There are times I really love doing wine tastings for my wine rep friends. A recent example was a tasting I did on a recent Saturday at one of those large wine warehouse shops. My excitement tends to ebb and flow when I see the lineup of wines I'm going to pour. Unlike my tastings I did at the wine shop I worked at of almost a year past, I no longer get to choose the wines that are being poured. I really miss that as I had some phenomenal wines that I poured. ANYWAY!
For this particular tasting, the wines being poured were all from Italy, which is really great as my foray into wines were developed at this same wine shop MANY years ago by the wine manager who loved Italian wines, and it showed. The good news was that all the wines I poured were lovely. Two, in particular, were well above average and this blog post could have been written about either one. What a quandary.
It wasn't that difficult to choose when push came to shove. So what was this final wine chosen?
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Motosoli 2012
What a wine! When I first got the list I almost couldn't believe it. What made me giggle with excitement (I know that sounds a little too girly) was that I knew of this wine as I had previously purchased their normale 2012 Brunello a while back as it received a whopping 96 Points from Wine Spectator and I knew the Single Vineyard Motosoli was a tick under at 95 Points, it also received the same score from Wine Advocate.
As I think I've expressed on a couple of occasions before, is that wines of this caliber aren't necessarily an easy sell. For one, this tops the cash register at $90. It is also a wine that really requires time, and lots of it. Either in a cellar or opened for hours to let the flavors develop and the wine to settle. Tasting the wine when first opened you get great aromatics but on the first sip, it is rather closed. Fortunately, as I am almost always early to events, I was able to give it some time before the first customers arrived. AND, by the end of the tasting, the wine was becoming much more developed and flavorful.
A wine created from 100% Sangiovese grapes and aged for no less than 36 months in Slavonian Oak casks, this wine exhibits dark cherry fruit with a pronounced earthiness and firm tannins which make it that candidate for cellaring. I just hope it doesn't outlive me!
One other tidbit I used at the tasting was that the wine shop had the 2012 Brunello (not Motosoli). Scoring a 96 from Wine Spectator as I previously mentioned and using slightly less oak aging, this wine is a little more approachable now (with some requisite decanting) and a little more affordable at around $50.
In case you missed the 2010 vintage of Brunello's, 2012 is a wonderful followup and worth the money. Both Altesino's should be available (although maybe moderately so for the time being) so get out there and pick them up for your cellar or just to enjoy with that perfect meal.
So what was the other wine?? I had the Zenato Ripassa 2012. Who knows, maybe I'll add that one to my Wine of the Week soon!