Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello’s extraordinary aging potential

A note from the Fattoria dei Barbi English-language blogger Jeremy Parzen.

Last night in New York City, I had the remarkable opportunity to taste the Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello from my birth-year vintage, 1967. A 50-year-old wine and a wine as old as me.

I was with Raffaella Federzoni, Barbi’s export director, and another wine writer. Raffaella had brought the bottles especially for the occasion from Barbi’s historic cellar in Montalcino. She and the Barbi cellar master had tasted the wines and resealed them. The cellar master had thoughtfully bound the original corks to the necks of the bottles. The wines were grown and vinified on the Barbi farm and they had never been moved or disturbed since they were laid down some 45 years ago.

We are all utterly blown away by how vibrant this wine was and how it evolved in the glass so radically as we enjoyed it throughout the course of the evening. Typically, when you open a bottle like this, you expect it to be in the lighter side, with faded fruit and acidity. But flavors in this wine were deliciously robust and its acidity was popping! Everyone at the table agreed that it has many years ahead of it in the arc of its life.

It was fantastic. But the most incredible thing was the nose. It had a mushroom and woodsy character that was so intense when we first tasted that it bordered on excess. But even with just an hour in the glass, the rich aromas became more and more delicate and more and more seductive until they seems to align seamlessly with the fruit and savory flavors in the glass.

What an amazing wine! Alive and changing, full of vibrancy and buoyancy, a glorious storyteller of Montalcino and a bygone era before anyone could have imagined that Brunello would become such a popular wine beyond Italy’s borders. It was as if you could taste the woods of yesteryear in that bottle.

Thank you, Stefano, and thank you, Raffaella, for sharing this extraordinary wine with me.

Jeremy Parzen
Fattoria dei Barbi blogger

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