The overall impressions of this sampling of 2006 Brunello were that they were all well made, better with food than on their own, and despite their differences, they all had a similar strength, making them hard to judge one over the others. All improved with aeration.
While the top two wines easily won the most points, it was by no means easy to pick out favorites. The high quality of all these wines was impressive, despite the relative differences in scores. All were candidates for purchase now, and laying them down for years in the cellar.
First Place: Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino 2006. Aromas of sumac, dried herbs, underbrush, flowers, funk, something rubbery, licorice, and eucalyptus. Ali detected "something factory sealed". Impressive in the mouth, with lots of fruit, starting with a slow attack that really builds in the mouth and increases in volume. Flavors of raspberry, with cranberries on the finish, with a lighter texture. Andy felt that it was "almost refreshing", with Ali noting "I love a good crescendo". Received 26 points. Ali's Bottle. About $65.
Second Place: Le Casine Brunello di Montalcino 2006. Tasters found scents of dust and must, like a library or used book store. Unfiltered and dark, featuring forest floor, smoldering fire, cherry, and fig aromas. Blueberries, vanilla, and pepper on the palate. Some tannin, with juicy, silky, and soft character (without being flabby). Nicely complex. Received 23 Points. David D's bottle. About $40.
Third Place: Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2006. More dusty than some of the others, but with ripe plum, smoke, dried mushroom, and rose petal aromas. The driest on mouth, offering pepper and prune notes. A little heat on the finish that Ali described as "fake cinnamon". Received 9 points. Kristin's bottle. About $75.
Capanna Brunello di Montalcino 2006. Smells Italian, with notes of acetone, bright cherry, pepper, vanilla, smoked meat, and cherry syrup. A little bit dusty. Ali noted "blueberry as a feeling, not because I smelled it". Youthful tannins on the palate, showing flavors of tobacco, dark fruit, smoked meat, pepper, and cola. Ali felt that it "smelled red, but tastes like black olives". Powerful, with a nice long finish. Received 7 points. David H's bottle. About $55.
Poggio Nardone Brunello di Montalcino 2006. Brighter on the nose, with cherries, cottage cheese, cassis syrup, salami, something fermented, spiced yogurt, and acetone scents. Even and round in mouth, with a silky, congealed smoothness. Flavorful right up front, with notes of Greek yogurt, and no real spice to this one, this was the least Italian feeling. Ali felt that this was feminine, saying "it's kind of a Brunella". Cranberry on the short finish. Received 5 points. Andy's bottle. About $40.