Brunello Wine Wars

Those of you who are regular readers of Wine Values and Bargains know that our Vintage Wine Tasters meet on a regular basis to blind taste wines under the $20 range. But once a year we gather for what we call our “splurge tasting.” At every regular meeting, each member tosses $10 into a kitty and once a year we spend that money on a tasting of higher-priced wines. This time is was Brunello wine.

Vintage Wine Taster Mike, our Brunello expert, organized the tasting at Rocca’s Restaurant in Burlingame. Mike selected all the wines from K&L Wines in Redwood City. Using a blind scoring sheet, we tasted six Brunello wines. Each member scored the wines individually and then totaled all scores to rate the wines. The Brunello wines were absolutely delicious, and here is the order in which we ranked the wines.

image of brunello wine

Brunello Wines

Brunello Wine Taste Off

1. Caprili Brunello di Montalcino 2007 – $44.95
2. La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino 2007 – $34.99
3. La Gerla “Vigna gli Angeli” Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006 – $64.99
4. La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 – $54.99
5. Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 2007 – $56.00
6. Mocali Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 – $59.99

It was great experience for us to taste some of Italy’s finest wines. These wines are very complex wines and ones to ponder with food, family and friends. If you decide to give a Brunello a try, tell us what you think.

Here are a couple of upcoming wine events to tell you about.

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

This wine competition of only American-made wines is the largest in the world with 5,825 entries. 65 professional wine experts judge the wines. The wines are divided into categories and sub categories by price range and type. The biggest award is the Sweepstake Award given to the top wine in the categories of Sparkling, White, Pink, Red, and Dessert/Specialty Wines. Below are the results of the Sweepstake Award. A complete listing of winners in each category can be found on A public tasting of all the wines in the competition will be held on February 15, 2014 at Fort Mason in the Festival Pavilion. Visit for complete information and ticket prices.

Sparkling Sweepstake

  • Domaine Carneros by Taittinger 2009 Brut Carneros Domaine Carneros $32.00
  • Korbel Champagne Cellars Brut Rosé California $11.00

White Sweepstake

  • Baldacci Family Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay Carneros-Napa Sorelle $38.00

Pink Sweepstake

  • Barnard Griffin 2013 Rose of Sangiovese Columbia Valley $12.00

Red Sweepstake

  • 3 Steves Winery 2011 Zinfandel Cienega Valley $31.00
  • Calcareous Vineyard 2010 Syrah Paso Robles $40.00

Dessert Sweepstake

  • Ferrante Winery 2012 Vidal Ice Wine Grand River Valley $28.99
image of Chronicle Sweepstakes Winners

Chronicle Sweepstakes Winners

The Slow Wine Event in San Francisco

Slow wine is a branch of the famous non-profit Slow Food organization. Slow Food is committed to linking the pleasures of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment. This wine event will feature more than 50 Slow Wine producers with 15 Italian regions represented. The event will take place Monday, January 27, at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco from 6pm to 8:15pm. Along with great Italian wines, food will be served.

Tickets are $45 per person but readers of this blog can receive a $10 discount by plugging in the code WCGA. For tickets go to


  1. Just wonderful Brunello’s.. as the scores show they were all quite close in quality and each had something to offer that was unique. The aromatics on a few of them were very strong and pronounced. They are as a group special wines and deserve a place in every serious wine cellar. Rocca’s did an outstanding job of hosting our tasting.

  2. I’m interested in who the importer is on these different wines. Might be a lot of extra work, but often an importer has a specific taste, which gives me an idea of whether I’d like their other imported wines.

    • I think the best bet is to give K&L Wines a phone call and ask about the importer. I am sure that they would be willing to share that information with you.
      Thanks, Joe

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