|~ Peering over the harvested Sangiovese on the Pian del Conte Estate ~|
When you sit with Riccardo Talenti you get the sense that he is at ease with the way the world views his wine. Maybe that comes from confidence; several media outlets have sung the praises of his wine. But there is more to him than that. It’s more like humility through confidence and when you speak to him, he is convinced you’ll love his wine, but when you do and you tell him so, he’s humbled to an almost embarrassed point.
Last January I spent quite a while chatting with Riccardo while tasting his wines at Benvenuto Brunello in New York. He told me then that he makes wine “the Talenti way, like the way my Father taught me. We want our wine to be approachable young, but to sit among the greatest Brunello, the wine must also be able to improve with cellaring.” That treatment, which anoints the Talenti wine, consists of combined elevage in both large cask and small tonneaux. This, Talenti says, “allows the slower oxidation of the wine, which is necessary for the finished wine to exude the aromas that are classic to the Montalcino terroir.”
|~ Owner & Winemaker Riccardo Talenti in front of one of his custom Gamba Botte ~|
He’s getting it right. Very right. Recently we uncorked a bottle of his 2004 Brunello. A wine that may be the best wine I’ve tasted this year.
The 2004 Talenti Brunello is a dark ruby to violet color that slowly fades to a more rustic trademark copper hue at the edge of the bowl. Decanted for 60 minutes, the wine threw only a tiny sediment.
On the nose, you are struck by precise and varying aromas. At first blush, there is a noticeable core of bacon that permeates the wild crushed berry notes. At each swirl different characteristics emerge. Cured meats mingle with fresh anise, fennel seed, worn leather and sweet pipe tobacco. It is a harmonic experience and cannot be understated.
On the palate the wine is drop dead gorgeous. Front and center is a full bodied elegant core of ripe, juicy crushed berry fruit. Lively and fresh, it dances in your mouth like Fred Astaire. But while your focus may be on the spotlight, the music still plays in the background and vies for your attention. Sweet tobacco, red licorice and fennel seed, mushroom, and fresh herbs all offer engaging solos. Toward the finale, the smooth velvety texture of the wine unfolds itself before a long extended dusty Tuscan road, herb tinged finish that trails away remarkably……
This is why I love Brunello. 97 points. About $45.
Yes, it’s currently available.
November 24, 2014