As Brunello Riserva go, this one wasn’t expensive.  And it wasn’t much more expensive than this estates normale, which I have enjoyed greatly in the past.  This is what piqued my curiosity. In retrospect, I should have been wary.

In many senses, Brunello Riserva is a meaningless term.  Technically, the only requirement for a wine to be labeled Brunello Riserva, as compared to merely Brunello, is that it must be aged for an additional year prior to release.   Laws and expectations are two different things. 

There are two types of Brunello Riserva;  the first are superior wines.  Wines from a strict selection. Often times from a single vineyard and typically from the producers best fruit.  Then there are wines made from “normal” fruit that are merely held back an additional year prior to release, labeled Riserva, and marked up accordingly. In this case, I sense the latter example to be the case.

The 2006 Collelceto Brunello Riserva Elia is a medium ruby in the glass with a significant fade toward the rim of brick first, and copper last.  It looks much older than it is.  I decanted the wine for about an hour to remove a slight sediment.  In the glass, the wine displays aromas of tar, dirt and cherry. In the mouth, the wine is medium bodied with straightforward berry and earth flavors.  The acidity, especially on the finish is slightly elevated – not what I would call out of balance, but clearly noticeable.  Tannins appear to be fully resolved.  There’s little complexity here and there does not appear to be any structure or fruit for aging.  Drink now if you’ve got them.  89 points.  About $45.  Disappointing.

Riserva Elia – 2006 Brunello from Collelceto

With the Brunello we had a Rigatoni pasta puglia style – with San Marzano tomatoes, arugula, pancetta and bocconcini.  Delicious, but unfortunately, overshadowed the wine. 

Rigatoni con bocconcini, pancetta, San Marzano
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