1997 Livio Sassetti "Pertimali" Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (Previously $145)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva boasts an opaque ruby/purple color in addition to deep, full-bodied flavors, and more tannin as well as a more angular finish than the regular cuvee. Hence the lower rating. Although it does not possess the exuberance, fruit intensity, staggering aromatic fireworks and concentration of the regular bottling, it is still a great meaty, leathery Brunello that should age well for 12-15+ years. I'd be happy to drink it on any occasion.
The wine is distinct and dramatically unique--seat belts are generally required. The nose is full of ripe, chocolaty aromas, sweet plums, dates, dried figs, lavender, violets and raspberry preserves, which flow onto the palate where the fruit goes through a metamorphosis, and more earthy, meaty, spicy aromas come forward like fresh cut leather, Asian spices and braised meats. I always get a Rhône-like impression from the Pertimali. This 1997 Riserva has tremendous power, a combination of structure, density and richness, along with a smooth, polished feeling. Tannins are substantial but sweet and in balance for a wine of this size. This is a wine that can age another 10-15 years but has enough rich fruit to enjoy now!