My arrival in Montalcino in late 2004 to write a Tuscan travel guide was well timed.
My first visit was to see a winemaker friend from my Bordeaux days, Hans Vinding-Diers, then winemaker at Tenuta di Argiano. His excitement about 2004 was palpable, and it was no surprise that 2004 garnered the top five-star rating from the Montalcino region’s consorzio.
In 2004 it was clear Sangiovese had ripened beautifully across the vast 94 square mile expanse that is Montalcino. Sugar and acidity levels were generally spot on and the resulting wines were perfectly toned, with no flabbiness and no alcohol afterburn.
Scroll down for Monty Waldin’s tasting notes and scores for Brunello di Montalcino 2004
Pristine grapes enabled leisurely macerations. Extracting tannin, colour and flavour posed scant risk of bitterness: the malleable tannins made for Brunellos with notable silkiness, a key attribute of great Sangiovese; colours were bright limpid crimson, neither oddly opaque nor worryingly transparent; and fruit expression was clear, with pristine, mouthwatering, direct flavours.