Brunello di Montalcino
This wine is brickish red, the color of a Hopper afternoon. The nose is heady and seductive, with cedar, pine, violets, and sweet tobacco. The wine is assertive and muscular on the palate, powerful but not overbearing, with chocolately fruit and balanced tannins. Steve says it's like a Sumo dancer—big, but light on its feet. It was great with a garlicky, black olivey meat sauce on pasta, and extra virgin olive oil on steamed asparagus.
Earthy, sensual, bold, and warm, it's a special wine, nuanced and complicated. We don't have a record of what we paid for this half-bottle, but we'd cheerfully pay $45 for a full one. It's that good.