At a recent Sommeliers Australia tasting of 2006 Brunellos in Brisbane Australia, six highly regarded Brunellos were tasted. These are the posted comments on the tasting.
"The 2006 vintage in Montalcino has been raved about. Consistently hot days and cool nights helped produce approachable wines that aren’t lacking structural integrity – or that’s the spiel. I’m not interested in dealing with the ‘Brunellopoli’ scandal of the proceeding year, where varieties other than Sangiovese allegedly made their way into certain wines. Classic and modern styles were stacked against each other in this bracket. Some of these wines displayed a lot of polish…one looked a little too buffed but the truth is I’d be more than happy to drink most of them, especially if someone else was paying.
The bracket kicked off with a slick Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2006. Rich, ripe and supple with dark cherry and panforte characters. Plenty of chewy tannin provided form. Cola and licorice root were on display in the San Felice Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2006. I was ambivalent about the medicinal, animale element though.
Some pleasant rusticity was a feature of the Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino 2006 but hay and lucerne pellets turned into a full-on case of brett in an unappealing Constanti Brunello di Montelcino 2006, a wine which one taster described memorably as smelling like “my mum’s apricot chicken”.
The last two wines had a distinctly ‘modern’ edge. The Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2006 was too suave for my tastes. Black fruits and violets with more than a passing resemblance to certain warm climate Shirazes, right down to the showy oak. I found a Querce Bettina Brunello di Montalcino 2006 a more agreeable version of a similar style. Dried herbs on the finish were the clincher as I decided that it did, indeed, have enough soul. With 5 others naming it their favourite wine of the bracket it took out the honours for most popular. "