Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio Alle Mura, 2001 (Dec. 11, 2010)

After being grounded by work and by playing house-husband for a couple of weeks, I decided to indulge myself in a wine I don't usually open on my lonesome. In fact, a wine I don't usually drink, period, as I've drifted from Tuscany, generally speaking, over the last three-four years. Even when someone from my regular wine circle does bring a Tuscan, it tends to be a super-Tuscan rather than one of the classic DOCG's - and almost never, ever a Brunello.

This was purchased at the Anavim store on Ben-Yehuda Street three, four years ago, on some holiday discount, so it cost a very attractive 200 NIS or so (less, I think, but I'm not sure). I've never felt comfortable, though, with the storage of the bottles I'd purchased from the store, so I've always wound up opening them earlier rather than later. This particular bottle had a very low fill, for example, said fact contributing to my decision to just open the friggin' bottle.

Whatever its state, this is a fine sample of Tuscany, making me remorseful for ignoring the region. The nose is impressive and very typical in its black cherries, chives and herbs. The palate is powerful in a restrained manner that really impresses me (Batman fans, think Neal Adams), and I think it will never get better than this: the tannins are as tamed as they will ever be - though when they makes for such a savory taste, it's rather impolite to complain - and the acidity is a bit subdued. But the overall effect is a knockout and I couldn't stop pouring. My enjoyment in this rather oddball situation - a whim pouring of a not-inexpensive Brunello, for God's sake - tends to support BdM's starring role on the classic Italy wine marquee.