Brunello & Brownies

This Saturday from 5-7pm at the wine store meet Lisa Hill-Ries, founder of Girl Next Door Baked Goods that is located literally next door in Clinton Hill!  We’ll try her tipsy (bourbon and cherry) and cheesy (cream cheese streaked) brownies along with our wine of the week, Tenuta Maselli Brunello di Montalcino 2005 ($29).

Brunello di Montalcino never comes cheap.  After all, time is money.  By law, no Brunello can go to market without being aged 2 years in oak and another 4 months in the bottle.  Fanatical producers won’t release before peak perfection, which can be another three years or more.  No wonder there has been consolidation in this famous italian region, with smaller traditional Brunello producers selling their vineyards.  Imagine having to wait 6 years to get paid for your work!

As part of the purchase price of one estate, a well-known producer received a small amount of classicly-styled Brunello at its peak.  The wine had spent 30 months in oak and another 3 years aging in the bottle.  But the old winery’s brand was gone and the wine couldn’t bear the new winery’s label because they hadn’t made it.  The solution?  A new label, a price set to make the wine move and a special offer to ‘friends in the business’ (presumably to curry favor for the winery’s own higher-priced wines).  A major downtown restaurateur snapped up most of this wine but we were able to get 10 cases that we’re offering at $29 a bottle, easily the best value we’ve seen so far this year.  Under the old winery’s label, this wine would have commanded $60 or more.

Filled with notes of cherry and cedar, Tenuta Maselli Brunello di Montalcino 2005 represents old-school classic Brunello.  Use of traditional Slavonian oak (instead of the french oak barrels that are increasingly used to adapt Brunello to a more ‘modern’ style) allowed this wine to age elegantly.  A perfect pair to winter fare like roasts and stews, the cherry notes of the wine will also marry perfectly with chocolate, elevating both to sublime heights.  But don’t just take our word for it, join us on Saturday.

Greene GrapeBrunello & Brownies