I will admit to having experienced a small amount of panic when I opened this because of some extra alcoholic vapours and concerns about faults. But those literally blew over and off and although the cork was grainy and falling apart, the wine emerged unscathed once we allowed it to unwind, relax and slip on some comfy shoes.
After it opened up, they were more than just comfy shoes – more like svelte Italian loafers.
This is a Trader Joe’s wine available at a most reasonable price. Now, being Canadian and used to paying ridiculously high prices for the wines I covet, I was immediately suspicious. Seriously – a 2008 Brunello di Montalcino for US$19.99? Who would ever think that is possible – or that it would taste any good. Because I am so used to paying exorbitant rates for quality wine, I am usually immediately suspicious of any wine priced south of C$20.
However, if you check out this page (by Eric Anthony Wickersham), you’ll see that this is actually suspected of being the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino produced by Solaria which was awarded 92 points by James Suckling. Anthony Galloni also reviewed it at an 88. That certainly helped me put my tasting note into better perspective considering my crazy Canadian expectation of price being somewhat equivalent to quality.
Medium garnet with legs, this wine has a slender medium body complementing its medium/plus intense aromas and flavours of earthy red cherry, raspberry, pomegranate and minerals. Dry with feathery, fine grained tannins, the wine is rounded out with some tar, soy sauce, dried herbs and shoestring black licorice.
You cannot lose on this Trader Joe’s deal. Buy it now and buy lots of it. Balanced, drinkable tannins and developing aromas and layers of flavours.
We enjoyed this at my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary alongside roasted chicken and Tuscan style sausages, fresh noodle and pasta salads and lots of great company.
WSET ‘Very Good’ wine.