Luck #3 Winery – Casanova di Neri

So the saga continues. On our way out of town I see another place that was recommended by a local Enoteca. I ask Kristi if she wouldn’t mind and she happily agrees hoping there was cool air and a restroom. Jackpot 1 and Jackpot 2 – we hit pay dirt on both. If now only the Brunello was legit. I walk to the tasting room and notice some press release. Intrigued I grab the papers and start reading, to my surprise they received a 96pt rating from Parker on his top end wine. Whoa! His regular Brunello was also rated. I waited for Kristi to finish up and when she did I went to the office to get a gentlemans attention. I walk in and find a guy there. I ask if he speaks English and he says he speaks so-so. Well this so-so English speaker was trying to be modest. It was the owner and wine maker himself, Giacomo Neri who had the wine of the year by Spectator Magazine in 2006 for his 2001 Brunello! Whoa.

He went to UC Davis and studied there for one year about 25 years ago. In addition to speaking fantastic English, he was also extremely easy to converse with — void of the arrogance that might be present with a wine maker who had achieved such a highly-regarded rating. What a special experience it was to have the opportunity to stand casually across the bar from him in such a unpretentious setting!

What made this visit even better was the fact he was pouring his top tier wines. I did buy one and wish my luggage had more room. His wines are exquisite.

His style is more new age and you can tell why Parker likes him. His wines are luxurious, elegantly smooth and have excellent balance and structure. Throw in some good fruit and you have a masterpiece.

2007 Pietradonice – Cabernet from Montalcino – vibrant and nice wine. The nose has great blackberry mixed with a little cherry. A hint of spice and a touch of vanilla round out this wine. Excellent mouth feel, I find myself conflicted drinking this in Montalcino. 🙂 €35 (B+)

2005 Brunello di Montalcino – Tenuta Nuova – another great wine this wine has little resemblance to typical Brunello’s. This wine is more fruit and spice driven but one thing he nails is mouth feel. The texture is fantastic and hits every spot in your mouth with fruit and softness. Blue and black fruit with a hint of vanilla spiciness then followed by that great mouth feel. Yummm. €45 (A-)

2004 Brunello di Montalcino – Cerretalto. This is his premiere wine and it doesn’t disappoint. This guy can make wine. I was a bit conflicted as I mentioned above but I can’t deny, he makes fantastic wine. This Brunello has excellent blueberry characteristics with a touch of raspberry. I swear a hint of oak and again the mouth feel is so luxurious…….it is just a very sexy wine. Priced at €125 this is not affordable to everyone. As I sit and write this up, I wish I had an extra $400 to buy 3 bottles for aging. I compare this to top Cabernets from Paul Hobbs. I’d prefer to only pay $100. I think great wines get lost when priced over a hundo. 🙂 (A)

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