The price range was dramatic, and the four of us had a good time with this. Unfortunately, I was not feeling well that day (stomach thing) and my nose was partially stuffed up. As result, my notes may not be fully reflective of the group, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have ... sigh.
First Place: 1998 Gaja 'Sugarille'
This was one of the most expensive Brunellos available at my shop. Not surprisingly, this wine was great, classy. This wine had a spectacular nose, with scents of vanilla, caramel, cherries - "beautiful, elegant". Given the price (C$157) and pedigree (Gaja), this was the crowd favourite by a WIDE margin. At that price I would never buy it, but I would love it if someone else bought it for me.
Second Place: 1998 Altesino Montsoli
Altesino is supposed to be an excellent Brunello house, and the single vineyard Montsoli is their premium wine. The wine displayed delicate floral aromas, with some cherry scents. On the palate it was spicy, oaky, with some acidity and light fruit, medium/light-bodied and medium in length. I was out of consensus, as I didn't like this one as much as the regular Altesino below. C$110.
Third Place: 1998 Altesino
I thought this had a beautiful nose - delicate scents of chocolate, fruit, spice, oaky, nearly perfect. On the palate this also tasted of chocolate, oak and spice, but was a little off balance with high acidity and little fruit, medium bodied but with a longer finish than the Montsoli above. C$62
- You get what you pay for? There was a clear linear relationship between price and quality. The regular Altesino was the closest to a 'value' in my mind.
- Vinuous infanticide! These wines were not ready - we should have waited at least another two years to taste these wines.