Upon opening, the wine has an old, leather and wood aroma, even on the verge of smelling spongey. Dont let that turn you off. Its these intense, tight aromas that let the wine evolve and linger on the nose evoking dinner conversation. Allow the wine sit for a while and come into its own and it will give you the full expression of what it has to offer. If you dont have a decanter, dont worry. Pour some of the Brunello into a goblet and leave the bottle open for about 15 to 20 minutes. Its not as effective as a decanter but itll get the wine going.
If you plan on pairing this wine with lamb or a roast, you will find the fruit flavors come to maturity on the palate. The plum and blackberry flavors will taste ripe and juicy on the tongue. If you plan on serving chicken or ham, vanilla, leather and coffee will dominate the wine flavors. You may find a smoky sensation in the flavor profile. These flavors come from the lengthy four years of oak aging Brunello experiences.
Before the raves continue about the Castel Gioconodo Brunello di Montelcino, let us examine what this wine is. Brunello is the strain of Sangiovese grape that makes this wine and Montelcino is a fortress town south of Siena where this legendary wine of power and longevity is made. "Castel" means "castle" in English and "giocondo" means "content", "happy" or "cheerful". The Castel Giocondo was constructed in 1100 to guard the road from the port at Talamone to Siena and is a part of the Marchesi de Fescobaldi family of estates, which has been committed to bringing the world great wines for over 700 years. After that many centuries and countless generations working the fields, vines and winery, you know the wine is going to be outstanding.
You may want to save a bit of the wine for dessert. Sounds a little crazy, a little off-the-wall but you will thank me for it later. Easter is, after all, one of the great chocolate eating holidays of the year. The chocolate youll be asking the Easter Bunny for this year is dark chocolate, at least 70%. The Castel Giocondo brings out the creamier side of dark chocolate while intensifying the actual chocolate flavor. If you like the lingering flavor of chocolate on your tongue, this is one of the greatest wine and chocolate pairings you will experience. Gosh, its good to be young again!
Top image via Tuscany Tonight; bottom image via Marchesi de Frescobaldi