Greatness in farming doesn’t happen by accident. Of course the genesis of everything, the original premise is provided by Mother Nature, but once that occurs, it is up to a littany of symbiotic factors which turn ordinary grapes into great wine. A famous wine consultant was once asked by a novice winemaker: “What one decision is crucial to making great wine?” The consultant replied: “If I knew the answer to that, I’d be a billionaire!” There are hundreds of decisions that need to be made and many of those vary from vintage to vintage as to their timing, scope and degree. In the instant case, the genesis of Lisini begins in the 16th century.
The Lisini farm covers 154 hectares near Sant’Angelo in Colle in the southern part of Montalcino. Originally focused on grains and exceptional extra virgin olive oil production, once the popularity of Brunello di Montalcino began to take hold, the focus of the Lisini family became premium wine production. Today, the estate is dominated by the Sienese style tower and courtyard that serve as winery and business offices and which dates to the early 1300s. The heart of the estate is 20 hectares of vineyards devoted to Sangiovese Grosso.
2006 was an outstanding vintage for Brunello di Montalcino and is quickly becoming noted as one of the longest lived vintages of the decade. Classically styled in many wines, the vintage was awarded 5 stars by the Brunello Consorzio. Many tastings of Brunello from that year bear this out, but as today’s Lisini example suggests, the best is yet to come as these 2006s begin to blossom.
The 2006 Lisini Brunello is a deep ruby in the glass with violet reflections and a pretty fade to umber at the edge of the bowl. After being opened for about an hour, the aromas began to pour forth from the glass effortlessly. Breathe in the sweet Montalcinese perfume. Breathe in deep. Freshly cut flowers, ripe wild red fruits, anise, grilled meat, animale and hints of mushroom are displayed with harmonic precision.
On the palate, the wine is ripe, fresh and full bodied with elegant yet powerful structure. The wild red fruit flavors lay gracefully on your palate while the exotic spice notes, cured meat and fennel, porcini, tobacco and cedar notes mingle seamlessly. Expertly woven, this has improved exponentially since the last time I tried it (2012, 89 points) and suggests that the evolution of this wine, if not the 2006s in general, is taking a positive step. Simply an amazing wine. I heard the mermaids sing. 96 points. About $45 upon release and a steal at that price.
If you don’t have or can’t find the 2006, I suggest laying away some of the 2010 or waiting for the 2012 and 2015 to arrive.
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