In a recent horizontal of ’06 Brunelli (stay with me), this Romitorio Riserva stood apart from its still-brutishly-tannic peers and impressed for its purity and clarity of expression. While it possesses the potent structure of this superb vintage, its tannins are less rigid, more sweetly ripened than its stablemates. It manages to offer a bulkless weight, lovely flowery dark fruit, and a level of richness that lingers for close to a minute. This wears its heart on its sleeve, eloquently expressive of both place and vintage. - Jason
The artist Sandro Chia moved to the Romitorio estate in 1984 with the intention of using the Castello as a workshop, and prior to his arrival the vines there had been languishing. Seeing their potential he quickly set about restarting the cellar and rehabilitating the vines- fast forwarding twenty one years later, a modern cellar was built and Sandro was surrounded by a highly-capable team. The quality since 2005 has been consistently high. The style of the wines straddles old school maceration and maturation in old oak and a more modern approach to managing tannins and imparting a touch of new oak from French barrels.
The 2006 Riserva still pours a youthful ruby red- the nose is opulent with spice, leather and ripe black cherry. There’s also an impression of dried flowers and sandalwood that appear with more air. The palate maintains proper structure that is just beginning to soften. The finish has an appealing touch of tobacco and smoky tea. This is a generous and impressive bottle with plenty of complexity already but the capacity to age satisfyingly for another decade. At less than $120 in 3 pack it represents an excellent value.