Herbie is a genius when it come to Spanish wines, but he also has an unfailing passion for Vino Italiano. For example, I ran into him at Ombra the other day, where he generously offered me a taste of this 1995 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino.
Now this, my friends. is Sangiovese.
The Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino from 1995 is everything any Sangiovese dreams of being. That deep purple color with ruby reflections in the glass- elegant and refined. Violets, old leather, wet earth and just the slightest hint of ripe black plums on the nose. Grippy, smoky tannins- typical of Toscana, and screaming for red meat or hard, salty cheeses. This is what Brunello becomes after almost 20 years. This is the magic of a little bottle age, and a lot of hard, sweaty work in the vineyard.
My hope is that everyone who ever tastes Sangiovese at some point also tastes this kind of wine. Developed, mature; less showy and opulent than current vintages, but a whole lot more interesting.