We had some absolutely killer wines, and fabulous food. And, we learned that 10 years old is just about right for this wonderful vintage of Tuscany's best wine.
First, we tasted an Azienda Agricola La Torre, which I have been sitting on for some time. It was a classic mature wine, right at or close to peak. It had wonderful aromas of black cherry, earth and leather with smooth, dusty tannins evident in the long finish. Twenty minutes later I was picking up sensational hints of smoked meat. This was just a perfect accompaniment to our lamb and a real treat, after having indulged in many new world wines of late.
Next we had one of Tony's wines, an Angelini Spuntali, and we were completely blown away. It's a shame that this wine was not served last because it was a revelation -- a completely hedonistic wine. No way another wine was going to top it.
From the first whiff I knew it was different. I picked up blackberries and cassis and even floral notes. But it did not seem especially mature. When I tasted it, I was thrown for a loop. This was an ultra rich, supple and delicious mouthful of joyous juice with a finish that just went on and on. There was so much velvety fruit, I couldn't believe we were drinking a 10-year-old European wine. But after 15 minutes or so in the glass, new dimensions began to appear as earth and lead pencil aromas emerged. Just a beautiful, beautiful wine that makes you extra happy to be alive. And, it still has plenty of life left to it, if you're lucky enough to have more.
Our last Brunello promised to be something special, a riserva from Altesino. It's a very fine wine with a lot of stuffing, but there's no doubt it suffered from having to follow such a delightful, open wine. In fact, the Altesino took quite some time to open up in the glass. When it did, it showed leathery, black fruit aromas in a very full-bodied package. But it was coy compared to the Angelini and required careful attention.
There was not a clunker in the bunch, and we were a happy bunch of tasters. Of course, you've got to figure you're going to be in a good frame of mind when you've got a lineup of mostly Brunellos. If only every weekend was this good.