Australia Day Weekend Tasting: Cherry, rhubarb, mixed spices, some sultana and dusty oak notes. Bold, intensely fruited palate - it's obviously still got plenty of youthful character but it is just starting to develop complexity and soften out. Tannins are still present but are fine and unobtrusive. Long and the well integrated acidity stretches the flavours out very well.
Dim Sum Club does BBB (Barolo and Brunello at Binomio) (Binomio, Craig Road): Sublime stuff - I was very taken by this wine and its ringing sense of purity. It had an arrestingly beautiful nose, with a wreathe of smoky, toasted herbs floating amidst black fruited aromas of plums and black cherries, then a rim of some ash, toss of dried earth, and a sweetlt fragrant waft of sweet dried flowers - really something. The palate was lovely too. A great testament to the quality of the 2001 vintage, it certainly had some richness and depth, but how superbly balanced this was, showing a lovely clarity in its black fruited flavours that shaded into red plums and cherries on the midpalate, even a bit of raisin after that, all seasoned with a touch of smoke, spice and dried herbs. I just loved the lithe purity on and effortless freshness on this, which it made it so nice to drink even in its relative youth. It was great with food too, what with nicely formed tannins rounding-up the package, pulling the wine into a long, spicy, rather bittersweet mineral tail. An enchanting wine. Starting to drink well now, but it will need a decade to hit peak. With the balance, cut and precision on this, it will age well for far, far beyond that. Gorgeous.
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(Gaja Brunello di Montalcino Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina, Tuscany) As if Gaja’s status as the Crown Prince of Barbaresco weren’t enough, he has to do similarly majestic work in Tuscany’s most fabled region. It may be the tannins that set this wine apart—somehow, the notoriously gritty, aspirin-like tannins associated with the Sangiovese Grosso clone become silken here. The midpalate is comprised of powerful, dried sour cherries; green, sweet tobacco; and ripe saddle leather, but the mouthfeel makes this the ideal modern Brunello to drink while the more classic legends from the great 2001 vintage take their time softening up. Hot Picks
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