Breaking (good) news: Antinori’s 03 Brunello released by Italian authorities

It’s not entirely clear what went on “behind the scenes” but Marchesi Antinori has become the first Brunello producer — of the 5 officially known to be suspected of adulteration — to announce that its 2003 Brunello will be available for sale as early as next week. Read the whole story at VinoWire.

Although the question of when Brunello producers will be given “guarantee” letters by the Italian government remains unclear (nor is it clear which arm of the government will issue said letter, now required by the U.S. government for Brunello imports), the news of Antinori’s green light seems to be a very positive step in the right direction.

I, for one, am very relieved to see that the Brunello controversy is beginning to subside and I look forward to drinking 03 Brunello by all of my favorite producers.

In other news…

Above: Grilled Mahi Mahi tacos and 1989 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia at my favorite taco shack, Bahia Don Bravo, in Bird Rock (La Jolla), CA. Click on image for centerfold.

I finally convinced my favorite taco shack to let me bring my own wine: last night Irwin and I opened 1989 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia (white) with our grilled Mahi Mahi tacos. Irwin was really blown away by the Lopez de Heredia, noting that “there’s nothing about this wine that I don’t like.” It was showing very well, with nice acidity, nuanced fruit, and judicious alcohol — perfectly balanced.

Bahia was packed last night and we were lucky to find a table for two. Irwin really dug the Viña Tondonia, saying that it was “the best white wine I’ve ever had.” I have to say that it is one of my all-time best white wines, too.

We also drank a 2003 Vignalta Gemola, a Bordeaux-style blend made in the Euganean Hills outside Padua, where Petrarch spent the last years of his life compiling and editing his life’s work. It didn’t show as well as other bottles I’ve opened.

Bahia Don Bravo
5504 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-8940

7 thoughts on “Breaking (good) news: Antinori’s 03 Brunello released by Italian authorities

  1. Its amazing what you can find on the internet. I came here looking for info on wine but found a post on SoCal tacos.

    I haven’t been to Bahia Don Bravo in years, but this post takes me back to high school. Just swap the Viña Tondonia for warm Miller Lite aged in trunk of my car for a week, and I’m there.

    Also, I’m sorry to hear about your food debacle in Eagle Rock. I know you can do better at any of the ten taco trucks on Eagle Rock Blvd. Next time your in LA, check out the now defunct but extremely useful Taco Hunt ( Life is too short to eat bad tacos.

  2. What The? 89 Tondonia Blanco. Man, I just packed and shipped that wine to you from the RWC. warehouse. I know you know, about shipping sickness. That wine will only taste better if you actually have some patience (like two weeks) to let it rest. But hey, who am I to tell you what to do. By the way, did the cheese in the wine match well with the cheese on the plate?

  3. Anthony,

    As a wine salesman you might want to run the old courtesy check before dissing one of your good customers. When you finish up taping up your next box, run your post by one of your superiors and see if it represents RWC positively.

    “Actually” sincere,

    Jon Erickson

  4. so is THIS the place you’re gonna take us to when we come to SD in august, or is it el pescador? by the way, i read about recent gang violence in bird rock. maybe we should go someplace more safe. he he.

  5. Brooklynguy, thanks for stopping by. Those kids just took a plea bargain (the girl who wrote that story in the Times went to high school with me, although she’s younger). It was really just a bar fight that went bad but there is a long tradition of surfer gangs where I grew up. My guitar playing saved me from getting my ass kicked on more than one occasion.

    Anthony, I’ve know the Tondonia 89 well. I’ve had it a number of times in NYC where it’s been on the market for a while. The wine showed very well the other night and didn’t seem to have been damaged by the trip (overnight from Sonoma to La Jolla). I think it’s sturdier that you might imagine. The cheese on the beans wasn’t nearly as stinky as the oxidized Tondonia. That’s one of the reasons it can travel well: it’s already oxidized. I’ve had more trouble with corks on LdH than anything else. Thanks for stopping by.

    Jon, I was surprised by the comment, too. People always have strong opinions when it comes to wine. Wine is for drinking and to me part of the experience is seeing how wine changes with the season, after travel, at a certain time of day, paired with different foods. If we sat around waiting for wine to be at the perfect moment, life wouldn’t be much fun. The golden moment is when you open a wine and it is indeed at the height of its expression. I bought a six-pack from RWC and we’ll try a couple together over the summer. Thanks for checking in.

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