About 20% of all Brunello di Montalcino wine is now exported to the United States. However, we rarely get to sample the older Brunellos, which is a shame because they are made to last for decades. I got a chance at the recent Benvenuto Brunello event in New York. This 1990 Col d’Orcia wine is nearing 30 years old and you’d never guess from looking at it. It’s a vibrant red-purple color in the glass, with barely any browning at the edges. Huge, dark, very ripe fruit with scorched sugar in the aroma. It feels silky on the tongue. Flavor-wise, the fruit is mature and beginning to transform into secondary characteristics, adding teas and tannins to the mix. Fully-integrated strains of tannin weave throughout the wine. The end palate is balanced, with acidity. Long finish.

Highly Recommended: 94  BSE

WHO: Col d’Orcia Winery

WHERE: Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

WHAT: 100% Sangiovese

HOW MUCH: $188 (tasting sample; this wine is currently available in the US.)

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein
International Editor

Becky Sue Epstein is Palate Press’s International Editor. An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, her work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, www.wine-pages.com and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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