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La Campana Brunello di Montalcino 2003 Wine Review

Updated on July 10, 2013

Brunello di Montalcino 2003

So I'm on the fourth day of drinking the Brunello di Montalcino 2003 vintage by La Campana. I wasn't impressed with my purchase since day 1 and I was hoping that some air might change my impression. Unfortunately it didn't. I'm still tasting this wine while I write this in the hopes that something miraculous will happen. In the meantime, I will try to break down this wine for you with the hope that you will be able to relate to my experience or take something from it.


The color of the Brunello di Montalcino is a dark purple looking down into the glass. When placing the glass at a 45 degree angle, you can see a grape juice red color with a slight orange at the edge.


The aroma is not very complex at all. For the first 3 days after opening, you could really smell the alcohol. As I write this on the fourth day, the alcohol has really gone into the backdrop of the aroma. I smell more of the dark earth of the soil in this wine. The reviews I've read said there was a tobacco smell but I didn't sense it. The aroma is simply singular.


On the front of the palette, I do taste a dark cherry. It disappears while swallowing the wine while the alcohol's heat burns down my throat. But then the dark cherries, reappear at the end of the finish. Sweetness is at a very low level here and not a bad thing depending on your taste.


I might be wrong but I'm not feeling any acidity on my tongue. This could be part of the problem with this wine. There's just a small hint of tartness but only the slightest.


After 10 years, the tannins are still high in this wine. Those sangiovese grosso grapes are really resilient. I personally like tannic wine and I would say this Brunello has a medium amount of tannin still. Is it possible that this wine needs more years to truly reveal it's inner beauty?


I know that Brunello di Montalcino wines are supposed to be heavy bodied but this one feels more of a medium body wine to me. Even though it's 14% alcohol, it doesn't quite qualify to me as a heavy body wine. But I would recommend to eat a heavy meal with this wine simply for the fact that the alcohol in the taste is the overwhelming element.


I find this wine to be unbalanced. I've already mentioned it, but the alcohol is the overwhelming element in this wine and it distracts any other pleasant qualities that this wine might possess. It's aroma and flavors on the front palette are very singular. It's actually a rather flat wine.

Final Thought on La Campana 2003 Vintage

I really wanted this to be a good wine. I saw it in the store on sale for $20 and regular price was $40. I also noticed that Wine Spectator rated it an 89. Though the wine is drinkable, I would give an 85 or less. Perhaps this wine did not age gracefully and it was better during the earlier part of it's life. Brunello di Montalcino wine is supposed to age well but so many factors could have contributed to this poor work. I wouldn't recommend this vintage. Perhaps another vintage year would prove to be better for the La Campana brand. If you have the spare cash, pick up the 2003 and try it for yourself. I'd like to know that I'm not alone on this.


2 stars for La Campana 2003 Brunello di Montalcino


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