I had dinner last night at Osteria Le Logge Restaurant in Siena with Roberto Guerrini and two other friends. Roberto runs his family’s winery, Eredi Fuligni in Montalcino, and it’s one of the best in the region. He brought to dinner a bottle of his 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, which will not be on the market until early next year. And I have to say that I was blown away. This is perhaps the greatest wine he has ever made.
Obviously, I have to wait and see when I taste it in bottle in an official blind tasting for the magazine, but I still nearly fell out of the chair when I tasted it. The red is wonderfully pure and aromatic, with cherries and flowers, while the palate is full and rich, yet refined and structured. It builds on the palate with fabulously ripe tannins. If this is like other 2001 Riserva Brunellos, we are in for some awesome bottles.
The 2001 vintage has turned out much better in Montalcino than I expected – Guerrini admits this too. “We knew it would be high quality but not this high quality,” he said as we sipped his 2001 riserva while eating some grilled steak. “It was a long growing season so the Sangiovese ripened really well.”
The day before, I had had a colleague, Alison Napjus from Wine Spectator’s New Yok office, over for dinner. She said that she wanted to drink Brunello – do in Tuscany as the Tuscans do...that sort of thing – so I pulled out a 1997 Antinori Pian delle Vigne, 1993 Fattoria dei Barbi Blue Label and 1990 Il Poggione. The 1997 was just starting to open. It showed wonderful flower and berry aromas with fresh fruit and well-integrated tannins. It should be drinking beautifully next summer. The 1993 was very good for about 30 minutes but then began to fade, and the 1990 was a gorgeous, elegant and fruity wine that reminded me of a fine mature Burgundy from the same vintage.
Three of Alison’s friends came by my house to pick her up, and I invited them in for a glass of red. I opened a magnum of 1996 Fuligni. This was a good but not exceptional vintage for Brunello in general, but the 1996 Fuligni was a dream. It was so aromatic with wonderful fruit, and the palate was silky and caressing. I'd put it at 92 points now.
I can’t help but think how glorious the 2001 Fuligni riserva will be 10 years after the harvest….
Albert Jochems — The Netherlands — September 14, 2006 8:19am ET
Filippo Recchi — Florence, Italy — September 14, 2006 11:29am ET
Chris Lavin — Long Beach, CA — September 14, 2006 12:54pm ET
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — September 14, 2006 2:29pm ET
Filippo Recchi — Florence, Italy — September 14, 2006 2:45pm ET
Colin Haggerty — La Jolla, California — September 14, 2006 4:06pm ET
Ralph Michels — The Netherlands — September 14, 2006 5:38pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — September 14, 2006 6:12pm ET
Thomas Bohrer — Hong Kong — September 14, 2006 11:13pm ET
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — September 15, 2006 3:14am ET
James Suckling — — September 15, 2006 3:38am ET
Ralph Michels — The Netherlands — September 15, 2006 9:53am ET
Chris Lavin — Long Beach, CA — September 15, 2006 11:04am ET
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