Brunello di Montalcino 2006, a draft of great quarterback and a lot of Asian dishes: everything you need for Super Bowl 46
Brunello di Montalcino: the highest expression of the Sangiovese grape. A wine produced in accordance with a strict protocol that focuses on low yields (60q/h) and a five year aging from the harvest, six for the Riserva. If we wanted to do a comparison with the world of football, Brunello would be the Quarterback of your team. One year from the release of the 2006 draft, it seems promising. Tasted wines are already very eloquent, has many complex facets that unravel through a deep ripe fruitiness and exuberant saltiness, which adds further toughness to the body. Acidity is cutting, in tune with a flickering tannin. We have reached a turning point, there is a realization by the producers of their own capacity and they are, rightly, proud of this vintage. Finally this terroir found a clear coherence of style and we are going to pair this elegance to the best Asian food. Here for you our 2006 Brunello tastings reviews.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Corte Pavone, Loacker
A shady Brunello, sour cherries and cinnamon, the oak is slightly invasive. After ten minutes it opens up a little bit. In the mouth is full and warm, with a tannin quite gentle. Candied fruits are tempting, but the steep acidity ruins what could be a very good bottle. It’s tough as Alex Smith, who is making strides, but both are not yet ready for the big stage: good but not great. Keep one eye on them for the future. Match this Brunello with a classic Sichuan style dish such as Twice cooked pork (回鍋肉), to take advantage of its acid power and cardamom suggestions.
2005 Brunello, Corte Pavone
Not bad. Shining ruby, herby and caramelized, with sandal, coffee and rhubarb. The acidity is spiky but ok, the pawing tannins have to refine still a lot. In five years will be a good bottle.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Il Cocco
Austere, complex but without frills, with a lot of red ripe fruits and ethereal notes that tickle the nose. On the palate is thick, you can feel all the forty days of maceration, and, thought being sharp, is really enjoyable, persistent, already balanced, featuring iodine and seaweed nuances, given by the wind coming from the sea. The finish is endless, pointed out by a suggestive licorice vein. 3000 bottles of a totally organic Brunello with a sincere soul and at least thirty years in front of it. This wine is like Eli Manning, superbly imperfect: a fighter who never gives up and know how to win also when all seems lost. Let’s merry this aromatic Brunello with a equally princely dish such as Shabu Shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ): the juiciness of Wagyu meat and the tangy flavor of shiitake mushrooms call for a velvety tannins, while the seaweed in the broth will click with the wine’s tastiness. .
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Le Macioche
Intriguing both for the eyes, bright ruby, and the nose, soaked in liqueur cherries, coconut, coffee, mint and fern. The tannins are mighty and quite arrogant and at the first sip it seems it could overwhelm the harmony of the wine, but then it brightens a little bit with rays of licorice and again this ripe red pulp that comes and goes, until it runs out into a earthy memory. The sharpness is little too strong, but it has no impact on the overall balance, nearly perfect. Extremely drinkable right now and throughout the century. This remember me Dan Marino, one of the best, smooth, sturdy and always at ease, the one who I would choose every day, but who has never win the Big Game… Pair this Champion with a smoky and crisp dish to find the right harmony with the oaking: Sui yuk (燒肉) with a drop of sweet soy sauce.
2004 Brunello Macioche Riserva
It’s more refined, launched in a ethereal aging, where sour cherries, cardamom, rhubarb, pepper, moss and plums have been merged with a silky tannin, relieved by espresso and cocoa puffs. The Aaron Rodgers of the situation, cool, merciless on the field and keen when he has to dismantle a defense. This Brunello is delicious with Peking duck (北京烤鸭) accompanied by sweet black beans, to enhance the extreme complexity of the wine.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006 Manachiara, Tenute Silvio Nardi
A muscular Brunello that hit your nose with a punch of cherries. The is a lot of stuff that is expressed through a too racy orange acidity, too bulky spices, but interesting—tea, coffee and anise—and a too menacing tannin. All in this wine is just too much… This is the Tim Tebow of wine, a winning rough diamond that need some years to develop and turn instinct into acumen. To cut off some edges choose a greasy Thai dish like Khao Kha Moo: crispy pork shank with soy sauce, coriander, anise and cardamom.
Brunello 2006, Donatella Cirielli
Bright red color, it’s intense with cherry and blackberries jam, but, although a nice saltiness, it loses some grip in the mouth, because of a unwieldy tannin that chokes violets, juniper and a crowded underbrush otherwise interesting. Still evolving as Joe Flacco, they have the potential to be outstanding, but only when, or if, they accept their role as leader. Very alcoholic, to pair with Beef Teriyaki with sauté of shiitake mushrooms.
Brunello 2006, Donatella Cirielli, Prime Donne
Darker and riper, it has deep earthy aromas: stone, iron, lime blossom, cinchona, bark, radish, wild berries and moss. The alcohol is overflowing and the tannins are wondering in a shady underbrush, nevertheless the finish is neat, juicy and the wine is good to drink. A not so well balanced Brunello, but rampart, plenty of candied fruits and character. It will be ready in six years. It could be compared to rookie of the year, Cam Newton, fanciful, with a great instinct, bold and spectacular to watch, but sometimes shaky and with a long way to go. To pair with a little bitter dish, such as Ginger Beef with Oysters sauce and broccoli.
