2005 Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino

Wine That Will Make You See God

I’m not even being all that facetious with the title. Nor am I saying this will make you “see God” in the way that spinning around really fast over and over and over again and tripping over the railing at the Grand Canyon and smacking your head on the way down, or overdosing on heroin, will make you “see God.” That’s too literal.

But there is a reason that wine is made on this planet. There is a purpose, there is a source of inspiration for it. I don’t know if that is “God” or what one person, or another person calls “God,” or if it’s just in some people’s blood, and in some terroir’s dirt and clay, to make really goddamn good wine.

Whatever it is, this is it. This is the kind of wine, exactly the kind of wine, that makes people into winedrinkers.

Some people ask those of us in the wine blog whateversphere what wine “turned us” really on to wine. I still think for me it was a 2002 Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir I had on Valentine’s Day with my new-at-the-time girlfriend, later-to-be wife shortly after my 25th birthday, but it would have been this wine if I’d gotten to it a half decade earlier.

It’s good.

The ‘05 Uccelliera is ruby red throughout the glass, with little to no change towards the edges. I think this is supposed to tell me something, perhaps even something specific, about the wine (newbie alert!!). On the nose is the slightest hint of heat, but only at first, a bit more vigorous swirling and it left and didn’t come back. Two major, major notes run roughshod over the nose: black cherry truffle, and espresso.

It’s so good.

Soft, lush tannins abound in this medium-bodied wine. Notes from the nose are present, but translated: more of a stewed cherry with the espresso, plus the introduction of an unmistakable—and, frankly, eminently elegant—cigar tobacco note. This wine, in part, tastes like the very best cigars smell.


Oh, it also pairs orgasmically (ah, wait, no way, you’re kidding… he didn’t just say what I think he did, did he?) with oxtail—which, by the way, I was tricked into eating. It’s the greatest trick anyone ever played on me, ever, but still, a trick regardless.

Verdict: 97/100

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