Il Poggione (Proprieta Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli 2003
WA95: One of the most positive surprises of my tastings this year wasn’t a 2005 or 2004 Riserva but rather Il Poggione’s 2003 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli, which has developed spectacularly since I first reviewed it last year. This awesome, deep Brunello is endowed with gorgeous dark fruit that emerges from the glass with superb richness and power while retaining a traditional sense of structure. There is more than enough fruit to balance the firm tannins that are typical of this hot year. I was blown away by the combination of opulence and classicism present in the 2003 Riserva. If that sounds appealing, believe me it is. The 2003 Riserva is drinking beautifully today and should continue to offer great pleasure for several decades. The estate’s 1975, from a very hot vintage at the time, was in great shape when I last tasted it a few years ago. As an aside, readers interested in older vintages will find plenty of notes on our database. Given the soft market for fine wines and the general disdain for 2003s, I would be shocked if savvy readers aren’t able to pick up this wine at a favorable price at some point in the near future.