TN: Wonderful evening of Italians, including Sassicaia

Last night I got together with one of my favorite wine drinking friends, and had a great line up of Italians, including my first taste of Sassicaia. I made beef bracciole and grilled bread with a roasted garlic, herb, and romano butter, which were a match made in heaven with the 1997 Poggio Salvi Brunello.

Mastroberardino, Radici, Fiano di Avellino 2014
Rich straw color, with green reflections. Very good but low key nose, rich but fresh, with a touch of nice aromatic citrus rind, with some good depth. On the nose and palate, loads of sweet, pink grapefruit upfront, followed by fresh cut melon, then lemon curd toward the finish. Full bodied with a fantastic, rich texture, but supported by tart citrus acidity, with good structure, and limestone depth. Very impressive, love the freshness, richness, and texture. Drink in the next 2 - 3 years to enjoy its freshness, but may be interesting beyond that. 3.5 Stars

Villa Poggio Salvi, Brunello di Montalcino 1997
Medium-dark garnet, some bricking, orange then clear at the rim. Glorious mature nose, lots of raisin, fig/prunes, aged cinnamon, black cherry, roses, and tobacco leaf, with classic Montalcino orange rind, herbs, and earth. On the palate, raspberry and black cherry with a hint of blackberry upfront, followed by prune and fig, loads of fresh orange rind, stewed plum tomato, a hint of rose water and succulent tobacco leaf, with dark, mineral laden, dusty soil and tannin toward the finish; so much rich, savory, dark fruit. Medium-full bodied with a fantastic, savory, texture, with dark, dried fruit all driven by the generous orange rind acidity, so fresh and gloriously succulent. If you like old, mature wines, this is a wine in its glory. Served with bracciole and grilled bread with garlic butter, the most phenomenal pairing I have ever had with a wine, the definitive mature wine pairing. Initially showing some oxidized notes, needs about an hour of breathing to wake up, becoming remarkably fresh. Drink in the next 2 - 3 years. 4.5 Stars [5/26/17]

Castello Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino 2007
Medium-dark garnet, with a hint of amber and bricking. Outstanding nose, sweet, fresh raspberry, blackberry and cherry, with a hint of currant, orange rind, cured tobacco, sun dried tomatoes, herbs, and dark, savory earth, all with lots of aromatic violets, with wonderful stoney depth. Same notes on the palate, on the light side of full bodied, penetrating, very fresh, with a savory and slightly succulent texture, driven by orange rind, loads of savory earth, and good depth; wonderful, succulent, juicy plum tomato lingers on the finish. Wonderful. 3 to 5 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [5/26/17]

Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia, Bolgheri 2000
85% Cab Sauv, 15% Cab Franc. Dark ruby, garnet then clear at the rim. Profound nose, sweet raspberry, dried black cherry, and lots of blackberry, with a hint of blueberry and currant, with incredible pencil lead, orange rind, tobacco leaf, and leather, all with sun dried tomato, loads of cloves, and smoke, with a nice note of oak an vanilla; somehow manages to combine the character of Pauillac and Tuscany seamlessly; a truly great nose. On the palate, sweet dried fruits, raspberry, black cherry and blackberry upfront, followed by plum/pomegranite, with sweet tobacco, rose water, fire embers, loads of citrus rind, and dusty earth/tannin. Medium-full, rich, sweet, and remarkably savory, but with some fleshy succulence as well. Truly a first growth in scope and depth of quality, incredibly impressive. 10 years ahead. 4.5 Stars. [5/26/17]

Dom. des Baumard, Quarts de Chaume 1997
Orange with hints of amber. Good but low key and mineral laden nose, with lots of apricot and barley sugar, with green apple notes providing balance. Similar notes on the palate, with honeyed pear, apricot, and barley sugar; both the nose and palate are beginning to show nice tertiary mature notes. Medium bodied, minerally in texture, with nicely balanced viscosity, the quality is excellent. Approaching full maturity but showing no signs of winding down, 5 to 10 strong years ahead. An impressive dessert wine. 3.5 Stars. [5/26/17]