Gaja Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Bright dark red with ruby tones. Black fruits, licorice, incense and minerals on the nose; smells like a head shop. Utterly silky and perfumed on entry, then tightly coiled in the middle, with a deep sweetness leavened by a saline quality. This very young Brunello boasts a terrific tannic structure and saturates the entire palate. But the rising, expanding finish shows zero excess weight. With time in the recorked bottle, this wine showed an increasingly plush, spherical texture and building minerality.
The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is a tighter, darker and ulimtately more inward Brunello than the Rennina. Dark wild cherries, plums, tobacco, licorice, spices and menthol are wrapped around a substantial frame of tannic heft. Ideally the wine needs at least another few years in bottle, but it is impossible to miss the wine’s fabulous sense of poise and harmony. As always, Sugarille is a Brunello that speaks with a distinctly Piedmontese accent. It is a beautiful wine by any measure. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.
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The Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked...
The [Napa Valley] and [Cabernet Sauvignon] are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without thinking of the other. Although Cabernet has many important outposts throughout the wine world, nowhere else has it achieved such success (and, at the highest end, commanded such lofty prices) than in Napa. Here, it is responsible for bold, opulent, and dark-fruited wines with grippy tannins and a healthy dose of alcohol. The best examples can age for decades. Each of Napa’s smaller sub-AVAs imparts a different character to Cabernet, such as [Rutherford’s] famous dust or [Stags Leap District's] tart cherry flavors.