This was my first encounter with this wine, so I can't really compare its development at this point to anything in the past, but it's safe to say this wine isn't exactly a compelling example of Brunello. This wine's a dead ringer for a good Rioja, but doesn't have much Brunello or Sangiovese character. The nose is dark, reminiscent of road tar, tobacco, and dates. On the palate the wine has a decidedly creamy texture and lack of the acidic quality that would be necessary for a well-aging Brunello. The wine does have a little characteristic red cherry character that comes out in the mouth, but aside from that, doesn't really have any Brunello charcter. Had I been served this wine blind, I never would guess Brunello. Maybe a Rioja, or maybe a Super-Tuscan Syrah/Sangiovese blend, but not Brunello. One school of thought on the 97 Brunellos might conjecture that this wine is "asleep" or in a "dumb phase." Perhap's that's the case, but I have no way of knowing.
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