When I started to drink wine, I thought of Brunello as something mediocre. As I was seeking more tense fruit and powerful wines, I thought of Brunello as something dusty, shy and way too overpriced. If Sangiovese, I preferred the IGT versions, which had more immediate and ripe fruit – such as Percarlo, Cepparello, Flaccianello, Fontalloro….etc.
Today, maybe wiser - or just older, less hair, fatter - I see Brunello as something true Italian – if in the hands of the right winemaker. They are so many styles of BdM, but I tend to favour the old school producers - such as Soldera, Poggio di Sotto, Cerbaiona and Salvioni. I adore the Sangiovese grape, which like Pinot Noir, can posses the shining red fruit, which is the gateway to gracefulness and the beauty of red wines.
This wine was not decanted – just poured directly from the bottle – enjoyed over 4 hours.
The opening is really nice – already the breathtaking red cherry perfumes and so utterly classic Italian. I have never thought of Italian wines as something with a strong soil terroir footprint, but it’s all about the warmth they bring to you and therefore also posses the ability to move your emotions.
Salvioni here, unfortunately contracts rather fast on the nose – almost offended of being opened and the fruits are now shyer and darker. A note of prunes came forward. It teased me a bit. I am not in favour of this note, as it often comes with alcohol – but this is NOT the case here – so it’s simply just a mindgame for me and it didn’t take long before I didn’t pay much attention to it. As I poured myself one glass after another, the wine makes a stronger and stronger impact on me. It’s a wine, which invites you to stress down and listen, as it’s not something, which screams from the glass, but a very reserved, elegant and subtle wine. The notes are; crushed cherries (both red and black), prunes (slowly taking a step backward), leather and rosemary. The taste is a stunning – simply beautiful and what takes the wine beyond good. You have so much backbone, structure – yet so well defined and with that lovely vibrant curl on the tongue, which has you begging for more.
There is so much life left in this beautiful wine, but you can easily take it for a spin now.
Glasses: Well – I tried it in 4 different types. The Riedel Sommerliers Bordeaux, shows the wine very round, but you loose intensity in the glass. The Zalto Universal gives the most exciting mineral taste, but you loose red fruit on the nose. The Spiegelau Bordeaux Adina glass, gave the best sweet fruit of all glasses, but the wine doesn’t flow direct enough onto the palate, giving too much tannins. The Zalto Bordeaux was the winner, as I brought the best freshness and herbal character (rosemary) to the wine.