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TDG: Wine Camp: Brunello


Fat Guy
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The impatient need not apply . . .

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Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Man, I love your writing, Craig. I also love brunelli.

I visited Il Greppo back in 1998. At the time, I understood that there was a family squabble centering on the traditional Biondi-Santi style versus the more modern style of Sassoalloro (which I must admit the few times I've had it didn't appeal to me). If I remember correctly, there was even concern about the family breaking up the winery. Do you or anyone else know anything more about this?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Sangiovese grosso ahhhhhhhhhh. Carmigliano yum. Anyway, all you value folk out there do not forget about the declassified Brunello, baby Brunello if you will (like Donkey Kong Jr only you can get drunk off it) Rosso Di Montalcino. Young vines, juice not quite up to standard, still at 2/3 cost of Brunello and released years before, a wonderful buy from any decent maker. The baby is beautiful, drink it!

over it

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Great article and fabulous writing, Craig! My wallet allows for Rosso (which I truly adore) but I sometimes have the fun of having the Brunello at work and man, do I love that wine! Rosso di Montalcino is like Brunello 101. It's training wheels for the casual wine drinker that wants to expand their horizons. All Hail the Mariani Family!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Thanks Craig, appreciate the insight. I was lucky enough to drink the Biondi Santi once, and it was fabulous. I do not own any, a bit out of my price range.

I went to a Brunello tasting about a year ago, and my favorite was the Costanti. I must admit I was not even familiar with this Brunello before the tasting, but have purchased some to enjoy in the future.

Ed McAniff

A Taster's Journey

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Great article, Craig. I love Brunello, but with as expensive as it's become, I've had to move on to other, more affordable alternatives.

I was lucky enough to go to Montalcino a few times and it's truly a magical place. One thing that some people may want to know is that the Altesino Montosoli, Caparzo La Casa, and Canalicchio di Sopra Brunellos are all made from grapes grown in the Montosoli vineyard. If you don't want to pay Montosoli or La Casa prices, the Canalicchio is a great alternative, showing the terroir beautifully.

One more thing - it's been my experience that the Rosso di Montalcinos in lesser vintages are particulaly great values. Why? Because the producers declassify their grapes that would normally go into the Brunello bottlings and use them in Rosso. The 1992 Caparzo Rosso normale, while lighter, had as much Brunello character as some other producers regular Brunello offerings. There is hope for 2002!

David Poweska

Wine Manager

Binny's Beverage Depot

Niles, IL

Edited by rifle13 (log)
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I was lucky enough to go to Montalcino a few times and it's truly a magical place. One thing that some people may want to know is that the Altesino Montosoli, Caparzo La Casa, and Canalicchio di Sopra Brunellos are all made from grapes grown in the Montosoli vineyard. If you don't want to pay Montosoli or La Casa prices, the Canalicchio is a great alternative, showing the terroir beautifully.

That is good information. Thanks.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thanks for the great article Craig. I have a bottle of Cerbaiona Brunello 1994 waiting to be drunk. I believe this is a pretty good producer, but as the vintage is only moderate for Brunello (true?) I suspect I don't need any more patience. What do you think?

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Thanks for the great article Craig. I have a bottle of Cerbaiona Brunello 1994 waiting to be drunk. I believe this is a pretty good producer, but as the vintage is only moderate for Brunello (true?) I suspect I don't need any more patience. What do you think?

It is certainly time to start drinking up the 94's. This vintage gave wines on the thin side. Cerbaiona is a good producer though so the wine should be tasty even if it is a little light.

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Craig:

Read the article with intrest since I have a few Brunellos of different vintages laying down. I was surprised to see Siro Pacenti mentioned near the end of the article. I have 3 bottles of the 2001 Rosso di Montalcino in the cellar now. I tried a bottle a few weeks ago and it is full of huge dark fruit with some big tannins but certainly not unaproachable. Just wondering how long these bottles can lay down for? Since it's my first experience with wines from Pacenti and I don't know much about them.

slowfood/slowwine

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The Siro Pacenti wines are packed with more fruit extract than most wines from Montalcino and is decidedly in the modern school of winemaking as are the Banfi wines. I still think his wines will age well, if not as long as someone like Costanti.

However, you are talking about his Rosso di Montalcino not his Brunello. The Rosso is fully ready to drink at 2 to 5 years old from Pacenti. I would not recommend it for long-term aging as the wine is not designed with this in mind.

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