March 29th 2010
Last weekend witnessed a very select gathering at Castello di Argiano with the greatest and most generous hosts Giuigi and Sarah Sesti. We were there to celebrate 10 years of making sublime Brunello and in true Sesti style every second was extraordinary.
Dinner on Friday night in an excellent family restaurant eating the melt in your mouth bistecca alla fiorentina washed down with plentiful amounts of terra di sienna 03 their sumptuous Bordeaux blend now re-christened Castello Sesti – this was velvety brimming with rich dark fruit while retaining a refreshing lift of acidity.
On Saturday the main event was a tasting of 1995 through to the current release of 2005 Brunello. I anticipated rating 99 first but in fact the 01 won it. Snapping at its heels was the incredibly concentrated and impressive 04. The 98 was gorgeous, a touch of truffle and just lovely now. In fact there was amazing consistency of both colour and concentration with each vintage beautifully translated into a compelling finished wine – bravo Sesti!
7 courses of exquisite lunch in the chapel under a gorgeous reclaimed chandelier and lit through Orlando’s stain glass window – we revisited each wine “blind” with our feast. Huge fun.
All too soon Alex was filling our glasses with Llagavullin and it was now we hatched our plan to complete this wonderful experience with some skiing! Not an association I would have made with southern Tuscany but a few hours later found myself with Alex and Cosimo and Petroc Sesti hiring skies and boots 2200 metres up Montamiata !! How mad is that – snow was epic.
We ripped around for hours punctuated by a mountain top sublime hand-reared pork sandwich drizzled in olive oil – life doesn’t get much better and as I dozed in my Ryanair seat en route back to London I grinned a very happy grin and thought lucky me to have the privilege of spending Sesti time.