2005 Fattoria La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

The Rib and I have enjoyed a couple of bottles of the Fattoria La Gerla and were impressed both times with the experience each bottle provided.  This wine is a sangiovese from the Montalcino subregion of Tuscany.  I decanted the Fattoria La Gerla for two and a half hours before pouring.

On the nose, I got some nice black cherry (the fruit on this wine is outstanding).  There was also a slight earthiness, a little tobacco, and wood smoke.  The cherry and cola really came through on the palate and reminded me of a cherry coke at an old-fashioned drugstore soda fountain.  Somewhere between my lips and the finish, I sensed a little bit of saddle leather in there, as well.  The medium-long finish shows some nice cherry and chocolate notes.

The tannins on the Fattoria La Gerla are bold, yet super-smooth, and provide some nice grip to this wine; the acid is strong enough to provide a nice balance to the bold tannins.  The Fattoria La Gerla should hold up well to meat dishes and heavier sauces.  I have paired it with both grilled steaks and a hearty meat sauce with pasta; both pairings worked well.  This wine is very well-integrated and would also be acceptable as a slow sipping wine and/or with a cigar—it just seems to get better as it sits at the ready in the decanter over several hours.

At $40, this may not be an everyday drinker for most people, but it is well worth the price.  It is drinkable now with a couple of hours of decanting (it is a bit edgy right out of the bottle) or will cellar very nicely for the next five years or so.  This is a great bottle of wine at a great price.  If your only experience with sangiovese is the house Chianti at Italian-themed casual dining restaurants, the Fattoria La Gerla will convince you that sangiovese can be much more than a quaffable wine to have while catching up with cousins over the holidays or during a three generation girls’ night out.

From the Corkpit,

Stub