Thanks to Michael Young of Palm Bay Imports, I had a chance to enjoy this bottle of Brunello the other night at Union restaurant in Pasadena. (if you haven’t tried this place yet, do yourself a favor and get over there. Seriously.)
Col d’ Orcia’s 1997 Brunello di Montalcino was the perfect wine to compliment Chef Bruce Kalman’s hearty, local-Italian cuisine. Especially his toothsome Spaghetti alla Chitarra…
(Spaghetti image courtesy of Gastronomy Blog.)
The wine was just perfect- the epitome of Sangiovese from Montalcino. Tannins were softened by time, it was almost dusty- like that fine grit that coats everything after a trail ride. The fruit was beautiful too- all brandied cherries and black plums.
However the nose was extraordinary. This was one of those wines that defies all reason. You smell things in the glass that couldn’t possibly be the creation of fermented grapes. Sun-warmed saddle leather and spices. Pine trees baking in the Tuscan sunshine. Freshly dried, sweet hay.
Michael Nemcik (sommelier, photographer, mixologist and general Renaissance-Man-of-Brentwood) proclaimed this wine, “The John Wayne of Brunello”. So. Right. On.
It’s possible this beautiful Brunello had an even bigger personality than the people who enjoyed it that night. Maybe.
PS. Even with almost 20 years of age, this wine can actually still be purchased! Contact your local wine shop and ask them to order it from Palm Bay Imports. It’s not often we get a chance to drink wines like this, at the quintessential moment in their life-cycles. This one is cellar-aged to absolute perfection!