Had guests® over this past weekend for a variety of birthday celebrations and tried the following: 

The 2006 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino is another shining example of excellence in this vintage. As others have written, this may be the best Castello Banfi estate brunello ever made and I’d have to agree.  Surprisingly however, it was quite initially backward upon opening.  With just a bit in the glass to “play with” before dinner, the wine seem restrained on the nose, very subdued in the mouth.  The color is a deep, dark garnet. With the meal, after it was opened for about 45 minutes, it quickly evolved and blossomed. The nose showed some smokey meat, some fennel, and deep, bright, juicy berry fruit. Flavors echo the nose where the power of this wine is noticeable; but it’s elegant power.  Lively. The 2006 vintage produced delicious long lived Brunellos and if you’re a Brunello lover,  set some of this away.  The best part, it’s reasonably priced at about $50 and it’s widely available.  95 points.  

2006 Castello Banfi Brunello

Next up was the 2006 San Filippo Brunello.  While clearly not to the level of their single vineyard “Le Lucere” bottling, this “normale” is an excellent Brunello.  One of our guests® suggested that the wine was “simple”.  By that, I think he meant that it wasn’t too complex at the moment, and I’d agree.  But that’s not a criticism.  The wine is deep red, and chock full of fruit and spice flavors and aromas.  I think the complexity will develop as the wine ages, but it’s delicious now.  This one would yield a QPR award as it can be found locally for about $33.  Drink this while the Castello Banfi or San Filippo’s big brother, Le Lucere, age.  92 points. 
2006 San Filippo Brunello
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