2007 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino
Expert Rating
RP 93 points
(Read the full review below)
 
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Argiano Estate Calling in the Montalcino Chit

After a dry winter, the world's most coveted Sangiovese got off to an early start in the spring of 2007. June would prove particularly hot -- one of the warmest on record -- only to be followed by a largely hot, arid July. And while the summer cooled off a little bit in August, the clusters harvested in the third week of September would feature berries of strikingly high sugar.

When we cellar hopped in Montalcino in late 2008, we honestly wondered about a vintage that had already garnered the highest rating possible from the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino. The summer heat had indeed made for a bevy of terrifically concentrated, unusually forward, sexy Brunelli. After the fabulous, classically structured 2006s, these 2007s were far more silken and seductive, if softer on the back palate. It would be all that red fruit velour that had us scratching our heads. Could the almost New World red berry opulence of the top 2007s somehow be masking the firm underpinnings required for long term aging?

In some cases, the answer would be 'no.' A fair number of big name 2007s seem to be fading a bit, victimized by the very concentration that made them so seductive out of barrel. But there are also a healthy number of Brunellos that were so rich and primary in late 2008 that their fine acid backbones were rendered undetectable. Most of the great ones are long gone, sucked out of Montalcino's cellars first by the Consorzio's and then Parker's raves. Still, a few held back, understanding not only the magnitude of the vintage, but also its age-worthiness. Storied Argiano, set at 300 meters in elevation, where the cooling breezes from Maremma so refreshed the vines during this warm, dry summer, would be one of those precious few.

Over the past few weeks, we've spent a number of long evenings with the 2007 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino. We began with 6 ounces in oversized Riedel. The color is deepest ruby, the nose immediately voluptuous and savory, so rich that it almost belies its Montalcino origins. In the first 15 minutes, the attack is almost New World lush -- full of red raspberry preserves and ripe plums -- before settling down, subtly peeling away fine layers, slowly uncovering the cool high altitude pedigree sleeping underneath.

Each night, the '07 Argiano would repeat the same performance, coming out of the gate like gangbusters, packed with stunning crushed red fruit concentration. But as we went from game to salad, then on to soft cheese, this monumental effort -- one the winery counts among its greatest successes in decades -- began to shed a bit of its raspberry baby fat, offering a glimpse of the fine, earthy, structure that argues so eloquently for a decade in a cool cellar.

Parker's Wine Advocate described it as possessing "fabulous depth and richness, with seemingly endless layers of fruit," suggesting the 2007 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino would still be going strong in 2025. Then, Antonio Galloni lobbed on 93 points, by far the top rating for any under $40 Brunello of this staggeringly concentrated harvest.

We've been working on this one since May. We pleaded and, yes, we admit it, we haggled. Finally, we did what we hoped not to be obliged to do. We called in an importer chit on a 10-year-old favor and came home with today's bacon.


Tasting Notes

2007 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino
"The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is rich, deep and resonant. It shows fabulous depth and richness, with seemingly endless layers of fruit that caress the palate. Dark red cherries, savory herbs, tobacco and licorice linger on the textured, creamy finish. This is another terrific effort from Argiano. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2027."
93 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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