In keeping with my “Rona” series, aka more one-bottle blog posts because I can’t go out for wine, this week I give you the 2004 Poggio Il Castellare Brunello Di Montalcino, a remarkable Brunello made from Sangiovese grapes. (In my experience a Brunello take less time to aerate than their equally famous cousin, the Barolo made from Nebbiolo grapes. And I’m talking 90 minutes in a decanter for a Brunello compared to about seven or more hours for a Barolo – give or take an hour. This matters to me most as I don’t always know by 11 am what I’ll want to drink at 6pm, or worse: I do know what wine I want with dinner but the wine wasn’t ready to drink by dinner time. Back up bottles have become more important to me for this situation.)
Now back to this wine! This is the social media post I shared last month on this Brunello, with tasting notes and scores:
What great wine have you found in your glass lately? I found this in our cellar, hoping Eddie has another bottle: 2004 Poggio Il Castellare Brunello Di Montalcino, 14% alcohol, decanted for 90 minutes and oh, so good. On the nose this Sangiovese delivered dark cherry, toasted oak, black peppercorn, sweet char off a good filet, espresso, sandalwood and a sweet bread note reminiscent of a waffle cone. The taste had the same notes, very peppery, tannic with all dark fruit and dark chocolate. The finish had a nice sweet note to it as well. Did a little Googling and found that K and L has it on their wait list and sells for $46.95, which I think is a good price, Wine Spectator gave it 96 points in 2009 and awarded it the #11 spot for the Top 100 wines of the year. Cellar Tracker gave it 92, Wine Enthusiast 91. Some recommended to drink by 2013 but I thought it was great now in 2021.
After the tasting I did a little more research on this particular vintage and the winery. I learned from looking at images of the winery that it would be spectacular to visit. From their Instagram I learned that they also have an incredible restaurant on their Montalcino property. On their website there are tabs for Private Dinners, their Tavern, and more.
Also, since I brought it up in my opening paragraph, in regards to length of time to decant a Barolo I searched the internet and learned that anywhere between one and two hours seemed to be the sweet spot for most vinophiles. Looking further I found that Wine Folly says two for a Brunello and three for a Barolo. So this is just an FYI for you when you want to try these varietals.
From the winery website:
In Tuscany there are places that can tell ancient stories and characters. The Baroncini family already started producing wine in 1489. So from father to son, 500 years have passed, and still today in Montalcino, Bruna and Samuele, produce wine as if to testify how time cannot scratch the traditions.
The high quality of the wines produced in the Montalcino area was already known at the time of the Etruscans, who had developed active settlements on these hills. The name “Tenuta Poggio Il Castellare” given to the company brings us back to the historical roots of the place: to the finds of an ancient settlement with the remains of houses and towers on the top of the hill of the same name.
For those that like to geek out from tech sheets, this is also from their website:
Production Area: Montalcino
Mixed Grapes: 100% Sangiovese Grosso
Terrain: Pliocene origins lands of predominantly clayey marl. They tend to reach considerable depth, offering great minerality
Growing System: Spurred cordon with dug soil
Density: 3500 vines/hectare
Average output per hectare: 45 hectolitres
Altitude: 500 metres
Microclimate: The climate is typically Mediterranean, with showers concentrated in autumn and spring. The middle hill area is frequently windy, which is ideal to keep the vines healthy. The climate is generally mild, with a high rate of sunny days during the whole vegetative phase: these conditions guarantee a gradual and complete ripening of the grapes.
Production Process: Manual harvest when the grapes are perfectly ripe. Alcoholic fermentation with controlled temperature (26°C) for about 10-12 days on the skins. Malolactic fermentation in steel vats. Refining in 2500lt Slavonian oak barrels for 30 months and in 225 lt French oak barrels for 20 months. Further refining in bottles for 4 months before the sale
Colour – ruby red verging to garnet-red;
Bouquet – very intense, lingering, with hints of cherry fruit and spices;
Taste –well-balanced, with velvety tannins and a long aromatic grip on the palate
Alcoholic Gradation: 14,5% VOL
Serving Temperature: 22,0°C
Pairings: seasoned cheese, red meat, roasts, braised meat, game
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.