One of the best things about working in the wine business is the people, and one of my favorite people in the business is Herbie Monterrosa.  

Herbie is a genius when it come to Spanish wines, but he also has an unfailing passion for Vino Italiano.  For example, I ran into him at Ombra the other day, where he generously offered me a taste of this 1995 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino.

Now this, my friends. is Sangiovese.

The Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino from 1995 is everything any Sangiovese dreams of being.  That deep purple color with ruby reflections in the glass- elegant and refined.  Violets, old leather, wet earth and just the slightest hint of ripe black plums on the nose.  Grippy, smoky tannins- typical of Toscana, and screaming for red meat or hard, salty cheeses.  This is what Brunello becomes after almost 20 years.  This is the magic of a little bottle age, and a lot of hard, sweaty work in the vineyard.

My hope is that everyone who ever tastes Sangiovese at some point also tastes this kind of wine.  Developed, mature; less showy and opulent than current vintages, but a whole lot more interesting.

Thanks, Herbie.

About The Author

I love all things Italian: the beautiful country of Italia, the Italians themselves, the language, the food… and above all, I love Italian wine. The people I meet in my charmed life are fascinating, the wines are extraordinary. I needed a special place like this to write about them, and to remember them.

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6 Responses

  1. Christopher Lavin (@madwino)

    I have to agree with you about Herbie!! The ’95 Brunello’s are fun to taste, but can be a little drying at times. Other than Soldera and Poggio di Sotto, I find that most Brunello hit their stride at between 10-12 years. As a side, it is interesting to note that the vine age in Montalcino is quite young.

    • Joanie Karapetian, Italian Wine Geek

      Thanks Chris! Yes, Herbie is definitely one of the best!

      I haven’t tasted enough 1995 Brunelli to really understand the vintage right now, but there were definitely some super fine, but very scratchy tannins on this wine. Thankfully though, enough fruit and acidity left to balance the whole experience. I just love that ashy Tuscan soil!

      Thanks for commenting… nice to have a real wine guy’s opinion as well as my own!

  2. talkavino

    Glad you had a great experience! I love aged wines myself. Have a bottle of 1988 Chianti – looking forward trying it one day, rather sooner than later…


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