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Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2004
Displays complex aromas of blackberry and cherry, with a hint of licorice. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a delicious finish of wonderful yet subtle fruit. Well-integrated and beautiful. Everything is in the right place. Best after 2011. 5,000 cases made.
Lovely black licorice, flowers, and ripe fruits on the nose. This is very aromatic. Full bodied but tight, this has gone to sleep for the moment.
The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is simply beautiful. Now that the wine is in bottle it is even better than when I tasted it from barrel. Firm but silky tannins frame a core of ripe dark fruit as this powerful yet elegant Brunello opens up in the glass. Smoke, cured meats, earthiness and graphite develop in the glass, adding further complexity. Sweet roses and spices linger on the long, refined finish. This is a big, structured Brunello, and like all of Abbruzzese's wines, it needs at least a few years of bottle age before it offers its finest drinking. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.