Crazy good wines tasted in New York last week

Not necessary in chronological order…

The legacy of the canicular 2003 vintage in Europe continues to express itself in fascinating ways (the fallout of the Brunello controversy is probably the ugliest manifestation of the ripples it sent through the wine world). It was one of those challenging vintages when the honest and true made interesting wines nonetheless.

While in New York, a colleague gave me a sample bottle of the 2003 by Bollinger, an anomaly for a winery that only vintage dates its Grande Année releases.

Tracie P and I are huge fans of Bollinger and drink it every chance we get. This wine was most definitely not in the classic “yeasty” and “toasty” style that is the winery’s signature. I’m not sure what went into the assemblage but this wine was crisper and brighter than the traditional “Special Cuvée” and it drank beautifully.

I was told that the winemaker decided to release this “second label,” vintage-dated wine because the estate’s 03 crop was not destined for the classic bottling. (For the record, I always find that Champagne blended from different vintages tends to be more complex and interesting to my palate.)

An anomaly and a curiosity from one of our favorite estates, it made for a wonderful and refreshing aperitif at a good friend’s house.

Next up: 2002 Joly at Alice’s Restaurant.

Do the math: Siena prosecutor speaks out on Brunello investigation

Earlier this week, Banfi issued a press release announcing that its 2003 Brunello di Montalcino had been released by Siena authorities (it was impounded in April 2008). Evidently in response to Banfi’s press release and the newspaper articles and blog posts that followed, the Siena prosecutor sent a statement to members of the press today.

Click here to read the post published by Franco and me at VinoWire.

Our sources on the ground in Montalcino tell us that nearly half of Banfi’s 2003 release — Rosso and Brunello — had to be declassified.

Read our post and do the math…