I walked into the kitchen tonight after a session working on revisions to our new website to find a just-opened wine in a glass waiting for my attention. The bottle was hidden – a test for my aging palate, I suppose. One taste and an immediate expression of “Wow”! It was an immense wine, thick and rich on the palate, wildly “sauvage” in its perfume, still fresh in the mouth with life and character in abundance. Category: great wine!
My first impression drives me toward Bea, possibly the Montefalco Rosso Riserva “Pipparello”, because of that no-holds-barred exuberance that is slathered all over this beauty. But, I hesitate because the wine seems to be even more dominated by Sangiovese, something about the edge to the tannins that pulls me north into Tuscany. So, I plunge in and venture a guess to Kerry that it’s a La Torre Brunello although all the while I am thinking that its savage intensity is almost too much for the recent ’06 and ’05 versions. Sure enough, to my delight, it turns out to be Luigi Anania’s Brunello but from the infamous, the scorned vintage of 2003! What a poke in the eye to all those who wrote off anything that comes from this vintage marked by 40 days of extreme heat. Here is clear, unmistakable proof that exceptional, exceptionally good, wine can be born of that vintage. Frankly, I was taken aback tonight by the class and character and, yes, balance and life of this Brunello.
Another marker in the ever-growing body of evidence attesting to the quality of wine coming from this estate run by one of my great friends and surely one of the most intelligent and talented growers in our portfolio. Grazie mille, caro Luigi.