LOOKING FOR BRUNELLO LOVE


There is a small wholesaler in northern Ohio that does a great job with Italian wines. I sell a lot of his things but found two wines in his inventory that shocked me because they are nicely aged, have great pedigrees, and sell for way below market as he has had them for a while in his temperature controlled warehouse.


The 2004 Tenuta Friggiali Brunello di Montalcino was a Gambero Rosso “Tre Bicchieri” award winner in 2008, and it has only gotten better. At this point, the wine has a delectable, restrained style with polished tannins and supporting acidity. The aromas show off some smoked meat, tea leaf, and licorice, while the mouth is so generous and rich that I think this can be done now and for the next few years. Given how great the ’04 Brunello vintage was (it rivaled 2007 for greatness) this wine is a steal. The price here is $55 the bottle, or $300 for a six-pack case and there are 120 bottles in Eastlake. Do now or hold another three years but it will hang around after that a while.


Speaking of 2007 for Brunello di Montalcino, the 2007 Tornesi Brunello di Montalcino has a wonderful nose of flowers, and lavender, then a firm jolt of tar and red cherries shows up. I initially found the wine plump with that cherry fruit and spice, but in the first taste it all brunello - striking, aromatic, and lengthy. Along the drinking time the spice and even a nuttiness arrived, with that cherry accompaniment becoming more mulled in nature, as the air made this stuff strut. This is a very good wine from an equally fine vintage, and I cannot believe it is still around. The price is the same as above, $55 the bottle or a six-pack for $300. I think it can go another five to eight years but keeping longer is fine.



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