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Old 10-06-2004, 06:58 AM   #1
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Caprili, Montalcino - VinoCibo Web Selection

Caprili, Montalcino, VinoCibo.com Web Selection 9/17/04

If you, like me, think wines should be about texture and terroir and that wines should get more interesting as you drink them, not heavier: you will love the complex wines of Caprili in Montalcino. I tasted their 1999 Brunello di Montalcino at a large tasting earlier this year and scored their 1999 Brunello well, but at the end of my note on the wine I added,"something more here". Retasting this wine over the course of a day on its own confirms those suspicions. Lean and bit funky when first opened, with an hour of air it starts to unfold and after three it is a completely different wine: expansive and complex. Same for the 1998 Riserva and the 2002 Rosso - obviously the Rosso opens with much less time. The shortcomings of large, fast tasting cannot be overstated for such wines, which require patience on the part the consumer before fully sharing their pleasures.

2002 Rosso di Montalcino ($20)
Brilliant ruby, quite translucent. Smooth warm aromas with raspberry, bitter cherry, tobacco and fresh cut rose aromas. Elegant and firm, yet shows bright fresh fruit flavors with juicy fresh cherry with hints of cranberry and spiced plums leading to the firm finish that lingers with sweet cherry flavors mixed with a bitter tobacco burn. The tannins are just enough to give the wine a firm backbone, but they are not at all harsh. Another year of bottle age is recommended. (Rating: A, excellent)

1999 Brunello di Montalcino ($50)
Brilliant ruby with hints of garnet. Quite translucent. This wine needs air. Closed and hard at first, with air it opens into a very interesting wine with aromas of tar, tobacco and mint over the ripe plum fruit. Excellent balance and a firm, but refined texture. Deep ripe plum flavors quickly slide into chocolate, bitter cherry and lively fresh mint flavors. The finish is powerful and structured with firm tannins balanced by dense fruit and tar. An exceptional example of walking the line between firm tannin and ripe fruit. Five more years of aging (and many more) will be well rewarded. (Rating: A+, excellent)

1998 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva ($65)
Brilliant ruby with touches of garnet. Just translucent. Graceful, almost delicate floral notes lead up to a brooding, firm nose of menthol, black cherry and cigar smoke. Rich, with powerful concentrated fruit redolent of rich ripe cherry, dark chocolate, bitter tobacco and iodine. The finish is richly tannic with tobacco and chocolate flavors mixed with fresh cut mint and ripe raspberries. Not quite open yet, lay this wine down until at least its tenth birthday. A grand 1998. (Rating: A+, excellent)

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