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Repost – Initial Reviews of 2010 Brunellos

IMG_1294I had the chance to taste a few of the 2010 Brunello releases this past week at a tasting in Providence, at Gasbarros Wines in Providence.  This vintage has received rave reviews from all the wine writers, garnering 95+ scores on many wines, and thanks to Mark Gasbarro you could actually try some of these before you buy.  Mark runs great tastings, and there will be another Brunello event coming in the future.  On this particular night we sampled four 2010 Brunello di Montalcino and two Rosso di Montalcino wines, those being from the 2012 vintage.  The Rossos are the Brunello’s little brother, made from the same grape varietal, Sangiovese Grosso, but spending less time in barrel and generally presenting a more accessible, ready to drink version.  Good Brunellos from an excellent vintage can age 25 years, and we tend not to touch them for a decade if we can manage.  The 2004 vintage is drinking great right now, as is 1998.  These can be long lived wines.

Here’s what we thought of the six wines at Mark’s tasting:

2012 Argiano Rosso di Montalcino –  a nose of black cherry tinged with a hint of oak greets you.  The color is a IMG_1291brilliant red.  On the palate there is great fruit, framed with good acid and still stiff tannins, although the wine is quite approachable now.  A long finish completes the experience.  We love great Rosso di Montalcino, and this is one.  Very, very good juice.

IMG_12922012 Fossacolle Rosso di Montalcino – the oak here is much more pronounced, and it really seems more like a Super Tuscan than a traditional Rosso.  That impression continues on the palate, where the oak is strong and there is a touch of earthiness.  Definitely not a traditional Rosso.

2010 La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino – this was a deep ruby red, with a nose of IMG_1293black cherry and berries.  Also a little oak presented itself.  It’s full bodied, with great fruit screaming through the noticeable tannins.  Deep and rich, this wine drinks very well right now and will only get better.  Seriously good Brunello, from a producer that generally delivers just that year in and year out.

IMG_12942010 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino – also deep ruby, this wine is more powerful than the La Poderina.  There are deep fruit flavors, with cherry mixing in with the oak.  It’s less integrated as well, but don’t take that the wrong way.  The pieces are stronger, and it will take a bit more time to reach it’s pinnacle.  That’s something worth waiting for, as this is rather stunning.

2010 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino – a total departure from the previous two IMG_1295wines, this Brunello is very light in color, medium bodied, and presents some floral notes.  There are also cherry and oak on the palate.  The oak is very light.  It seems more like a Rosso than a Brunello.

IMG_1296201o Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino – this is dark red and full bodied at first.  It seemed like the mid-palate sort of disappeared, something I was totally unprepared for.  It was very surprising, as many were raving about this wine during the event.  I didn’t get it though, and tried it twice to be sure.

So we have mixed reviews so far.  Three of the six I thought were excellent, and were wines I would buy.  Two Brunellos were problematic, in that it’s obvious you still have to be selective in this critically acclaimed “great” vintage.  Of course this could just be me, and you might love all six of these.  I suggest you try them.  As always it comes down to personal taste.

I also suggest you take advantage of the next time Mark pops a bunch of these open, if you’re within traveling distance.  Where else can you try this caliber of wine on a regular basis?

A votre sante!

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