Our nose was at least a foot away from the glass when the first wave of sweet perfume hit us. It was extraordinary - an exotic cocktail of soft black fruits, musk, vanilla and sandalwood. If the bottle were a woman passing us in the street, we would have walked into the nearest lamppost. This coquettish display of aroma is the equivalent of the visual displays of nature's tournament species. Like love-struck peahens, we were helpless to resist and we took a sip. Grandiose is the only word to describe it. Sensational is another. It is made in the modern style, using small French barriques as opposed to the traditional large Slavonian barrels, so there's an abundance of sensuous, sweet, luscious flavour on the front palate.
After the initial seduction, it then sits you down and talks seriously about future plans and long-term commitment, because this beauty isn't wearing a kiss-me-quick hat, it's a keeper. Those healthy berries didn't spend a year achieving physical perfection for a one night stand. Lush, sweet, succulent and deep, the fruit possesses enormous harnessed energy, promising an exciting youth, a richer midlife and a graceful old age. The feminine charms of the nose belie the muscular layers of the palate creating a wine with power as well as beauty. Just to confirm our first impressions, Lionel pulled out a second bottle (see photo... again). A staggering wine, unmistakeably a proud Brunello in its bold and powerful frame, but in a fine modern idiom.