Brunello: San Polino vs Il Poggiolo

Inspired by Frederiks recent visit to Montalchino we decided to bring out a couple of Brunellos from the wine fridges. Unfortunately the selection did not end up being so successful…


2003 San Polino Brunello di Montalcino Helichrysum
San Polini is a family owned winery which uses biodynamic-organic combo in the vineyard. Massale clone of sangiovese gross is planted. Their wine is aged in Slavonian oak vats and in French oak barriques. The press wine and seeds are put in french barriques before blended back into the wine. On their web page we can read the following: “We aim to produce wines that faithfully reflect the spirit of their territory and vintage.”. Sounds great so far.
Nose: Immediate sweet oak, ink, leather, chocolate, quite fresh and layers of fruit.
Taste: Blackberry, full bodied, very soft tannins, balanced mid palate in terms of tannins and acidity, but way too “new world-style” fruity, sweet and excessive vanilla pudding from new oak that covers all the other stuff in there….
Finish: Long finish with exploding fruit and vanilla.
Summary: Quality wine in there, but the oak takes over. It feels like they did harvest with good timing considering the very warm 2003 vintage, made a good selection but then forgot the wine in the barriques. So the comment scissored from the web-site appears a joke in this bottle, since you really have to try hard to get through all the oaky vanilla.

AL: 87p/100.
FB: 75p/100.


2004 Il Poggiolo (Cosimi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 
This is a small producer in Montalchino that Frederik stumbled across in a pizzeria in Montalcino and thought were good for the money priced at abut €30 and they seem to be driven by a quality perspective. The winery was founded by Roberto Cosimi in 1971 but in 1989 his son took over.

Nose: Unfortunately a little excessive oak, cherries, rowan-berries, stable, fresh grass, some leather, mushrooms and fresh herbs.  
Taste: quite deep, nice fruit, unfortunately a tendency towards alcohol, earthy, quite fresh acidity and warm character. The finish is a medium long and driven by acidity and tannins. Some balsamic vinegar and under vegetation.
Summary: This is a good wine for the money and has some depth and interesting mid palate, but it lacks complexity.

AL: 89p/100.
FB: 89p/100.

Summary of the evening

Recently oak has been a fixation for us both and since we know that incautious use of new oak kills the individuality and origins of the wines. Unfortunately San Polino is definitely an example of this.
The Il Poggiolo can definitely be recommended because of the low price.

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