Recently had the chance to try two wonderful Tuscan wines, both based on Sangiovese, the classic grape of Tuscany, from the stellar 1997 vintage. 

1997 Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino:

Took this along to a great local BYO establishment, Il Mondo Vecchio, in Madison New Jersey. The meal, as always, was fantastic. My lovely girlfriend had the lamb osso bucco and I chose the grilled veal chop over wild mushrooms. The Brunello paired perfectly with both dishes and is in perfect drinking shape. Dark colored in the glass, it’s still almost a blackish red with little to no fading at the rim. The nose is all fruit, leather and earth. This is old school Brunello – no trace of new oak.  The palate is ripe, persistent with it’s flavors and strikes wonderful balance. It’s elegant, yet there’s power behind it. In no danger of fading, you can drink now or cellar for 2-3 years more to soften what are still fairly substantial tannins. I love it.  93 points.  

There’s more about Costanti here:

1997 Isole e Olena Cepparello:

Paolo di Marchi is the owner and winemaker at Isole e Olena, and he is the Maestro.  He has a serious line up of wines, but this one is consistently his best. Officially a 100% Sangiovese Super Tuscan, I’ve been told by an insider that there is just a dollop of Syrah in this wine as well.  Decanted for 1 hour before dinner, this wine is dark brick red in the glass. The nose is filled with flowers, dark fruits, a hint of cocoa and sweet tobacco. The palate is sublime. Velvety red fruits are in abundance, the mouthfeel of this wine is amazing. It’s concentrated, rich, and in perfect balance and harmony. In no danger of fading and with the air time in the decanter, it was simply marvelous with a dinner of grilled lamb racks, broccoli rabe with pepperoncino, and smashed potatoes.  96 points! 

Here’s the wine and the meal:

1997 Isole e Olena Cepparello

Grilled Racks, Broccoli Rabe & Smashed heaven!

Ci Vediamo!

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