(2005 Vintage) Bright, moderately saturated red. Complex nose combines red cherry, plum, underbrush and tea leaf. Then sweet, rich and creamy, with an exotic quality to the very ripe red cherry and plum flavors. Sound, harmonious acidity keeps the wine fresh. The youthful tannins build on the back end but are very polished, giving this wine a seamless quality.
Pian Dear Friends, Am I missing something here? Wasn’t this the highest rated (or second highest rated?) wine of the vintage by the ultra conservative and terroir-enthused Ian d’Agata of Tanzer’s IWC (one of the more astute critics of Italian wine in the world)? Are we really that sensitive to vintage hype in the US? Well, yes. The reason for our rush to certain vintages is complex but it is not as potentially complex as this wine. Anyone that has tasted the 2005 Pian dell’Orino Brunello lately wine will tell you it is every bit as enthralling (albeit different) than the higher priced 2004 and 2006...yet is is nearly $30/bottle less. That presents us with an opportunity. As noted many times, I tend to pursue undervalued 87-89pt wines that few care about. On a grander scale, I also hunt for undervalued “grand cru” wine from vintages that US consumers mostly ignore (i.e. 2001 Bordeaux, 2001 red Burgundy, 2004 white Burgundy, etc). It doesn’t always happen but the overlooked vintages can age as splendidly as any of their more admired cousins – it happened with a number of examples from the ignored 1998 vintage in Brunello and now we turn our attention to 2005 (those of you that invested in the 1998 Pietranera I offered a few months ago will know what I mean). Granted, many 2005’s are not in the same league as their 2004/2006 siblings but the very top hyper BIO/organic echelon (Stella di Campalto, Pian dell’Orino) produced sumptuous wine that should not be ignored (you should also acquire Stella’s 2005 Brunello if you can find it – it’s also a knockout – maybe someone can post where to find it on our twitter feed or on the Great Enabler thread). In any case, Pian’s 2005 should age beautifully and it provides a glimpse into how important BIO methodology is when the vintage is not a perfect one: Antonio Galloni: “($69); Pian dell’Orino is one the most promising young wineries in Montalcino. I tasted an impressive set of Brunellos from cask during a recent visit. Proprietors Caroline Pobitzer and Jan Erbach have boundless passion, energy and conviction. It will be fascinating to see what develops here in the coming years. The estate itself is centrally located and offers gorgeous view of nearby Il Greppo. The vineyards are located in Montalcino and Castelnuovo dell’Abate. Pian dell’Orino works in a non-interventionalist fashion. Biodynamic farming, long macerations with indigenous yeasts and no fining or filtration are at the heart of the estate’s approach. At their best, these are some of the most compelling wines being made in Montalcino today. Unfortunately I was not able to taste the 2008 Rosso, which had not been bottled by press time. The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino flows from the glass with impressive depth and persistence in its richly-textured dark fruit. The wine possesses dazzling inner perfume that emerges over time to add further complexity. Dark raspberries, licorice and tar make an appearance on the intense finish. This is one of the more imposing 2005 Brunellos readers are likely to come across. Ideally the wine should be opened a few hours in advance to allow some small imperfections to blow off. The Brunello is made from the Cancello Rosso and Pian Bossolino vineyards. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022. 92 +pts” Tanzer’s IWC (Ian d’Agata): “Bright, moderately saturated red. Complex nose combines red cherry, plum, underbrush and tea leaf. Then sweet, rich and creamy, with an exotic quality to the very ripe red cherry and plum flavors. Sound, harmonious acidity keeps the wine fresh. The youthful tannins build on the back end but are very polished, giving this wine a seamless quality. 93pts” ...and, for further reference, if the style or the 2006 vintage sounds appealing to you (community notes to follow), think of the 2005 as the Volnay Clos des Ducs cousin to the 2006’s Pommard – most fans of Burgundy would be quite enamored with both...especially if the Clos des Ducs was $25-30/bottle less: http://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? Table=Notes&szSearch=orino+2006 (there are no notes for the 2005 – I'm not sure anyone bothered to bring it to the US?) $46.80 (IWC93)(WA92+) (check the surrounding 2006 and 2004, it will put into perspective how well-priced the 2005 is) Drink now – 2020+