I have always encouraged our patrons to not become cultic over a label, but to follow the footsteps of their favorite winemaker. For there are a multitude of good wine makers, but there are also those few great winemakers. Massimo Monticello is among those few I classify as a great winemaker. Massimo spent those early formative years in his winemaking career at the Silver Oak Winery, back when they were still producing a good product. He now works with Hank McCrorie at Burly making what is no doubt among the greatest collectable Cabernet Sauvignons for the money in Napa Valley.
Hank and Massimo collaborate with Michael Wolf from bud break through harvest evaluating the fruit and planning the strategy to make the finest wine possible. I have had the opportunity to experience their 2008 Burly a few times now and I’ve got to tell you it is in a single word “AMAZING!”
The first time I recall trying it was in a warehouse where I tried a vertical of Burly (2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008) and I still get goose bumps thinking about that tasting experience. There was nothing less than stellar on the table that Sunday Afternoon, the 2008 was a bit “green” in its profile at that moment, but showed a ton of depth and lush richness. A year or so later, I had the opportunity to try it again in a vertical at another trade show and it had come to life and started working it’s self in the bottle with huge fruit, dynamic tannic structure, and brilliant spice development. Flash forward to now and I can tell you, this wine has managed to evolve from its infant state and puberty into one sexy, orgasm riddle wine that will roll your eyes back into your head and make you cry out for your maker!
The terms “firm”, “dense”, and “chewy” have been used to describe the 2008 Burly, and they are accurate with no apologies. The aromatics are textbook with cassis, blackberry, a hint of graphite and loaminess. Caressing your lips that firmness wraps around your tongue with bright dark fruits exploding through the mid palate riding on a soft bed of spice and anise. The finish is a rich and luxurious caress of brilliant focused black currents and light pepper that lingers enhancing the desire for another sip… just as soon as you can catch your breath.
Now, here’s the cruel moment- the 2008 Burly is not released at the moment. It will not be available until January. However, you can pre-order it now and the moment it is released have it shipped to your front door! I suspect this is your best plan as 2008, like 2007 will most certainly be highly sought after and in short supply after the first week of its release.