Looks like I'm back to taking shabby pictures again.. oh, well.
I discovered this week's wine via a post on Chowhound.com. The poster let us know about a $19 1981 Brunello di Montalcino from Trambusti that was sitting on the shelves at Trader Joe's. He also referenced a discussion thread on Mark Squires' Bulletin Board.
Curious me read the thread as well as another one that started up on the same site, and I ended up heading over to my local TJ's to purchase a bottle, never having had a Brunello and thinking I never would just because they're so expensive. But for $19 ($19.99, actually), I decided to give it a shot.
I had this wine over the course of five days, preserving the remainder with Private Preserve.
On the first day, I detected aromas of cherries, black fruits, Asian spice (soy sauce-based), a hint of cinnamon or even cinnamon pastry, and oak. The palate was similar, with the addition of a meaty character and what seemed a rather odd texture, like vinyl or plastic. when I read the other tasting notes, someone said the wine had an olive oil component and that hit the nail on the head. I guess olive oil is vinyl or plastic-like in my sensory world; I'm not used to finding it in wine. The tannins were soft, the acidity was in check, and the wine had a pretty long, subtle aftertaste.
Over the course of the week the soy and olive oil components decreased. Other things I sensed in the aromas and taste were cigarette smoke and some earth. Nothing really stood out - everything sort of blended together and the wine had a soft, smooth texture. It seems ready to drink.
Never having had a Brunello di Montalcino before, I don't know if this is a typical experience or not. I was expecting a "bigger" or "bolder" wine and this one seemed more elegant and laid back although there was quite a bit going on as far as a variety of components in the aromas and flavors. Just on that basis I am giving it two thumbs up.