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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Debunking the 'Modernist Myth' w/ Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova 1999

2nd time indulging in this beauty and good lord was that perfume singing. Aromatics are exotic & compelling, scintillating layers of black truffles, dried porcini, spicy cedar, graphite and ripe tobacco bring tingles to my toes. The palate is rich and creamy w/ pure blackberry & dark cherry flavors that are ever so slightly sparkled w/ a touch of cedary oak, and those flavors shine intensely through the finish as a wine of this caliber should. Top notch performance, a real show-stopper of a brunello that is drinking wonderfully (I let her decant for 1-2 hours...but it was certainly more evolved than most 99's). 96 points. I am drooling to grab some more...

As a side note, this producer has been under some criticism of late for broaching the modernist gap & creating amorphous wines that lack true Brunello character. With regards to the 1999 Tenuta Nuova, that couldn't be farther from the truth. This wine is more opaque than most Brunello (although I'm sure the vintage allowed producers to harvest sangiovese grapes at higher levels of phenolic maturity than most), but who cares? It sure didn't taste like there was a dollop of petit verdot, syrah or any other suspicious 'color adding grape,' and isn't that all that matters? With regards to the aging in small barrique, at this point of it's evolution it is nearly undetectable...I would assume Giacomo Neri performed his malos in the barrel, which would account for the seamless integration and creamy texture. This is unmistakably Brunello, and a classic example at that. With regards to the 1999 effort, voices that cried heresy seem to be purely reactionary.


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