greenish accents mingled with red berry fruit and moderate alcohol. On the palate it’s bright, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by moderate acidity, and by tannins that are warm and have a cedary overlay, flowing into a warm rather dry tannic finish with moderate fruit and considerable warmth. It’s a bit dry, and though approachable isn’t a wine I would keep for too long, rather drinking it now with succulent red meats that require something tannic to clear the palate between bites.
2 stars

Vasco Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, and swishing brings up some spice with slight cedar; there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly dry, and have a peppery burr that flows into a clean sour cherry finish that is again fairly dry. It’s still very young, and needs another year for the nose to develop, at which point it will be approachable in a lesser vintage key.
2 stars

Argiano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with balsamic notes mingled with spice and some savory notes, but not much in the way of fruit. It is in any case harmonious and nicely balanced. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by warm savory berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth and moderately dry, with savory accents, and flow into a fairly dry finish with tart berry fruit notes. It’s approachable in a lesser vintage key and displays pleasing freshness; I would drink it sooner rather than later.
2 stars

Banfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with delicate cherry  fruit supported by spice and some berry fruit acidity and slight greenish accents;  it’s still coming together but promises nicely.  On the palate it’s full, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by sour cherry  acidity, and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do display a slight greenish burr, and flow into a fairly long warm cherry finish with tannic underpinning. Pleasant in a middle of the road key, and quite approachable; it it is a child of the vintage, and I would drink it the relatively short term rather than age it for many years.
2 stars

Banfi Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Fairly deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling towards orange. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some balsamic accents and delicate spice, with slight alcohol as well. It’s still developing, and likely needs another year. On the palate it’s fairly rich, with cherry  fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and tannins that have a slight cedary vanilla cast to them, and flow into a warm rather dry tannic finish with some sour cherry fruit. It’s a child of the vintage, and I found it a touch thin, with a little less fruit than the tannins need for balance; this said it is approachable, and will drink nicely with succulent red meats, though I wouldn’t age it for too long. I found myself preferring the Base, which has a little less wood., and therefore works better in a lesser vintage key.
2 stars

Barbi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. Paler than most. The bouquet is moderately intense, with spice and some red berry fruit supported by greenish notes and some alcohol., and balsamic accents as it opens. On the palate it’s fairly full, with moderately intense sour cherry  fruit supported by sour cherry  acidity and by tannins that have a warm peppery burr and flow into a fairly long peppery finish with a sour cherry  underpinning. It’s pleasant in a lesser vintage key, with nice freshness and is approachable, though it is also fairly direct. It’s one of the better wines from this winery that I have tasted over the years.
2 stars

Talenti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is deft, with fairly rich balsam-laced cherry  fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and some smoky notes with some spicy accents as well. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry  acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a warm sour cherry  finish with deft tannic underpinning and lasting warmth. Pleasant and approachable and though I wouldn’t age it for too long it will contribute nicely to the table now.
2 stars

Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is cedar laced, with some greenish accents, and slight berry fruit; cedar predominates at present. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm, with a slight peppery burr, and flow into a warm peppery sour cherry  finish. It’s still coming together, and the nose needs another year for the fruit to emerge; this said it is fresh in a lesser vintage key, and will drink nicely with succulent red meats; like many other 08 Brunelli I wouldn’t age it for too long.
2 stars

Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, and rather pungent, with balsamic accents and spice, and slight animal tang, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied tending towards full, with moderately intense sour cherry  fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm somewhat savory sour cherry finish with a moderately intense tannic underpinning. It is approachable, and pleasant enough in the context of the vintage, but I’d have liked a little more depth to the fruit.
2 stars

Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with spice and some cherry  fruit supported by fairly intense greenish vegetal accents. On the palate it’s fairly bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry acidity, and by tannins that are smooth and sweet, and flow into a vegetal laced sour cherry finish with a slightly underbrush laced tannic underpinning. Pleasant freshness, and it will drink nicely with succulent red meats now, or age well for 5-8 years at least.
2 stars

Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim; it’s one of the paler wines poured. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish balsamic accents mingled with spice and some camphor, but not much in the way of fruit. Harmonious, however, and nicely balanced. On the palate it’s ample and rather soft, with moderate berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are ample and smooth, and flow into a sour cherry  finish that’s a touch settled. Though it is pleasantly fresh  I’d have liked more depth to the fruit, which isn’t that intense.
1 star

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is delicate, with warm berry fruit laced with balsamic accents and some delicate spice; the balsamic notes gain in intensity as it opens. On the palate it’s ample and soft, with moderate berry fruit supported by slight berry fruit acidity and by warm spicy tannins that flow into a rather spicy tannic finish with a sour cherry  underpinning. It’s delicate, in a lesser vintage key, and approachable; I would drink it sooner than later, because I don’t think it will age well for long. But it will be pleasant in the short term.
2 stars

Podere le Ripi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2007
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with rich cherry  fruit supported by greenish spice and berry fruit acidity, and some up underbrush and balsamic accents. Nice depth. On the palate it’s full, with bright sour cherry fruit supported by powerful sour cherry  acidity and by tannins that are warm and have a slight peppery burr, flowing into a long sour cherry finish. Pleasant, in a robust middle of the road key, and will drink nicely now with a thick porterhouse steak, but will also age nicely for at least 10 years. A winery I wasn’t familiar with, but am glad I discovered.
2 stars

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About Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.
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