I can’t quite put my finger on it – I’ve been drinking lots of 2012 Brunelli lately, but something about tonight’s line-up of labels made me want to listen to The Smiths.  Shuffle around quietly, look at the floor, reflect on life’s unfairness, appreciate the hidden depths of the downtrodden.  Definitely no bright colours.

2012 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino.  Clean, herby red fruit.  Bright style, appetising.  A bit more of a palate cleanser than the Talenti.  I really like this producer: consistent, great value, and just what I am looking for here style-wise.

2012 Sassetti-Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino.  First bottle hideously corked.  My 9-year-old will have this bottle indelibly impressed in her memory as the definition of a corked wine.  Bottle 2 darker, more opaque than the others.  Earthy profile, bit of Christmas spice, not very expressive.  More tannic than the others, drying and not well balanced.  Still doesn’t seem quite right; maybe just a hint of TCA here too?  This wine got 98 points from James Suckling (I know, I know…)

2012 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino.  Darker fruit profile than Caprili, brown spice, attractive.  Softish structure, typical of the house style which I always find leans toward Delicious if a little away from Serious.  Not the worst sin. Caprili is fresher and saying both Drink Me and Age Me more loudly.

I don’t know what is going on with Sassetti.  This used to be one of my favourite producers. They are dead-serious about what they do; I had wonderful bottles from the late 90s, one of the very best wines of Tuscany (I distinctly remember even the weak 1996 vintage being superb).  But I have found so many uninspiring and outright flawed bottles these days, I’m just not going to buy any more.  I hope I am wrong but I feel that something must be (or must have been) wrong in the cellar; it seems beyond the point of just a run of bad luck now.  On the other hand, Caprili remains under the radar, is super-consistent and very reasonably priced (I paid under 30 euros for this), highly recommended always.