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Brun-hello? It’s me. San Francisco and a throwback to 12 bottles

You guys! It’s been around three weeks since I’ve arrived in San Francisco for what I’ve been telling everyone are secret wine projects. Which they are. It hasn’t really kicked in that I’m here yet, to be honest, and the whole city just seems like a stretched-out Vancouver with Inception-like shifting of buildings. And much less green. It’s like Vancouver and San Francisco were made from the same grape – but clearly have different expressions – like Chianti and Brunello, or something.

suttoncellars

vermouth!

And it’s fucking tech central, you guys. I mean – yes, obviously – but have you seen HBO’s Silicon Valley? I’m convinced that it’s not satire. Attempting to suavely grab a baby carrot while maintaining eye contact during someone’s pitch during a Stanford mixer, and then accidentally dipping your hand in a bowl of ranch dressing? Real. Meeting a bunch of people at a trendy tiki bar on a Saturday night, and all of them work at either Google, Pinterest, or a startup? Real. Handing out business cards in an Uber carpool? Real. I also bumped into a former UBC Science One classmate at the airport: now he works at Facebook. His term-end project during our first year: prime numbers. Mine: muffins.

And then there are phone apps involving people picking up your laundry and doing it, you guys. I’m about to be a lazy man-child. Also: forgetting that pennies exist, and being really apologetic about it. And seriously missing (cheap) sushi.

There’s literally no reason I’m posting about Brunello – I just have leftover tasting notes from the Vancouver Wine Fest a couple months ago. To do: Nebbiolo. Said tasting was followed by a wrecking party. Best night. <3

Stay tuned for updates of me taking fake sips of coffee out of empty cups in order to avoid talking to people at conferences, even though that’s the opposite of the ~*Five Simple Steps Of Strategic Success*~ or whatever that seminar was about.

#friesbeforeguys

#friesbeforeguys

Argiano 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016. $68.
Aromatic as fuh. Slightly jellied cross between cherry compote and dried red cherry. Well-integrated oak: first year was spent in French barriques and the second, larger Slavonian oak. Very friendly with a fuller body and grainy medium tannin. Savoury ending.

Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi 2010 “CastelGiocondo” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016. $63.
Dried cherry and a little more cola, here. Slightly more herbal than the previous. More complex, but also less expressive. Again on the fuller side, with more herbs on the palate. Rather structured with chunky tannins and some juicy sour cherry sass at the end.

Lionello Marchesi 2010 “Coldisole” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
Of the Brunello tasted so far, this is the most simultaneously meaty and candied, for lack of a better combination of words. Lots of oak sweetness on the nose – which makes sense, because it sees a year more than the required two years in barrel – and lots of bruised berry character. Chunky and slippery tannin, a little lower alcohol than the norm.

Lionello Marchesi 2009 “Coldisole” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
Not as fruit-forward; more sweet smoke and reserved dried cherry. Comparatively more refined and sleek.

Lionello Marchesi 2008 “Coldisole” Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Feb 2016.
Tomato leaf, hints of rosemary, and emerging meat at this age, with sour cherry and charred mushroom in the background. Lots of saline tomato and savoury character. Intensity seems to match the structure, here, though Walter Speller seems to think it lacked a bit of brawn when he tasted it in 2014.

Tenute Piccini 2010 “Villa al Cortile” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
More intense gummy direct cherry compote character and some oak. Intoxicating, with hints of cigarette butts. Fair amount of spice and structure without too much meanness. Maybe lacks a hint of tension.

San Polino 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
Chocolate-covered cherries; gently herbaceous and perfumed. Very charming and chocolatey, yet structured with pronounced fine tannin which seems expected for Brunello, yet I’ve only found it with San Polino so far. Delicious.

San Polino 2009 “Helichrysum” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
A real sweet softness to the nose; almost like chocolates filled with cherry brandy liqueur. Much more light-footed yet intense, and distinctly medium-bodied on the palate with flavours of ripe red fruit and dried cherry but still lots of chalky mouth-coating tannin.

San Polino 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016. $128.
Much more of a tenebrous vibe, here. More baking spice and black cherry. It’s not as aromatic compared to the previous wine but it’s certainly fuller, complete with bracing tannin.

San Polino 2010 “Helichrysum” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
Much more aromatic and complex compared to the regular sibling of the same vintage, but the vibe is similar. Along with the black cherry, there’s sweet spice, dried herbs, earth, and almost dried leaves, maybe. Definitely of the fuller side of the body scale. Lots more spice and chocolate; incredible concentration and bracing pronounced tannin.

Biondi Santi 2009 “Annata” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
Leafy, with some dusty dried herbs. Definitely not as firm as I expected. There’s some cherry fruit with some brawny powdery tannin and well-woven acidity. Need to retry: don’t think I received the full vibe of this, though maybe my palate was shocked from the contrast in style.

San Felice 2010 “Campogiovanni” Brunello di Montalcino Feb 2016.
A moderately intense but open nose, with leathery red cherry fruit and hints of dried herbs. Definitely an accessible style. Nice intensity on the palate with cherry compote and oak – almost seems a bit sweet for the style, but at least it’s contained and well-woven with the pronounced and finely etched tannin. 36 months in large Slavonian oak casks.

Josh

DipWSET, Certified Sommelier, garbage person.

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