Brunello Riserva Greppo 1955 Biondi Santi
This is the second time I have been before Biondi-Santi's historic 1955 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. I remember feeling the floor quiver under my feet the first time I tasted this wine about ten years ago. This second tasting was decisively less earth-shattering. Although I had sourced the bottle directly from the historic cellars at Il Greppo, and the utmost care was given to the wine in terms of transportation and service, this bottle was less vibrant and expressive than the previous sample etched in my memory. The wine shows a browning garnet color that is luminous and translucent. The bouquet is ethereal and fluid with delicate tones of dried fruit, licorice, tar, mint and dried cigar tobacco. The mouthfeel is enormously long and silky. This Riserva shows all the hallmark elements of pedigree Biondi-Santi, but the overall intensity was a notch or two lower than I expected. Bottle variation is a big concern with a wine that has existed for some sixty years. This bottle was reconditioned twice in the past. It is impossible to assign a drinking window to a wine like this. I indicated ten years, but the wine should hold longer, depending on the bottle and whether or not it sees another re-corking and reconditioning soon. Jacopo Biondi Santi indicated that it would.
Winespectator / James Suckling (99)
An intense bouquet of tar, dried porcini and mineral gives way to a powerful yet elegant red. Licorice, dried cherry, iron and spice notes fuse together on the palate, culminating in incredible length on the finish. Magnificent, this a Brunello of legendary stature.—Biondi-Santi non-blind retrospective (April 2011).