Brunello di Montalcino Dinner
2004 Nino Franco Rive di San Fiorano Prosecco – a single vineyard vintage dated offering, unusual for a Prosecco. Pleasant slkightly yeasty nose, clean finish, nice way to start.
2004 Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo Nova Sera – the reserve bottling of this wine made from a traditional local varietal. Very little of the traditional nose of this wine – used to smell like Parmesan cheese! Now only a nice fruity international style of nose, tasty and well balanced on palate, an almost mineral element and good acidity.
1999 Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano Riserva – big fruit in this nose and smooth in the mouth, lower acidity than many and ready to drink – great with food, which ws an antipasto platter.
1998 Sesti Riserva – corked and although what fruit remained was pretty good, impossible to assess.
1995 Il Colle Brunello – slight grassiness in the nose nice flavours, some tannin, lots of acidity. This is at, or perhaps just past its peak. With sage and Gorgonzola pizzas
1996 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello – replacement for the defunct Sesti. Nose not bad, finish a bit shot and ending too acidic, and lacking fruit in the middle. With food the acidity softened and it turned around quite a bit, although it still wasn’t up to the Il Colle, IMO. Served with really great pastries filled with radicchio, tallegio and truffle.
1990 Castelgioconda Brunello – I’ve drunk this over 10 – 12 years and while it is still holding up very well, it is now beginning to slide a tad.
1990 Poggio Antico Riserva Brunello – the superior wine in my view, with a stinkier nose, greater depth, an all over larger framed wine with more weight, tannin and length. Quite good. Served with a lovely porcini pasta dish with truffled cream sauce.
1990 Castello Banfi – this was the main event and something I had been planning for many years. I bought single bottles and magnums on release and when a friend mentioned that he had half bottles, it seemed a natural to wait until the wine had sufficient development to show if there were any differences and then to taste them against each other. Served with rare lamb chops, veggies and fennel.
Split #1 – a definite difference noted between splits. The first showed a decent nose, smooth and not much tannin.
Split # 2 –musty nose, and less fruit – both had seen better days..
Bottle – Younger wine with spicy nose, more tannin and drinking about perfectly right now.
Magnum – best of all, with even better fruit than the single bottle, another step up in tannin and also better length – lots of time left. Served with pine nut and gorgonzola tart and cheeses.
Conclusion – 3 formats bottled at the same time, two of them cellared together since release, showed definite differences in development, with the bigger bottles showing the youngest. Some people say they don’t see any difference in wine bottled in large format. All that proves is that there are people that can’t tell any difference, because based on our unanimous opinion, those differences are definitely present.