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Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted: Nov 23, 2006 6:42pm ET

I just finished my Thanksgiving dinner with 25 producers of Brunello di Montalcino. We had dinner at the restaurant near my house and we drank all of their 1997 Brunellos. There was not a bad wine in the group. Moreover, most of their wines were beautiful. It was as if they had not changed since I tasted them when I first review them when they were released on the market. Awesome. 1997 rocks! Some of the great wines included: Banfi Poggio all’Oro, Fanti, Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo, and Rasina.

But I just want to say thanks to all of you. Thanksgiving is that. I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.

My Vino Today

1997 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli: This hasn’t change a bit. Still amazing and young with lovely fruit, Gorgeous berry and cherry character. Huge. Incredible. Full and silky. Needs plenty of time still. Try after 2008. 98 points in this non-blind tasting. (See my original tasting note.)

Apj Powers
Dallas, TX —  November 23, 2006 8:10pm ET
Thank you for all the great insights that come from this blog. I was able to taste the CastelGiocondo 01 several weeks back. That was a beauty. The thing I get most from your blogs is that wine seems to bring folks together and make any meal a celebration of sorts. Tonight w/ thoughts towards those less fortunate.
Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  November 24, 2006 11:04am ET
James, have you recently tasted the 1997 Antinori Pian delle Vigne or the 1997 Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova? Are they ready to drink or do they need time? I want to open a bottle before yearend, and if you can recommend which one is drinking better now I promise to think of you fondly as I polish off the bottle... :-)
Leo Brideau
MILWAUKEE, WI —  November 25, 2006 5:18pm ET
James, I'm glad you're covering Brunellos. I aways wonder about tasting windows that open but don't close, as in "Best after 2007". How long will great Brunellos last? How long will they improve?
James Suckling
 —  November 26, 2006 3:04am ET
Leo. How long is a piece of rope? Seriously, I have had 50-year-old Brunellos. And I am sure that many of the top 1997, 1999, and 2001 Brunellos will last as long. And Troy, I have had both recently this last summer. I suggest holding both until Summer 2007.
Karl Mark
Geneva, IL. —  November 26, 2006 2:29pm ET
Speaking of tasting windows. James you recently stated that some of the 2003 Bordeaux were starting to close up. Was this in general or just the highest scoring wines? I was planning on opening a few (90 rated) wines for New Year's but will wait if necessary. Thanks.
James Suckling
 —  November 26, 2006 4:58pm ET
I would try them. Just decant them a couple of hours before. What are they exactly?
Karl Mark
Geneva, IL. —  November 26, 2006 10:10pm ET
Thanks for the reply James. I have several 2003 Bordeaux but was thinking about having the Malescot, Meyney, Lafleur Petrus or the Smith Haut Lafitte. As follow up to some earlier blogs I have tried some of my 1996 Bordeaux (Cantemerle and d'Issan) and they were herb-tastic! ....ugh.
James Suckling
 —  November 27, 2006 3:13am ET
If it were me I would try the Malescot. I am not sure I tasted the Meyney. Yeh. I know what you mean on the 1996s. Many are herbal. Too herbal for me!
Gilbert Vasquez
San Diego —  December 6, 2006 3:00pm ET
Jim, I went to a favorite local Italian Restaurant for a wine dinner last night. Met an Italian wine importer who said he had access to a very special Brunello allotment coming in February. The story goes........."A wealthy Italian buys a vineyard in Montalcino in the 70s, doesn¿t tell his family or friends, hires the most prestigious Brunello wine maker (from Biondi Santi) and starts making Brunello in secret. Never sells the wine or lets anyone know he has it. On his death bed confesses to his wife that he has this winery and a huge cellar filled with decades of his secret Brunello"......Sorry, just sounds too much like a importer's swindle and urban legend. Was wondering whether you heard a similar folk tale or know enough details about Biondi Santi's past winemakers to corroborate a seemingly "fantastic" story.
James Suckling
 —  December 6, 2006 5:00pm ET
It's possible. I have Rolexes for $50...

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