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Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Tasting in Montalcino

This is the third instalment in our February Brunello tastings at the property of Le Ragnaie in Montalcino.  The thought of attending the Benvenuto Brunello tastings (always held the week after our event) fills me with dread so this is a much more civilised alternative.

We taste anywhere between 24-30 wines  to give ourselves a good idea of the quality of the latest vintage.  The wines this year were initially tasted blind for a few minutes in flights of four and then revealed to allow us to taste for a few more minutes with the wines still in the glass.

The Brunello 2008 vintage is quite cool and that combined with a grape like Sangiovese which is naturally high in acidity can make things awkward.  The better wines showed some very talented wine making that kept the fresh and mineral character of the vintage.  Some of the wine however were overdone and lacked elegance and balance.

These will prove to be good early to mid term wines that will drink before the 2006s and the 2007s.  The overall quality and consistency is better than 2005 but generally lower that the 2006s and 2007s.

1. Poggio Antico. Confected jammy. Flat. Dull. Lacking definition of flavours.  85 pts

2. Paradiso di Frassina. More floral less jammy. Hollow. Crisp thin. Lacking depth.   86 pts

3. Poggio Celsi. More concentarted. Pleasant pure. Forward. Sexy. Ok. Fresh fruit. 90 pts

4. Podere la Vigna. Musty dusty stalky. Woody. Dry tannins. Badly made. 83 pts

5. Col d’Orcia. A bit finer. Fresh. Clean. Elegant. Tangy fruit. Fresh. Pleasant. 90 pts

6. Caprili. Sweeter.  Broader. Richer fruit. Chocolaty. Full. richer fruit. More alcohol.  Too much american oak.  87 pts

7. Le Ragnaie.  Perfume. Dusty oak.  A bit stalky. Nice fresh savoury fruit.  89 pts

8. Podere San Lorenzo.  Sweet forward vanilla. Firm. Good fruit. Crowd pleaser. Well made. 90 pts

9. Le Potazzine. Darker blood stone fruits. Mid weight. Ok. 89 pts

10. Mastrojanni Vigna Loreto. Closed initially. Alcoholic. Heady. Mineral stony. Long finish. 94 pts

11. Talenti. Nice. Provencal herbs. Very charming. Broad ripre pleasing fruit. Ready now.  91 pts

12. Ciacci Piccolomini Pian Rosso. Syrupy. Jammy.  Broad.  OTT.  OK If you like american wines.  90 pts

13. La Serena. Reductive. Petrol. Dark. Fruit. A bit confected. 88 pts

14. Valdicava. Sweet fruit. Floral. Decent intensity. Pretty. Nice tarry tannins. A bit too much for me but good. 93 pts

15. Salicutti. Cheesy. Vanilla. Caramel. Closed. Good palate. And lomg finish. 91 pts

16. Fuligni.  Sweet. Strawberry fruit.  Caramel. Ok. Fresh. Not bad. 90 pts

17. Lisini. Finer. Fresh fruit. Strawberry. Balsamic. Lightish. Fresh. Pleasant. Nice.  90 pts

18. Costanti. Touch darker and sweeter than 17. Inky. Lacking focus and definition. 90 pts

19. Montosoli. A bit reductive. Dark meaty.  Mineral.  Crunchy ripe fruit. Good balance. 92 pts

20. Raganie V.V.. Roast herbs. Fresh. Lively. Focussed. Leaner. 92 pts

21. Cerbaiona. Most complex and confident nose. But fading and gets sweeter. Getting a bit sickly sweet. Sappy. 90?

Second bottle. Better. Fresher. more focussed. Not inspiring for the level and price of the wine.  Still 90 pts

22. Salvioni. Raw meat. Complex. Good balance and depth. Warm finish. Very good. 95 pts

23. Il Maronetto Madonna del Piano. Lovely. Deep dark stone fruit. Balsamic. Bistecca. Steely. Big. Broad. Intense. Beast. 94 pts

24. Poggio di Sotto. Second bottle. Meaty. Stoned fruit forward. Lovely balance and delicious. Appealing now. For price??  92 pts


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