Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, Valdicava da Vincenzo Abbruzzese, 1993, red wine from Italy

7 points

Drinking wine, enjoying wine is so often also an emotional experience. Particularly if it’s a good wine! There are these special moments in life when you know afterwards why life is so beautiful, sometimes so grandiose …. Berlin, one of “the” towns of the world, Friday night, finishing work late, hungry for a “platform” for the transition from a heavy working week to a weekend! Relaxation is needed, but you cannot simply decree this to yourself. Too hyper to sleep, but also too tired to sleep.

Music is another element of emotional cognition. Friendship, too. On a recent Friday night, I rang the bell of Nobelhart & Schmutzig after midnight – a nice welcome, without any attitude like “hey, we are just cleaning up, almost closed, it’s “nice” to see you, but…”. Crossed the cleaned public kitchen area, seated at the bar next to Billy, who asked what I would like. Red. I got Adrianna Occhipinti. Sicilian wine. Wine experts among readers know it, and probably also know that this is a very good wine. I need to write about it, as this is also one of my favorite Italian winemakers. More importantly, someone tries to describe your sentiment, combines it with their own, the wine is in the bottle, and it smells delicious – although you already know it, or is it because you know it?

The restaurant is almost shut down for the night, the rest of the staff leaving, saying good night. Reduced light, the blue reflection of the screen of your friend’s laptop and – excellent music! A conversation among friends is never something about only one subject but so many at the time. A mixture of private, professional, daily, but also long-term things, all at once, slowed down by every sip of wine.

If I have two friends with whom I really love drinking wine, they are Billy and Grant! (No offense to all other wine lovers among my friends!) But since I don’t see them so often, there’s always something to catch up on. And best of all, not always business. Wine is certainly our connection, aside from a deep sympathy.

After a bottle shared, music playing, there comes the moment of truth: are we going for another? Billy, in his incomparably charming earnestness, takes this seriously: are we going to drink another wine, emphasis on wine. One would simply be an idiot to say no. Quickly decanted, a carafe of dark, dark red! Fascinating smell! You immediately realize the deeper meaning of “wine”. The label was covered and I was asked what I thought I was drinking. Impulsively, I asked if it was a Montepulciano – because, just for a moment, it reminded me, in certain elements, of an older Kurni ( My next guess was so unbelievably bad that I hope Billy will take it to the grave. Shame on me.

Since you can see the picture while reading the review, you can recognize at least some of what I’m talking about: Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, Valdicava da Vincenzo Abbruuese, 1993. Montalcino, one of most famous wine-making centers of Tuscany.

WP_20170422_01_19_38_Rich100% Sangiovese. This wine is awesome, an extraordinary harmony of dark fruits, tobacco, plums and prunes. It needs time to breathe, the smell makes you think immediately, aside from all mature sorts of fruits, and some tones of late summer, of dung, also. Licorice. The most amazing is the spice and thrilling acidity. Maybe with the first sip you might even think, wow, this is sour. It’s immediately recaptured by all of the amazing flavors of a very delicate, classic and elegant wine – without extravagance. I believe, and I don’t know if this is good or bad, that many wine drinkers might even refuse this wine due to its very exclusive approach. A wine with some pretension. Every glass a completely new experience – as the wine continues to aerate. 1993 – almost 25 years old! Not the very, very best vintage, perhaps, but surely one with impressive potential.

Madonno del Piano is a single vineyard, the number one in Montalcino. Produced only in good years and in a limited number. This is also why it’s not inexpensive! Aside from this, and this is so important, such wines need a long time to mature. Do not drink this wine too early. Even this 1993 could easily stay in a good cellar for another decade. Endless! You can find more information about the winery at

IL2007LP_1024x1024Since I’m not a wine scientist of professional, wine is, first and foremost, still a lavish form of entertainment  – and one of the best ways to relax. The last LP we heard was Allah Las’s “Allah Las” ( – a great sound past midnight at the bar of a shut-down Michelin restaurant!