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Old 25-05-2004, 03:14 AM
Dennis Russo
 
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Default Brunello in a Restaurant

Is it me (Long Island, New York) or is pre 90 Brunello hard to find in
most restaurants?? In restaurants that are well stocked with Barolo
and Barberesco from this same period, I only find Brunello from maybe
90 or 93 almost definatly from 97. This a wine I would love to try
when it has had the chance to sit for twenty years or so. Is this
common in other parts of the U.S. or am I looking in the wrong
restaurants??


cheers,
dr

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Old 25-05-2004, 02:30 PM
Dale Williams
 
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Default Brunello in a Restaurant

Is it me (Long Island, New York) or is pre 90 Brunello hard to find in
most restaurants?? In restaurants that are well stocked with Barolo
and Barberesco from this same period, I only find Brunello from maybe
90 or 93 almost definatly from 97. This a wine I would love to try
when it has had the chance to sit for twenty years or so. Is this
common in other parts of the U.S. or am I looking in the wrong
restaurants??

There are a few factors at play he
1) With the exception of Biondi-Santi and maybe Soldera, not a lot of attention
was paid to Brunello in US until the last 5-8 years. Many more labels are
imported now than before.
2) Before the explosion of regional Italian cooking over last decade, most
restaurants were more or less generic "Italian". An upscale Italian place would
put together a wine list with a few Chiantis, and a few Barolos - the most
well-known names.
3) Brunello is more accessible young than traditional Barolo, so more likely to
have been drunk young.
4) While good Brunello from a good vintage ages very well (in my limited
experience), good Brunello for a mediocre or poor vintage doesn't. By contrast,
Barolo from a mediocre vintage does ok. So I might buy a Barolo from a producer
I liked 89, 88,87, 86, 85, 83, '82, '78, '71, etc. With Brunello I doubt I'd
chance anything other than '88, '85, and '82.
So less wines imported to start with, and less vintages still drinkable, means
far fewer options.

Dale

Dale Williams
Drop "damnspam" to reply
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Old 25-05-2004, 06:16 PM
Ed Rasimus
 
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Default Brunello in a Restaurant

On 25 May 2004 13:30:41 GMT, amnspam (Dale Williams)
wrote:

Is it me (Long Island, New York) or is pre 90 Brunello hard to find in
most restaurants?? In restaurants that are well stocked with Barolo
and Barberesco from this same period, I only find Brunello from maybe
90 or 93 almost definatly from 97. This a wine I would love to try
when it has had the chance to sit for twenty years or so. Is this
common in other parts of the U.S. or am I looking in the wrong
restaurants??

There are a few factors at play he
1) With the exception of Biondi-Santi and maybe Soldera, not a lot of attention
was paid to Brunello in US until the last 5-8 years. Many more labels are
imported now than before.
2) Before the explosion of regional Italian cooking over last decade, most
restaurants were more or less generic "Italian". An upscale Italian place would
put together a wine list with a few Chiantis, and a few Barolos - the most
well-known names.
3) Brunello is more accessible young than traditional Barolo, so more likely to
have been drunk young.
4) While good Brunello from a good vintage ages very well (in my limited
experience), good Brunello for a mediocre or poor vintage doesn't. By contrast,
Barolo from a mediocre vintage does ok. So I might buy a Barolo from a producer
I liked 89, 88,87, 86, 85, 83, '82, '78, '71, etc. With Brunello I doubt I'd
chance anything other than '88, '85, and '82.
So less wines imported to start with, and less vintages still drinkable, means
far fewer options.

Dale


You point out a number of important issues. Certainly throughout much
of the US, the comment in para. 2 is the driving factor. Even in
upscale eateries, the focus was on French, California and occasionally
some German whites. In the last 10 years or so, there's been an
explosion of interest in the broad range of Italian wines, as well as
Australian, Oregon, Washington and many other regions.

One important factor is the ability of a restaurant to age wines.
Buying old wines isn't really cost-effective for a restaurant and
tying up capital in thousands of bottles being held for twenty years
in the basement in the hope that a.) the restaurant will survive that
long and b.) someone will want that particular wine in the long
distant future, isn't at all practical.

