Posted: November 25, 2009 By James Suckling
A wine merchant told me a story recently about a customer who wanted to return two cases of 1982 Bordeaux, even though the bottles and labels were in perfect condition. Apparently his customer had served the wine at a dinner with friends and everyone around the table was suspicious of the bottles because the labels and capsules were perfect. They looked new. Moreover, the wine was incredibly fresh and beautiful, like it was 10 years younger.
What his customer didn't know was that the two cases came directly from the cellars of the château.
Posted: October 16, 2009 By Mitch Frank
Posted: September 23, 2009 By Gaia Gaja
Kicking off her harvest blog from Piedmont and Tuscany, Gaia Gaja reports on the 2009 growing season to date at her family’s three properties—Gaja Winery in Barbaresco, Ca’ Marcanda in Bolgheri and Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino—and the start of the white-wine crush.
Posted: September 21, 2009 By Tim Fish
Posted: July 23, 2009 By James Suckling
Brunello di Montalcino has been in the news again in Italy following an Italian finance police press conference this past Saturday in Siena when it recapped its nearly two-year investigation into fraudulent winemaking practices in the region.
Posted: July 8, 2009 By James Suckling
I get sick and tired of some wine merchants misusing my scores. And I have to wonder how many of the other scores or ratings they use to flog wines they misrepresent. Just the other day a wine merchant friend from Hong Kong e-mailed me with an offer from a wine broker in Switzerland that included my scores and the Wine Advocate ’s on 2004 Brunello di Montalcino.
Posted: June 19, 2009 By James Suckling
Yesterday a friend of mine gave me a bottle of 1981 Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Il Greppo. It was incredibly generous of him, but I have to admit that I had doubts that it would be of very good quality.
Posted: March 6, 2009 By James Suckling
I have been tasting through a range of 2003 Brunello di Montalcino riservas today. In fact, I have to go back and taste 10 more. But I keep asking myself, “What is the point?” I really can’t understand why Brunello producers made reserve reds in 2003, a very good vintage considering the boiling weather during the grapegrowing season, but nothing exceptional.
Posted: February 6, 2009 By James Suckling
You are going to like 2004 Brunello di Montalcino. Do you remember the great 1997 and 2001, as well as the super 1999 Brunellos? Well, 2004 is along those lines of quality, but it's a different style. The vintage produced more perfumed, more refined Brunellos than other recent top vintages.
Posted: January 16, 2009 By James Molesworth
Wine fraud continues to be a growing problem. There are more consumers competing for the world's high-end bottlings, both via retail and the secondary market. Since many of these wines are made in limited amounts (that won't ever increase in the case of single-vineyard wines), the increased demand is feeding the growth of this insidious problem.
Posted: December 11, 2008 By James Suckling
I drank some fake Sassicaia last weekend at a friend’s house near Pisa. The wine wasn’t mine, but I told my friend that his bottle didn’t make sense. The big giveaway was the branded cork that didn’t have a vintage printed on it.
Posted: November 12, 2008 By Augustus Weed
Posted: October 28, 2008 By James Suckling
I wasn't surprised with the news today that the wine producers' association in Montalcino overwhelmingly voted to maintain current regulations for producing Brunello di Montalcino, the famous red of the region.
Posted: October 28, 2008 By Jo Cooke
Posted: October 23, 2008 By Harvey Steiman
The magistrate investigating makers of Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino has cleared some of the wineries he had suspected of using grapes other than Sangiovese. At the same time, without naming names, he has said that 172,000 cases have tested positive for grapes other than Sangiovese.
Posted: October 23, 2008 By James Suckling
I had a quick lunch yesterday at my office with Enrico Viglierchio, general manager of Banfi, the large American-owned Brunello di Montalcino producer, and he looked relieved as we drank a bottle of his 2003 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura.
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