October 21, 2020 - This was in a nice stride. Well refined and just drank effortlessly. Popped and let it sit for about an hour. The nose was aromatic with red berries, cedar, light vanilla, some leather at the start. Added some herb notes later. On the front it was so smooth, stewed berries, cocoa powder, silky texture and well balanced. The tannins and acid all playing nice, nothing overpowering. The ending was a nice ride of berry and vanilla, zero bitterness I would think from the cocoa. Wish I had more.
April 7, 2018 - Well, a 1997 Brunello Riserva = check! Seriously a perfectly 20+ aged Sangiovese from a perfect vintage and a solid producer. Delightful! A perfect cork which had an immediate floral aroma that was completely earthy with a chalk line finesse. I’m a Brunello Superfan... this unique vino simply confirms everything I believe. A winner!
November 5, 2017 - Past it’s prime and not really drinkable at this point.
December 3, 2016 - For a 1997 Brunello Riserva, I was somewhat surprised, based on CellarTracker estimates, this was at the end of its drinking window. Because this was my only bottle, and I was enjoying Penne Pasta in tomato based red sauce, and sun dried tomatoes topped with baked stuffed scallops, tonight seemed to be just as good as any to enjoy this wine. First experience with this particular producer, although research leads me to believe they have a long, solid track record of producing great Brunellos and Rossos.
Pulled from a 55 degree cellar, cork was still in relatively good shape; stood up for 30 minutes and poured into a small Riedel decanter. Signs of slight to moderate bricking around the edges, but the wine was still a dark, opaque, ruby color with a medium plus texture.
Classic Brunello: big aromatics of oak spice, red flowers, dried leather, roasted meat, red berries, and old cedar chest. Layered flavors on the palate of spicy, dried red berries; old leather; dark, unsweetened baking chocolate; tart, cherry cough drops; cedar mulch; and a mix dried herbs. Tannins, acidity, and fruit all seem to be in balance and conducive to further cellaring. Finishes very long, dry, and persistent. Light fine sediment at the bottom of the decanter.
Based on the great vintage, producer reputation, and my experience with this bottle, this should be able to drink well for another three to four years if cellared properly. Impressive right now.
June 12, 2013 - Sweet nose of sour cherry, leather and some horse sweat. Double decanted. A fair amount of sediment was thrown. Some bricking showing the age. Very fine tannins which are fully resolved, nice classic brunello, on the lighter side. I believe this is at its peak, and showed very nicely. Too bad it was completely upstaged by a '99 Soldera Riserva!
March 15, 2013 - Last of my 1997 Brunelli...I may cry...
Brown, even for Brunello.
Great nose, with a swirl. Leather, love the "burnt cherry" and "cranberries" descriptors, olive. Hint of cinnamon. There's still some acidity and tannin, but this is pretty mature: Drink now.
October 14, 2011 - Old leather and burnt cherries. Great color, fruit mellowed and muted, solid effort.
January 2, 2011 - Drinking pretty well now. Definitely leads with leather, followed by cranberries, red apple skins, and some well integrated "old" oak.
December 25, 2010 - Quite good but perhaps the fruit is a little gone. Tart cherry flavors with big notes of forest floor and tea. A good match with food but not really what I would call "delicious".
August 18, 2010 - Gorgeous, drinking perfectly right now. Needs a 45 minute decant. Velvet cherries, old leather, and well integrated wooden notes (but no oakiness). In my experience, the best Brunellos have at least 10 years of age of them, and this is no exception. Will gladly buy 2 more if I can find them.