Elbowing In at Gotham Hall for a Taste of Brunello Perfection
We weren’t expecting to spend that much time at the Poggio booth at Gotham Hall — but frankly, we should have known better. It took us a good 10 minutes to elbow our way to the front. But after tasting the 2012 Poggio Antico Brunello, we were floored. Our notebooks were bursting with descriptions of black- and red-fruit flavors and spice notes. Everyone in the scrum around Poggio that morning understood why we were all there, waiting. No one wanted to move on from Poggio — we certainly didn’t, but duty called.
We tell every Brunello aficionado we know to sock away no less than a case of Poggio each year, regardless of vintage. We’re practically shouting this advice about the 2012s. Here’s why.
In the late 1980s, Poggio was still viewed as a comer, an emerging star. But five appearances on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list since 1990 have cemented its reputation. Vines planted a half-century ago are rooted in calcareous and rocky soils at nearly 1,500 feet. Cooling breezes not only create the pleasant soundtrack of rustling leaves, they also keep pests at bay and moderate the midday heat, helping extend ripening and retain acids.
These Sangiovese grapes are hand-picked. Careful green-harvesting in July means that yields are extraordinarily low and remaining bunches are concentrated. After three years in oak and another year in bottle, the resulting Poggio Antico Brunello is beautifully compact, ethereal, and teeming with classic electric Sangiovese acidity.
The profound 2012 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is opaque ruby with garnet hues. Boasting a powerful nose of blackberries, cherries, raspberries and baking spices, tinged with leather and a hint of licorice. Supremely mouth-coating, showing off silky tannins and generous layers of black and red fruit, cocoa, sweet oak notes, and delicate earthy flavors. With a long and persistent finish, this is a Brunello of finesse and balance that will reward patience in the cellar; hold for five years at least, but in a decade it will really shine.
95 points from Suckling. A show-stopping “layered and rich,” “very velvety,” “pretty and generous” 2012 that introduces itself as an instant-classic Brunello with upfront hedonistic charm but also reveals the structure to cellar a decade or more. Released at $78. WineAccess members have a first-to-market shot at just $60 per bottle. Shipping included on 4. You make the call.