Yes there was a Triple Header of Brunello the other day. Well two days and for me any way. The Main Event of Benvenuto Brunello, or as we New York Italian Wine People call it, simply “The Brunello Tasting” which is held every year in New York and a few other chosen cities around the globe. The tasting is for the release of the latest and current vintage of one of Italy’s and the World’s Great Wines, Brunello di Montalcino … Wines made of 100% Snagiovese Grosso aka Brunello. Wine made only in Montalcino (nowhere else in the World). Wine made in the highest standards of winemaking and according to the standards and specifications of The Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino and the Italian Goverment. Brunello must be aged for 2 years in oak barells and 2 years in bottle before being released 4 years after the vintage and 5 years for Brunello deamed Riserva. Thus at this Brunello Tasting in 2013, The Brunello Consorzio and its producers ….
KEVEN ZRALY TALKS BRUNELLO “Brunello Seminar-Tasting Gotham Hall”
“THIS GUY KNOW WINE !!! “
The Great Kevin Zraly held a Brunello Seminar at The New York Brunello Tasting 2013 …And for the few lucky enough to attend, it was quite a great event. Great, yes great, and Mr. Keven Zraly in my book is quite great when it comes to knowledge of wine, his Love and approach to it, drinking, tasting for his own pleasure and knowledge as well as the Drinking, Tasting, and Education Kevin imparts on those in his classes, readers and owners of his famed Windows On The World Wine Course (Book), and anyone as I’ve Just said “Lucky Enough to Attend One of Mr. Zraly’s Wine Seminars,” in this case for one of Italy’s and The World’s most esteemed wines and one of Kevin’s 3 Favorite Wines (Kevin’s words) Brunello di Montalcino.
“Don’t Touch It! Don’t touch it !!!” shouts Kevin Zraly, near the beginning of his seminar. He know there are always people on every level of experience at any one of the many wine seminars he has conducted over the years, including the most experienced and at least one or maybe several people who have never ever been to a Seminar Wine Tasting like this in their lives. This maybe their first one, “Don’t Touch Don’t touch!!!” It’s quite funny and a bit shocking the way Kevin does these as he sets the tone for his style of wine seminar, which is “No Muss No Fuss No BS,” and as Mr. Zraly says no English Poetry, in an effort to say there will be none of that overdone pontification, just straight normal talk, and talk even a beginner could grasp about wine, and with Kevin his approach will make you love the object and the subject of “Wine” even more. That’s what a great wine educator does. There are not many better than Kevin Zraly, “if any?”
Yes, the seminar was quite wonderful. If being at the most important Brunello Tasting of the year wasn’t enough, and being the first in the World to taste the 2008 Vintage and 07 Riservas, in a beautiful setting like Gotham Hall, in The Greatest City in The World, and as the Head of The Brunello Consorzio stated this glorious day, “New York Is The Greatest and Most Important Market in The World For The Producers of Brunello di Montalcino.” Yes Sir “It Is.” Yes those at The New York Brunello Tasting were among-st the first in the World to taste these fine wines, and Mr.s Zraly made that point, as well as stating how wonderful the Wines were, that we were very fortunate to be drinking them, and that Brunello was along with Bordeaux, one of his 3 Favorite wines in the World to drink. Myself and Michael Colameco (Who is The fine host of “Real Food” one of TV’s Best Cooking Shows on PBS) sitting next to me at the seminar, we both surmised the third of Kevin’s 3 Favorite Wines of The World had to be Burgundy. This we need to find out.
“Smell it 3 times. Cover the glass with your hand. Sniff! Toast the person sitting next to you and drink. Think about it for 1 minute at 15 second intervals. Do you still taste it? What do you taste?” Well, we tasted 8 very fine offerings of this fabulous wine, Brunello di Montalcino. The wines were all wonderful, and being at Benvenuto Brunello in such a gorgeous setting as Gotham Hall and being led in a Tasting of Great Brunello by one of the World’s Greatest Authorities on Wine, this was a combination that was unbeatable. Being in the Italian Wine and Restaurant Business for more than 25 and writing for another 8, I can tell your that I’ve been to many a incredible wine event, like: a Vertical Wine tasting and Luncheon with the Marchese Piero Antinori, Dinner at Spark’s Steak-House with Jacopo Biondi Santi and his wines, as well as lunches and dinners on many great wine estates in Italy. The kind of events people would kill to be able to attend, I’ve been to many, and this Brunello Seminar tasting with kevin Zraly shall be filed in my head with some of those other great wine moments. It was most enjoyable, and I’m so glad I made it (almost din’t go).
So Bravo Brunello! And Bravo Kevin for your passion, love of the wine, and the way you lead others, in your very Zraly Direction.
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
BRUNELLO SEMINAR with KEVEN ZRALY .. January 31, 2013 …. Afternoon Seminar
WINES: BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO
1. Palazzo – 2008
2. Fanti -2008
3. Tenute Sivio Nardi – 2008
4. Donatella Cinelli Colombini – 2008
5. Uccelliera – 2008
6. Palazzo – Riserva 2004
7. Col D’Orcia 2001
8. IL Poggione Riserva 1999
An overall assessment and thoughts on the 8 Brunello’s we tasted. First off, they were all very good to wonderful to remarkable. A great line-up including some excellent producers and very fine vintages of recent years. It seemed an overall consensus that pretty much everyone (Writers, Restaurant People, Wine Professionals,and Hobbyists) in the room liked each and every wine we drank, all wonderful wines, and with Kevin “Cheer-Leading” us with his love of wine and Brunello, I believe everyone enjoyed these wines even more than if they had tasted all 8 in another manner than this great tasting-seminar.
As all wines were wonderful, I must admit that there were 3 wines that we all got a bit more excited and super-charged over. These wines were; the Brunello Uccelliera 2008, the Brunello Col D’Orcia 2001, and the Brunello IL Poggione 1999 … Without going into any, as Kevin Zraly would say “English Poetry” these 3 wines were just wonderful. The kind of wines you light up over and just saying “Wow,” is enough to say that they had everything you want in a great Brunello or any great wine, great aroma, Wonderful Taste combined with “Perfect Balance,” and simply greatness.
Again, a great tasting, overall Benvenuto Brunello, lots of great wines, wonderful people, and a fine Seminar-Tasting of Brunello conducted by Mr. Kevin Zraly. Again, Bravo!
MY FAVORITE BRUNELLO
Fattori Barbi Brunello di Montalcino
Update on the Seminar :
I first wrote this peace the day after the 2013 BENVENUTO BRUNELLO TASTING at GOtHAM HALL in NEW YORK .. Those of us in the business in New York simply call it The BRUNELLO TASTING .. It was a wonderful tasting as usual seeing all my friends who make Brunello in Montalcino, hanging with them and my New York Friends and Colleagues of Italian Wine and restaurants here in Manhattan .. This day was most memorable as the great Kevin Zraly was conducting the Seminar on Brunello .. Kevin really knows his stuff and he’s a delight to listen to, unlike some of the very mediocre seminar presenters of other years, one of which, I don’t know the women’s name, but I walked out on her Seminar a couple years ago, She was SO BAD and seemed as though she didn’t know what the hell she was talking about and didn’t really know much about Brunello or Italian Wine for that matter .. I was mistified how this women was ever picked to head the Brunello Siminar, not knowing what the Hell She was talking about. Anyway in 2013 those of us attended the Brunello Seminar conducted by Kevin Zraly got to see a true Pro at work .. I sat with Michael Collemeco and we shared notes and opinions of the great Brunello’s on hand. Now that day was a true delight. Thank you Kevin !
Daniel Bellino Zwicke, March 10, 2106
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke