Fresh off his election victory but rolling toward the "fiscal cliff," President Obama knew just the right token to offer his Republican adversary, Speaker of the House John Boehner: a pricey birthday bottle of Brunello di Montalcino ('97 Poggio Antico.)
If wining your frenemy for the holiday sounds like a good strategy, this is a fine time to follow the Prez's vino lead. There are two other fantastic Brunellos on sale in Pennsylvania - each with distinctly different characters. Want a bottle that says "balance, subtlety, and finesse"? Go for Sasso di Sole's 2007 Brunello (discounted to $39.99 from $65), ripe and ready with a light kiss of cherry edged with dusky herbs, anise, good acidity, and a creamy finish that shines with a meal. For something more opulent, step back a year for San Polo's 2006 (marked down to $49.99 from $90.)
This one needs an hour in the decanter to relax, but, whoa, is it profondo! Deep with dark fruit and licorice, tobaccoey tannins, and a long mocha finish that says: "Once this opens up, it's all gonna be OK."
Or, at least, we'll go over that cliff together drinking well.
- Craig LaBan
San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2006 (code 33095) $49.99; Sasso di Sole Brunello di Montalcino 2007 (code 33024) $39.99.