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2004 Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino

February 14, 2011

With a heavy thud, followed immediately by the sickening sound of splintering glass, I stared in utter disbelief as my bottle of 1994 Ch L’Evangile, meant for Valentine dinner at Gattopardo this evening, lay bleeding profusely at the entrance of Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore. It’d dropped from the car the moment I’d opened the car door, just as the valet was about to takeover the wheel. It was terminal. I tried to laugh it off nonchalantly, but I knew one of the stars of 1994 had been extinguished, prematurely.

The only option was to purchase a bottle from the restaurant list, which comprised entirely of Italian wines (no Bordeaux, no Burgundy). After some perusal, and making sure that I’d impressed upon the sommelier that SGD400 for  a bottle of Guado al Tasso was simply outrageous, I settled for a 2004 Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino for SGD160. Decanted on-site, displaying a lovely ruby glow that could easily pass off as a pinot noir, just a shade heavier. Quite restrained on the nose initially, the 14% alcohol making itself felt even if it wasn’t assertive. Notes of red fruits became more dominant with time as the alcohol began to dissipate, the bouquet increasingly more perfumed as well whilst a concentrated, balanced mix of red and dark berries lay siege on the palate with a firm grip of reasonable complexity, leading to a mild tannic spine and a lasting minty finish. Rounded, without any jarring edges. It kept developing further with notes of cinnamon and even a hint of smoke, such that I was reluctant to finish the last drop two hours into dinner. Excellent.

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