Authentic Brunello: 2004 Cerbaie

Posted by CrushWine

2004 Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino
"Burgundian" Brunello with Finesse and Purity
THE Value of the Monumental 2004 Vintage

Think Brunello is only about muscle, weight and heft?
Think again.

Brunello in its purest form has a shocking clarity to it, an aromatic fineness that can be incredibly evocative - smoke, fresh black cherry, bramble, fields of wild grass and perfumed flowers.

Brunello is the most powerful expression of Sangiovese; these wines deserve their considerable fame.

Yet Brunello has been "bulking up" even more over the last few years, getting ever deeper, darker and weightier - as if the only important characteristic of a Brunello was its inky darkness, its mouth-shredding tannins and soaring alcohol.

We, however, have been yearning for the old-school Brunellos with balance and finesse, a solid core of acidity strong enough to give the dense, lavish fruit some energy.

Enter Cerbaie. I poured the 2004 Cerbaie for my staff with no hype or fan fare and it was simply dazzling - and this is an eccentric and demanding group of Burg-hounds and Riesling fanatics, not exactly the most friendly audience for a young Brunello! The 2004 Cerbaie, have no doubt, is a powerful Brunello, flaunting all the structure and concentration that has made this vintage so famous...yet it has so much more. While it is still young, with all the wound-up dark fruit one would expect, it already displays soaring aromatics, a finely knit texture of smoke, spicy herbs and underbrush that provide such a beautiful contrast to the juicy fruit.

This finesse and balance is the signature of the northern part of Montalcino. The Cerbaie is largely sourced from the famed Montosoli cru, a site Cerbaie shares with neighbor Livio Sasetti, one of Brunello's best with his traditional Pertimali Brunello. Cerbaie's parcels are about 300 meters above sea level with a more moderate Tuscan environment that encourages Brunellos with more aromatics and transparent varietal flavors.

Given the Burgundian parallel so evident in the Cerbaie, perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that the man behind Cerbaie is Robert Bohr, Wine Director / Partner of New York's own Cru restaurant, a Mecca for Burgundy fans. Bohr is a true Burgundy insider and there can be no doubt that he is taking this sensibility south. Cerbaie owner Roy Welland is a passionate collector and Burgundy aficionado, not to mention the owner of Cru restaurant - together they are slowly bringing the estate back to its traditional glory.

In other words: This is THE estate to watch.

We do not put our name on too many Brunellos - with the 2004 Cerbaie we do so confidently. Brunello with authenticity at an unbelievable price. The 2004 Cerbaie arrives today - to order, email us or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Robert Schagrin
Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits

2004 Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino