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Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova Brunello di Montalcino 1998 vs. 2001

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Forza Italia.

Brunello di Montalcino are typically full-bodied, high-flavoured, tannic wines from Tuscany in the centre of Italy. The conventional explanation as to why the wines are generally better than the rest of the region is that a superior clone of Sangiovese is involved, but climate is apparently more significant: the town of Montalcino, 112km south of Florence, has a warmer, drier climate and hence the wines are richer and fuller.

Last night the 1998 versus the 2001 Tenuta Nuova from highly regarded Casanova di Neri. The 1998, a lesser vintage, was medium bodied with bright acidity and those super-fine tannins you get on seemingly all Italian wines. It showed red cherry and some pleasant savoury character – drinking really well now (score: 16/20).

The 2001, meanwhile, comes from a great year and this wine famously was rated first in US magazine’s Wine Spectator’s top 100 wines of 2006. It was rich and ripe, thicker textured and with smoother tannins than the 1998. Impressive but arguably not one for the classicists (score: 17/20).

3 COMMENTS

  1. Just curious – how do you taste your wines?  When during the day do you decide to open what bottle?  Are you influenced by what you are having for dinner?  Do you taste before dinner, during or after?  Do you taste/drink alone or with your wife?  Sorry for all the questions but they just occurred to me because these are things I think about when deciding which (daily) wine to open and I realized you probably have your own peculiar rituals :).  I for instance only use a big (900ml) Schott Zwiesel glass when tasting (red or white).  I hate to open screw bottles because then I cannot open it with my Laguiolle bottle opener :)   When we have friends over I will think about food and wine pairing but I think for me the wine is the most important part of the family dinner.  My kids are gradually starting to decipher certain aromas in wine and I pour them a small glass of sweet wine on Sundays.  This is how I was brought up and I attribute it to the fact that I was introduced to it when I was young that I grew up having this fantastic hobby.  

    • Hi Rihann,The Casanova di Neri was special occasion stuff – Ezio Debiaggi, co-owner of Magica Roma in Pinelands and family friend bought the 2001 and the 1998 was out of my late dad’s cellar. The wines were paired with Tuscan bean and sausage stew. Under normal circumstances, the wines I review are consumed with dinner – typically a relativley formal appraisal of the first glass on its own and then the rest of the bottle enjoyed with the meal. My darling wife is an enthusiastic imbiber – despite a very good palate, she tends to find wine assessment tedious. I’m not too fussed about glasses – which is not to say I don’t think they make a difference but the breakage rate in our house is ridiculously high (Riedel – any chance of a sponsorship?). I have TWO Laguiole corkscrews – one with antler handle, the other ebony.Love the ritual of pulling the cork but hate cork taint/random bottle oxidation so no problem with screwcap. I learnt about wine from my dad, Harold who founded Wine magazine. Plenty of Meerlust Red 1985 with Sunday roasts, and I recall thinking that if the vintage wasn’t good enough to be Rubicon, then Rubicon itself must be stupendous.

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