2013 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is dusty with cherries and a slight root beer note.  Strong tannins!  Sour cherry fruit on the palate.  Good acidity.  Some depth.  Despite the youth and tannins, this has a lovely elegance to it.  This really demands food.  It will work with a wide variety of pasta dishes with or without meats.  Should continue to improve for a few years and be good for another 15 after that.  Retails for $65.  

2013 Cantine Bonacchi Brunello di Montalcino Molino del Piano, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

2013 was a more traditional year in Brunello lending itself to more elegance and less full bodied wines.  Whether that is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder or drinker.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries with an underlying sandalwood.  On the palate, this is soft but complex.  Nice cherry and dried cherry fruit.  A bit of tea leaves.  Of course, great with Italian foods but will work nicely with beef dishes too.  This is a very pretty and elegant wine.  Just lovely but don't expect a big wine.  

2012 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

This was drinking quite well although it has years left.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, cedar, chocolate and cigar box.  On the palate, this is youthful but ageing well.  Layers of cherries, black cherries and tobacco.  A nice back bone of acidity.  Good finish.  This can be drunk along but shines with food.  Obviously Italian food but really a wide variety.  Probably about 5 years from peak and should be there for 8 to 10.  

2011 Erta di Spinelli Varno Risala Toscana IGT

This was a new wine for me.  Apparently, in some vintages it will have some Petit Verdot or other international varietals but in 2011 it was 100% Sangiovese.  They really nailed it in this very good if not great vintage.  Purple in color.  The nose is cherries with some sandalwood and slight vanilla.  Clean and bright if still young.  More open on the palate, but at the same time, this is quite tannic.  A very structured wine.  It needs some time flesh out but it is very deep and yet elegant at the same time.  Cherries, macerated cherries and slight coffee notes on the palate.  Good acidity

2012 Pian Delle Vigne (Antinori) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Ferrovia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Pop and pour, this was pretty tight, so the wine was decanted which helped.  Still, it probably needs five more years but has a couple of decades of life left.  Drank side by side with the regular 1999 version of this wine.  Ruby in color with some purple, lighter than the 99.  The wine in general, however, is a much bigger wine.  The nose is gorgeous with cherries, black cherries, sandalwood and dry Earl Grey tea.  On the palate, this is tightly wound, but it already shows great layering and complexity.  A wonderful texture; slippery yet bold if that makes sense.  Great acidity.  Long fini

1999 Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

This was decanted for sediment and then drink over a few hours.  This was drunk side by side with the 2012 Riserva which was interesting and fun.  This is a deep ruby with some purple at the core in color.  Darker than the 2012.  It seems to at peak right now.  Not showing old age but certainly mature, tannins resolved and getting close to sliding downhill.  The nose is earthy with damp tea leaves, cherries and just a hint of sandalwood.  Complex and layered with funk, forest floor and cherries.  Very good acidity.  Worked very well with food.  Nice finish.  This was probably never an amazi