Valdicava: Brunello di Montalcino 1988-2004 (Nov 2008)

The 1990 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano comes across as rather rustic. It is also a wine of contrasts in that elements of opulence and over-ripeness are accompanied by surprising freshness and vibrancy. Today it is hard to say how this curious inner tension will resolve itself, but at present it appears that other vintages of Madonna del Piano have aged more gracefully. Abbruzzese calls the 1990 his first wine that captures a move towards a rounder, softer expression of Sangiovese, so it is perfectly understandable that this initial foray into a newer style comes across as a work in progress.