Canaliccio di Sopra Vineyard below Montalcino
Dinner for Well-Aged Brunellos
Saturday November 4th at 6:30pm
Prix Fixe Menu in Private Dining Room
In preparation for our Brunello dinner next month, we paid a visit to our offsite wine storage area. The 1982 Pertimali Brunello Reserva by the Sassetti family has been our focus. We had 5 bottles, we opened one to see what it would be like for the dinner. I don’t know whether you can say it’s exciting, to wait for a 35-year-old wine to open up after pulling the cork, but after letting it breathe for two hours, when the wine comes alive, it’s pretty neat. Even with ’82 being a great year, Pertimali being a great producer, you just can’t know what a 35-year-old wine is going to be like, but we think you’ll be happy.
We’ll also be breaking into more current vintages that are just coming into their prime from another one of our favorite estates, Canaliccio di Sopra (featured above). This is a small family estate, started by Primo Pacenti, who was a sharecropper, essentially a serf, in the Montalcino region. Historically, Brunello has been associated with very wealthy wine families but in the 50’s Primo was enabled to buy an estate due to the abject poverty of the area and government programs that sought to revitalize it. He was able to acquire the property, which he knew to be good land, and started a Brunello winery.
Possibly the greatness of any wine resides in the integrity of the producer. Brunellos especially have been victim to large producers and scandal*. The Sassetti and Pacenti families make truly excellent wine despite simple beginnings because they focus on their land and vineyards. Hear from Primo’s grandson in the video below.
We’ll also be pouring a really fine Sangiovese from Chianti (just north of the Montalcino region in Tuscany). 1985 San Guisto Retennano, another great vintage. We came across this winery back when Maggie was researching olive oil and we ended up staying with the Cigala family. Big muscly sons, big muscly wines.
*In 2002 the Italian government took a look at the amount of Brunello being sold, looked at the acreage growing it, and realized that there was a lot of Brunello being sold that wasn’t truly Brunello. It was a big scandal and they confiscated vintages from a number of wineries. Ever since there has been a level of mistrust around all Brunellos.
Brunello di Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra, 2004
Brunello di Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra, 2006
Chianti Classico Riserva, San Giusto a Rentennano, 1985
Rosso di Montalcino, Caprili, 2014
with Gorgonzola DolceTajarin with Paine Farms Pigeon Ragu
Wood-Fired Grilled Magruder Beef with Brown Butter Squash Crema,
Bianco di Maggio Onions, and Brunello Beef Sugo
(Tax and service charge not included)