WCC Tuscan Reds
at Carmine's Restaurant in Albany, NY, (2/3/2005)

The WCC met to taste an assortment of Tuscan wines (with one Umbrian ringer). The wines were served double blind in random order except that I asked people if the wine they brought was older or younger and put the older ones first. I also placed the ringer at the end.

Below are my TNs and scores with group rankings as well. If I know something about when it was opened or decanted, I mention it below.

The wines were served with large quantities of Italian food at a good local restaurant Carmine's Restaurant in Albany which closed in 2009. Generally the food and wine matched well, except for a very spicy pork dish with the 3rd flight.


1978 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Muted nose of dried cherries. Delicious cherries on the palate. Still has some tannins. Medium length, but an exciting wine. Thrilling in a way that's hard to describe. 93 points. Tied for Group #4 WOTN.

1987 Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Largo
[Decanted 24 hours in advance.] No nose. Nice up front. Short, tart cherry finish. 84 points. Group #2 WOTN. Go figure.

1985 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Greppo
Lovely cherry nose. Light, sweet, with a fascinating spice on the finish. Tasty! 92 points.


1988 Castello di Rampolla Sammarco vdt
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Young, tannic, sweet, cherry fruit. Needs 3-5 years. Really good with veal cheeks and root veggies over pasta. 93 points. Tied for Group #7 WOTN.

1988 San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo vdt
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Sweet and yummy. Still has tannins. Needs a couple more years. 92 points. Tied for Group #4 WOTN.

1990 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio all'Oro
Heavenly, concentrated, sweet red fruit nose. Thick, rich, wow! Drink now-2015. Meaty. Got better and better though the evening. 94 points. My WOTN and Group WOTN.


1990 Geografico Brunello di Montalcino
Sweet cherry-vanilla nose. Smooth and silky. Tannic finish mellows into sweet cherries. Quite nice. 90 points.

1997 Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico
[Brought by one member because he thought the picture of Verrazzano on the label looked like another member of our group.] Exquisite black currants. Medium length. Lots of cherries. A little thin on the finish. 88 points.

1988 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte vdt
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Structured, yummy! Needs a few more years. Really delicious. Drink now-2012. 93-95 points. Group #9 WOTN.


1990 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino
Smooth, silky, delicious fruit. Wow, what a tasty wine. 93 points. Tied for Group #7 WOTN.

1995 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve vdt
[Decanted 24 hours in advance.] Sweet up front. Long shitty finish. Nauseating. 58 points. Many others really like it. Group #3 WOTN. Go figure?

1997 P. Antinori Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigna
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Sweet strawberries and licorice. Tasty. Needs a lot of time, at least 5 years, maybe 10. 89-92 points.


1997 P. Antinori Tignanello vdt
Youthful! Thick, tarry, sweet, tasty, but a little one-dimensional at this stage. 90-92 points. Group #6 WOTN.

2000 Arnaldo Caprai 25 Anni Sagrantino di Montifalco Umbria
[Decanted 2 hours before drinking.] Incredibly earthy nose. Long and tannic. Needs 8-12 years. 93-96 points. Many liked it, some quite a lot, but it was not included in our WOTN voting.


For me the big surprise was how well the 2 Banfi wines did. I have not had good experience with this producer in the past, but these were both quite good, with the single vineyard riserva being a worthy step up from the very good regular Brunello.

The other big surprise to me what how much the others like the Val di Suga and the Flaccianello, though I have often liked other Falccianellos in the past.




All original content © Ken Vastola