Brunello 2006, Terre Nere
Austere and gorgeous, as the place where these vineyards grow: a hill of black rocks. The wine is smooth, bright garnet. From the glass pop up a magnetic scent: cherry jam, eucalyptus, tea, rosemary, ginger. The palate is a fruity explosion triggered by an astonishing acidity, with licorice, juniper and a hint of birch all wrapped in a rocky saltiness. The oaking is perfect and amplifies the wine volume, which runs softly through the mouth with a never ending persistence. This is the Peyton Manning of Brunellos, simply one of the best, most gifted, fiery, tenacious. Manning doesn’t play football, he is football. They know how to run the show masterfully and what have to be done to be successful. It will be a pleasure to taste again both in ten, twenty and thirty years. Match this Brunello with a beefy and sweet spiced dish: Ramen Noodles soup with Duck.
2004 Brunello Terre Nere Riserva
It’s even deeper, crossed by a tastiness that varies from cool to scorching. Mature, with ethereal nuances that open up very slowly. It has a thick consistency that you can chew. Bottled cherries and blackberry jam fade away in a cardamom, sandal and moss infusion. The tannin is silky and mouth filling, leaving a delicious herby memory. Joe Montana would love this smooth Brunello. Like him, it’s amazing, but built on a bedrock, with a big heart and born to be the best. Both are a once in a hundred years wonder. This Brunello can match every sweet spiced Chinese food you can find, just avoid fiery chili and they will nicely fit together.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Capanna
The first thing that hit your mouth is the tannin. It drags you into a dark vortex. Only after few second you can catch you breath. Sour cherries in syrup, cinnamon, juniper, extra bitter cocoa, at the back a splash plum jam. Dense like antimatter, but here we have a lot of matter to deal with and will be a pleasure. As soon as the tannin fades away, you can taste on your tongue flint, thyme, marjoram, secondly a bit of dried flowers, rose and chamomile, already launched into a slow, but glorious withering. An old style Brunello that reminds me Justin Smith, the only non QB here. Monumental and relentless, with a knack for wreaking havoc in the offense backfield, whose filigree is marked by lights and shadows, but definitely a true warrior that didn’t fear to sack the Death itself. Some herby and licorice notes on the finish add a balsamic spell to this Brunello, which is ready to tackle the coming decades. Korean Barbecue or Sukiyaki are a slam dunk.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Tenuta Il Poggione
Another tough wine, just a little too burred and very alcoholic, but fine. The bouquet is very typical, simple and neat: ripe cherries, marjoram, dried flowers that call the tune. It’s not extremely complex, but the overall quality is satisfying and the tannin is well rounded and coated with some smoked-candied coconuts. Thick and full of fleshy extract is very similar to a young quarterback like Matt Ryan: one moment he seems a ruthless giant cyborg with a rocket arm, while the next moment he seems helpless as a lamb going to the slaughter… Both have to spend some time refining themselves and becoming aware of their potential. Let it rest in your cellar for six years and you will get a superb wine. A great dish of the Indonesian cuisine is the right match for this Brunello: Rendang. Tender meat for a hungry tannin and a lot of creamy spices that will create a sweet bound with the wine.
Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli 2006, Siro Pacenti
A soothing wine, plumpy, good to drink right now. It has plenty of currants and blackberries that are slowly ripening and balsamic notes—eucalyptus, tea and rosemary—woven into a smooth and mighty tannin, which gives the wine tactile vivacity. One of the most prestigious and tasty Brunello of this vintage, because of the elegant, yet natural, blend of earthy and ethereal flavors with a undertone of mint and coffee. This could not be other than Tom Brady. One of the finest and smartest guy in the circus, smooth and spectacular when on the field, where he can eat you alive if you let him a second too long, and glamorous and cool in civilian clothes. Both are sealed with a special inner elegance, both provide us a paradigm for our aesthetic desire. Can he win another Super Bowl reaching so Joe Montana in the Quarterback Olympus? I dare to say yes, but while we are waiting, let’s pair this great red wine with Shrimp and Pork Shumai or a classic dish from Taiwan, Oyster omelette.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Pietroso
From a small, darling winery here it is an explosive Brunello, certainly the sharpest and most tangy of all the draft. Ruby with garnet shades. A lot of red fruits are floating in a ethereal jelly with cinnamon, violet, tea and a hint of stony moss, all embedded in a juicy suit of tannins, which lead the wine to a heady finish. A perfect example of how Sangiovese can be salty and subtle and not, as usual, only fruit and tannin addicted. This time we will enjoy its hidden rocky and herby soul. This Brunello is the closest thing to Michael Vick. Electrifying, smooth and always ready to take the fly and make a big play with his legs, if he can’t drop a bomb down the field. Probably the most exciting player to watch. The only way a defense has to stop him is to mash his ribs, otherwise they are done. This Brunello is very food friendly, the king of all the Jiaozi(饺子) of the world. It can accompany an entire meal of Dim Sum or a simple Kimbap (김밥) with radish, to which the wine is akin.
Brunello di Montalcino 2006, Poggio di Sotto
A true master of elegance. Well-gauged and alluring in all aspects, which range from an overwhelming cascade of wild strawberries and raspberries, currants to a potpourri that comes directly from the Garden of Eden. Intense, blazing, with a stinging chalky saltiness that make you dream about the depths of the sea. This Brunello should wear the black and gold uniform of the Saints’ captain, Drew Brees. Like him, it shines when the game reach its peak, they crave competition and want to be the best. Leave him few seconds in the pocket and he will burn the defense with a great read, but he will do it easily as this Brunello will easily seduce you and the bottle will be gone in a blink. The tannin of this wine is a iron fist in a silk glove, you can feel the power of a man’s (quarterback or winegrower?) mind behind it, but it is peacefully, it has found the Nirvana. Pair with the best Shanghai Dumplings that you can find or some Clams in black bean sauce or a terrific General Tso’s Chicken. Not cheap, but not too much for a glass of Beatitude.