Franco’s top picks for Brunello 2006

There will be time for a more in-depth analysis of the nearly 150 wines tasted during last week’s Benvenuto Brunello event, the appellation’s annual debut. For the moment, as promised, I would like to reveal the wines from the 2006 vintage that I liked the most — all of which were tasted rigorously blind.

The wine that I liked the most was Gianni Brunelli’s (the wine is made today by his widow Laura, with the help of Laura Bernini and Paolo Vagaggini).

Brunelli’s Brunello di Montalcino was followed by the quartet formed by Fuligni, La Fornace, La Palazzetta, and Lazzeretti.

Next came wines by another four producers: Santa Giulia, Casanuova delle Cerbaie, Fornacella, and Pietroso.

These were followed by a platoon formed by Siro Pacenti (who has, once again, handily earned its title as the best modern-style producer), Gorelli Le Potazzine, Poggio Salvi, Collelceto, Collemattoni, Il Colle, Il Marroneto, La Campana, La Poderina, Lambardi, Mastrojanni, Caprili, and Pinino.

Good but not as well-rounded as the wines previously mentioned: Quercecchio, Sassetti Livio, Col d’Orcia, and Molino di Sant’Antimo, followed by Tenuta Oliveto, Baricci, Bellaria, Il Paradiso di Frassina, and Poggio dell’Aquila.

And lastly, amply positive notes for the 2006 Brunello di Montalcino by San Filippo, Sesti, Villa I Cipressi, Solaria, Greppone Mazzi, Terre Nere Campigli, Tornesi, Verbena, Capanna, La Velona, Podere Canapaccia, Poggio Rubino, Giulio Salvioni, San Polo, Col di Lamo, La Magia, Pian delle Querci, and San Lorenzo.

I am reserving judgment for the 2006 Brunello by Lisini and Ciacci Piccolomini, whose wines I will retaste in Rovigo on Friday evening (for the Italian Sommelier Association Brunello tasting). And I was very surprised by the fact that Il Poggione’s Brunello did not win me over.

—Franco Ziliani

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