2007 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

2007 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino
Italy, $60

So last week was yet another birthday. The sole benefit these days is the opportunity to head down into the wine cellar and pick out something nice to mark the somber occasion. Unlike most of my wine-writing brethren, I don’t have a huge cellar—probably only 150 or so bottles. Partly it’s a space thing, but mostly it’s my love of a sure thing—I favour the “one in the hand” of a bottle that’s drinking nicely right now over the “two in the bush” of spending a whack of money on a bottle and hoping that things play out. Despite all that, I continue to put bottles down because the joy of a well-integrated age wine is just barely better than the agony of opening an aged bottle that’s faded badly.

So, my birthday. I grabbed a 2001 Brunello di Montalcino “Montosoli” and it was magnificent. It was still a huge wine (it had another 5-10 years I imagine) but layers of fruit and richness and it just was such a joy to drink that I’m still smiling as I write this 6 days later. That bottle is not readily available but the current vintage of Altesino is, and at $60 it’s something of a steal.

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