Bob Fyke

Brunello, and other Tuscan reds, are home base for me. I enjoy wines from many other regions as well, and love to organize,and participate in, wine themed dinners in NYC. Twitter @brunellobob Visit my blog at Brunellobob.blogspot.com

Top Brunello

I am inclined toward the more rustic and elegant manifestations of Brunello, and believe these to be the greatest expression of the DOCG. This style has the lion's share on the list, with Soldera standing solidly above all others. Still, you will find wines on the list that have been labeled by some as  "New World" or "Modern". These are here for two reasons: 1- They are complex, well made wines that are just plain impressive. 2- They are built like a brick house, with all the components in place for long aging and great complexity when mature. The classic example of the latter is Valdicava. While prices are a bit varied, each is worth the price of admission. This list shows specific examples from producers that I would recommend in most vintages. Enjoy!

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG Case Basse Soldera (2004)
Comments: Tasted from Barrel. Incredible complexity and elegance. Fresh and dried cherries, baking spices, earth, leather, and more. Much of the same on the palate, with an endless finish. Perfect balance. I did not write this note at the time of the tasting, but I did make a note to self at that time, " I must have this wine". One of Soldera's best ever.
Average price: $561.92 from 2 stores
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2 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Mont (1999)
Comments: Dried herbs, aromatic sandalwood, lavender, tea, and grilled meats, all enveloped in a dusty warm cherry aroma. There is a soft texture and richness to the nose. On the palate, roasted black cherry, more sandalwood and tea with Asian spices and a bit of milk chocolate. The palate has a roundness to it. Persistent and seamless with an integrated parade of complexity that doesn't let up. Complete balance of acid, tannin and fruit with a long aromatic finish.Really a stand out Brunello.
Previously available for $299.99
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3 Antinori Pian Della Brunel 04 Sangiovese Italy (2004)
Comments: I do not "gush" easily about a wine, but I am tempted to do so in the case of this beauty. I expected nice, but not THIS nice. Double decanted 4 hrs in advance. Dense reddish purple. A nice round nose of charbroiled meat, rich earth and a pleasant little dairy note. Solid. Medium to full bodied with good integration. Black cherry and blackberry with a mineral/earth/leather undertone. A very pleasant bite of acid followed by firm tannins and a long warm finish. Seems to be full of vigor for improvement in the next few years. I'll try to hold on to my last remaining bottle for a while, dispite my strong desire to pop it now. (10/18/2006)
Average price: $59.91 from 4 stores
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4 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino (2001)
Comments: Opened and poured. Deep, dark cherries, forest floor and a subtle note of mint. Fruit is still powerful, offsetting the solid tannins. Cherry skins and dried blackberry. Good acid support. Fine earthy finish with a bit of brown sugar. Satisfying masculine personality. 24hrs later-Continues to display a wonderful masculinity. Black cherry/cherry skins and leather with brambles and spice. Love the solid finish that grips and holds in a pleasing way. Definitely improved and integrated since last night. Elegant and powerful at the same time.
Previously available for $79.03
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5 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli (2001)
Comments: Blackberries, violets and charred wood. Solid core of big lean fruit with lanolin and a bit of caramel.On the palate, silky texture with blackberry and black cherry skins and a nice bite of acid. Fine tannins. There is a subtle richness, but no suggestion of over-ripeness. Big and elegant at the same time. Loads of life remaining.
Previously available for $46.77
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6 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino (2004)
Comments: Top notch. Drinking well on this date and solidly built for the long run. Complex, with good balance, and quantities, of acid, fruit, and tannin.1/28/09
Average price: $69.99 from 1 store
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7 Cerbaiola Brunello di Montalcino Salvioni (2001)
Comments: Beautiful. Solid elegance. Plenty of fruit, with rustic undertones, and subtle complexity.
Previously available for $149.99
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  • 193530Laurapal Some gorgeous wines here!



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