Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino (1997)

I’ll never forget the day that my family and I visited a winery in Montalcino. After tasting a few wines, one of us commented that they were a bit harsh. The person serving us said “well, that’s because it is too young to drink. Ideally you would wait 10 years to drink it.” Though I understood what she was saying conceptually, all I could think of at the time was “then  why aren’t you serving us some ready-to-drink wine instead???”

I bought a bottle that day, from the 2005 vintage. Not because I liked it all that much, but because the day itself was memorable and I wanted to revisit it at some point in the future. The problem is that I don’t want to wait until 2015 to find out what Brunello is really about. I want to know now! Firstly, because I’m impatient, and secondly, because if I really love it, I want to be stocking up on 2006s this year so that I have some to drink in 2016, and so on. If I wait until 2015, I’ll be 4 years behind!

So, when I found some older bottles at auction, I figured I’d take a flyer on one to see what it was like to drink a “mature” Brunello. Although I had no guarantees about where or how this wine was stored since 2002, I figured that it would be an interesting experiment (after auction fees it ran me about $60, which is about what a new bottle of this wine would cost).

In hindsight, I should have probably tried to find a vintage that was 7-8 years old instead of 14. Even CellarTracker said this baby should have been drank by 2010. Though there were some hints of what this wine once was, in the end it was a bit too far gone to be anything all that exciting. I guess the waiting game will continue…

Tasting Notes:

Nose dominated by mushrooms and earth. Nice, but somewhat faint and blows off rather quickly. Sadly, much of the fruit was gone from this. Hints of tart cherry and cranberry – was probably more ripe at some point. Rather thin and acidic on the finish. A little better with pizza featuring smoky, bold flavors. There were still hints of a nice wine here, but I’m afraid it was past its prime.