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San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino 2006 Among the royalty of Italian reds (including Barolo, Barbaresco and Amarone) Brunello is undoubtedly the most suave and worldly. No prerequisites are required - no specific type of food pairing, no masochistic tannin fixation, no "training wines" to work through - to enjoy the supple and deep pleasures that are offered here. In fact I often offer the wines of Montalcino as "crossover" wines to those who are looking to break out of the west coast and dabble in the ways of Europe. This thick and dramatic thing of beauty from the outstanding 2006 vintage is a perfect example. San Filippo evokes the perfect intersection of modern and classic with black cherry and black currant fruit wrapped in a comforting cloak of new French oak, which imparts a toasty complexity. The rich loamy earth tones come forward on the long and satisfying finish. Though certainly age worthy (up to 10 years) it is unlikely that many bottles will make it that far. Bravo!