The Italian Wine Masters met at the New York Hilton for their Annual Chianti Brunello Tasting on Tuesday, February 8th. Many fine wines where on hand, including a Prosecco Tasting with many producers on hand including from Conegliano Valdobbiadene Consorzio along with numerous Vino Nobile, Chianti, and Brunello estates on hand. The stars of the show were of course the wines of Brunello di Montalcino. Not to take anything away from the zones of Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano, Chianti, or Prosecco that wonderful refreshingly light bubbly from the Veneto and the Wine Bars of Venice, Prosecco.
I must say, as being a great lover of Chianti and one of its Biggest Advocates in all the United States as well as being one of the country's top authorities on the subject, I was a bit disappointed with the Chianti offerings on hand. Two of my favorites in Fontodi and Vignamaggio from Panzano and Greve respectively were present, such notables and top producers as : Villa Calcainaia, Monsanto, Badia Coltobuono, and Castello Verrazzno were not where in sight. Si La Vie.
Let's get to Brunello. The tasting was of the latest vintage on release. This being the 2006 vintage Brunello and 2004 and 2005 Brunello Riserva. There were some solid offerings with favorites of the tasting going to Fattoria Barbi, Ffrescobaldi, Col d'Orcia, Livio Sassetti, and Tenuta Greppone Mazzi.
Favorite of all were the normale Brunello 2006 by both Fattoria Barbi and Brunello Castel Giocondo from Marchese Frescobaldi of whom my good friend the Marchese Ferdinado Frescobaldi was on hand, and as always great to see.
The MARCHESE FERDINANDO FRESCOBALDI
"I LIKE To CALL HIM The MICKEY MANTLE of ITALIAN WINE"
The Rosso di Montalcino's of which the 2009 vintage were shown at the tasting were a wonderful surprise. Most were drinking beautifully, medium in body, full of flavor, and just pleasantly enjoyable drinking wines. I particularlly loved the Barbi Rosso and Frescobaldi Rosso di Montalcino Campo ai Sasso 2009, of which I could have sat there drinking and chatting all day with the Marchese Frescobaldi. Quite a wonderful experience.
My favorite Brunello of the day was the Brunello Riserva 2005 from Fattoria Barbi. A awesome wine that was absolute perfection. And for overall the best table that just edged out Barbi by a hair was the table of the Noble Frescobaldi Family, with the lovely Rosso Campo ai Sasso, the Brunello 2006, and the Brunello Riserva 2005. The only dissapointment on the table was the Brunello Luce della Vite 2006 Of Castelgiocondo of which was quite tannic and lacking in overall balance.
I pleasant surprise was from Castello Romitorio, who was showing a wonderful wine in the San'Antimo Ross 2006.
This wine was a real winner and a joy to drink. Made up
made up of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo, and 20% Cabernetof Sauvignon, perfectly balance and a joy to drink.
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke