When word of the Italian Wine Masters tasting hit my inbox, I was quick to hit the reply button.

In the years I’ve been writing and attending tastings, I don’t recall ever attending a more comprehensive tasting of Sangiovese-based wines from Tuscany than the IWM. Everything from Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino are all on display. Many of the faces you see are easily recognizable, yet each time I attend I’m always happy to find new producers and interesting wines that I have never tasted before.

One of my first priorities at this year’s event was to taste 2007 Brunello. The hype over this vintage has been unavoidable. Already, the pundits of wine criticism are weighing in and waxing praise upon the vintage. I had to wonder if it was truly worthy. Brunello has seen a string of amazing vintages with 2001, 2004 and 2006. However, many people are still recovering from the recent controversy unearthed regarding foreign varietals being added to this wine by a number of Brunello producers, a wine that is only supposed to be 100% Sangiovese by law.