Dale's comments on the age-worthiness of Brunello' is enlightening. It
seems to track quite well with the experience I've had with a close
friend who spent 17 years in Europe and returned to the US in '95. He
brought back about 1500 bottles of Euro wines with a heavy
concentration of Alsatian whites and Brunellos in a addition to a
range of low-tier Bordeaux.

We've had the opportunity to share a number of the mid-'80s Brunellos
over dinners in the last four or five years and I must agree that the
drinkability has been only slightly above acceptable. Now, thanks to
Dale's input, I know why.

Older isn't always better.



Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8
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Old 26-05-2004, 03:03 PM
Dennis Russo
 
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Default Brunello in a Restaurant

There are a few factors at play he
1) With the exception of Biondi-Santi and maybe Soldera, not a lot of attention
was paid to Brunello in US until the last 5-8 years. Many more labels are
imported now than before.
2) Before the explosion of regional Italian cooking over last decade, most
restaurants were more or less generic "Italian". An upscale Italian place would
put together a wine list with a few Chiantis, and a few Barolos - the most
well-known names.
3) Brunello is more accessible young than traditional Barolo, so more likely to
have been drunk young.
4) While good Brunello from a good vintage ages very well (in my limited
experience), good Brunello for a mediocre or poor vintage doesn't. By contrast,
Barolo from a mediocre vintage does ok. So I might buy a Barolo from a producer
I liked 89, 88,87, 86, 85, 83, '82, '78, '71, etc. With Brunello I doubt I'd
chance anything other than '88, '85, and '82.
So less wines imported to start with, and less vintages still drinkable, means
far fewer options.


Some very interesting points. I have always thought that a Brunello
would hold up with a Barolo (I know there are exceptions, I'm speaking
generally here), but apparently that is not the case. Would it be
fair to say then, out of my three favorite wines (chianti, barolo, and
brunello) I would be able to drink the Chianit first, followed by the
Brunello, and finally the Barolo (I mean in terms of aging)??

Also, how does a mature Brunello stand up to a mature Barolo?? I have
had the pleasure to trying an '82 Cerretto Brunate two years ago that
I remember as if it were yesterday. I would like to have that same
experience with a Brunello. Would a '90 Brunello be of the same
quality in terms of age??

Thanks...


cheers,
dr


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Old 04-06-2004, 01:07 PM
gerald
 
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Default Brunello in a Restaurant

For a very late reply, in the 1960's there were about 150 acres in
Montalcino under vine. I think Banfi has more than 150 acres now,
and Banfi certainly stretches the outter limits of Brunello country.
It is in flat farm land, about 30 km from the town of Montalcino.

For a vintage chart from the Brunello assn,
http://www.consorziobrunellodimontal...one_annate.htm

There are now close to 2000 hectares in vine, which is 5000 acres(did
I convert that right).

Lichine, in his early encyclopedia 1969, has 3 very short lines on
Brunello.


On 24 May 2004 19:14:02 -0700, (Dennis Russo)
wrote:

Is it me (Long Island, New York) or is pre 90 Brunello hard to find in
most restaurants?? In restaurants that are well stocked with Barolo
and Barberesco from this same period, I only find Brunello from maybe
90 or 93 almost definatly from 97. This a wine I would love to try
when it has had the chance to sit for twenty years or so. Is this
common in other parts of the U.S. or am I looking in the wrong
restaurants??


cheers,
dr


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Old 04-06-2004, 02:52 PM
Michael Pronay
 
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Default Brunello in a Restaurant

gerald wrote:

For a very late reply, in the 1960's there were about 150 acres
in Montalcino under vine.


In 1929 there were 925 ha of "cultura specializata" and 1243 ha of
"cultura mista". Phylloxera arrived as late as 1930. In 1970, the
specializata was around 65 ha. Eight years later, 1978, there were
490 ha specializata and the cultura mista down at 50 ha.

M.


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