Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Report from ... Vincenzo Abbruzzese (Valdicava) and 8 Wines - May 7, 2013


Vincenzo Abbruzzese is the owner and principal behind Valdicava wines ... he came to town for a tasting of 8 of his wines and to talk about the Montalcino region ...

Interesting Facts about Montalcino ...
- Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100% Sangiovese and can be made into 3 different wines:  Rosso, Brunello and Reserva ... there is a third level, Santantimo, which can be made from any other grapes besides Sangiovese.
- Biondi Santi was the first producer in Tuscany to make a wine of quality (1888)
- in the 1960s and 1970s Italians started drinking wines of quality instead of just quantity
- in 1966 Vincenzo's grandfather and other suppliers of Biondi Santi decided to start producing quality Brunello on their own
- today 60% of the wines of Brunello are made by 7 producers which equals about 9 million bottles
- the vineyard space is now locked and no more vineyards can be planted in Montalcino; the acreage is about 5000 (2000 hectares)
- what makes Montalcino so special is that Tuscany can get very hot between July 20 and August 10, the vines basically shut down; but in Montalcino the vines do not shut down.

7 Brunellos: 3 Regular and 4 Riserva
The Wines That Impressed - Brunello di Montalcino ...

Three Brunellos were poured, of these 2 were very impressive:

2005 Brunello di Montalcino ... subtlety to the nose with anise and herbs, there's also a hint of raspberry in the background, it is followed up with smoky anise, cassis and a touch of cedar - quite the drying affect on the tongue. (****) 
2006 Brunello di Montalcino

2006 Brunello di Montalcino ... as nice as the 2005 was the 2006 blew it out of the wine barrel, the complexity of this wine was amazing and the layers of aromas and flavours seemed to keep on multiplying.  Nose that was smoky and full of dark fruit, mocha, black cherry and sweet black licorice; palate was juicy with plenty of dark fruit: blackberry, cassis, and blueberry skin along with tobacco notes, all balanced with a firm seam of acidity that lead to the long finish.  This one drinks well now but will also cellar for another 10+ years.  (**** 1/2+)

The Wines That Impressed - Modonna del Piano Riserva ...

There were four wines that were poured from this level, 2 were library wines that are no longer available (so if you have them in your cellar listen up) ... two more are available still.  Of these four wines three were stand outs: the 1998 and the 2001 library wines and the 2006 Riserva was just as impressive as the regular Brunello (maybe more so):

The outstanding 1998 Piano
1998 Madonna del Piano Riserva ... there's a lovely sweetness to the palate here showing loads of dried fruit on the nose and a lovely softness of fruit on the palate, but always with great balancing acidity to keep it fresh in the mouth - this was my favourite wine of the day and one I could drink over and over again.  This really showed the age-ability of Riserva Brunello.

2001 Madonna del Piano Riserva ... this one had big fat fruit on the palate with a nose of mocha and blackberry - a real pleasure to drink.

2006 Madonna del Piano Riserva ... my notes says that it is "sexy, sultry and yummy", the wine has a huge amount of fruit but it's balanced with delicate tannins; it's a dark and brooding wine that can be drunk now if you are patient and are willing to put it into a decanter or a wine that can be aged 10-20 years comfortably. (**** 1/2+)

One More Wine for Good Luck ...

2010 Rosso Di Montalcino ($36.99) ... historically this is a second wine and costs about 70% less than Brunello - according to Vincenzo "Rosso introduces you to the house style of wine, if you don't like the style it is best to move on to another house."  Nose of red berries, red licorice, anise and a touch of coffee; flavours follow pretty closely from the nose but take on a much drier flavour than the sweetness of the aromas let on.  Smooth and supple with just a hint of cedar.  This is the easy drinking more "affordable" side of Brunello.




1 comment:

Andrew Bert said...

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