We have a special fondness for Brunello that goes back to our first European trip together in 2002. We visited my good friend, Claudia, in Venice and then spent some time in Tuscany. One of our Tuscany days was spent in Montalcino, and was such a perfect day that it led us to coin the term “Montalcino moment” for wonderfully serendipitous events.
But that’s a story for another time. Fast forward to today, and Brunello de Montalcino remains near and dear to us. Unfortunately, throughout the years, Brunellos have been outside our price range except for special occasions.
So it was with a mixture of joy and trepidation that we reacted to seeing the Sommavite Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2009 for $20 at Trader Joe’s. After some brief hemming and hawing, it became crystal clear that we simply had to try it.
And man, were we glad we did! This stuff is superb. Most pure Sangiovese wines have a rather weak bouquet. Brunellos tend to be the exception to that rule for some reason, and this wine certainly was. The strawberry and spice were abundantly present in the nose.
And the taste was even better. Beautiful tannins and oak and spice galore. But it’s only in the finish that the character sour cherry flavors reveal themselves.
This is not our bang for the buck winner, but is probably our new favorite under $50 wine.