This past weekend we celebrated a family religious right of passage.  My oldest son made his Confirmation and when the Bishop made the mistake of saying to all the children present:  “You are now men and women” ; my son was surely listening as he reminded me for the rest of the day: “Dad, I’m a man now!”   
We were a small crowd, and so opened three bottles with a late catered lunch featuring pork scallopine amaretto, chicken francaise, penne vodka, eggplant rollatini, and seasonal vegetables.
The 2006 Mocali Brunello di Montalcino confirmed for me what I’ve been thinking about the 2006’s.  Some of them seem like they’re shutting down a bit.  This was dark garnet in the decanter and offers pleasing and typical aromas of berries, spice, and earth.  In the mouth, the wine is tightly wound at the moment, rustic with plenty of tannins competing with the fruit.  This isn’t a wine to hold long term, as I sense the fruit will be dried out before the tannins completely resolve.  Consistent with the last time I tasted it.  Very nice introductory Brunello.  90 points. 
The 2007 Ruffino Modus was, well, like Robert E. Lee said after Pickett’s Charge – “All my fault”.  I saw the score of 96 in the Wine Spectator and I followed like a lemming.  I knew I wasn’t fond of Ruffino’s pedestrian wines, yet the review was so glowing and the price so compelling, that I caved. This wine is dark black in the decanter. Pitch black! It offers up aromas of crushed berry, vanilla, chocolate and toasted spice. In the mouth, the wine is made in a style that only a beaver could love.  It’s got toasted oak, wood spice, and almost a charred ash profile.  I just don’t get the score or the appeal.  Yet, plenty of people enjoyed it.  Maybe Wine Spectator never tasted it and awarded the score on color alone.  It’s a big pass for me and a waste of what was likely fine Sangiovese.  86 points. 
By far and away, the best wine of the day was the 2001 Bertani Amarone Classico.  This was purplish black in the decanter and gave off lovely aromas of crushed plums, berries, tobacco, earth, slight dried fruit, and espresso. In the mouth the wine is massive, yet balanced. It’s got loads of ripe plum and cherry fruit, with some toasted oak, new leather, chocolate and coffee.  Ripe tannins are interwoven so well, and the acids keep it lively. This paired remarkably with the pork amaretto.  Delicious!  94 points.
Here’s the lineup:

Tre Vini:  Ruffino Modus, Bertani Amarone, Mocali Brunello
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