brunello 2004 horizontal with the hong kong wine society

a very interesting tasting last night with the hong kong wine society.

when i selected the wines in montalcino last christmas, i frankly did not expect that this tasting would turn out to be so fact, labels were carefully selected so that we can try to identify modern vs traditional styles and southerly vs northerly established vineyards.

there was the common brunello tread (fleshy with blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, chocolate, leather, violets, and a touch of spices) throughout but the wines were stylistically so different from each other that it was almost like tasting different vintages and even region...

then there was the ranking by the overall group which in itself was so interesting, completely different than wine spectator and certainly very much against the pricing order of these wines.

here is how the wines ranked after tasting them blind (in bracket, the wine spectator score and price i paid in montalcino on 27 december 2009):

1st = Talenti (WS 92 – Euro 27-)

2nd = Casanova Di Neri Tenuta Nuova (WS 96 – Euro 46-)

3rd = Lisini (WS 94 – Euro 31-)

4th = San Polino Helichrysum (WS N/A – Euro 48-)

5th = Poggio Il Castellare (WS 96 – Euro 28-)

6th = Banfi Poggio Alle Mura (WS 94 – Euro 37-)

7th = Fuligni (WS 84 – Euro 64-)

8th = Sesti (WS 88 – Euro 34-)

9th = Poggio Di Sotto (WS 91 – Euro 75-)

10th = Podere San Giacomo (WS 95 – Euro 39-)


for dinner, we had a biondi santi annata 2004 which showed very well after having spent 2 1/2 hours in the decanter and we also had a disappointing il poggione 2004 which also spent 2 hours in the decanter but was slightly out of balance (hot) and somewhat tired already.

for more information, the brunello consortium website is helpful but for a quick outline about montalcino, you can download my pdf notes about the terroir here and more specific information about each wines here.