A Brunello-Barolo buying binge

It’s rare that high-cost wines go on sale at a deep discount, but when they do you should act with urgency.
Three weeks ago, the Wine Bunker in Reading put out a Friday night email blast announcing a 30 percent discount on its remaining stock of Brunellos, Barolos, Amarones and other high-end Italian wines. I couldn’t sleep. I arrived soon after the opening to learn the Wine Bunker was moving to a new location and was cleaning out the shelves. I was overjoyed to find several gems, including a bottle of 2000 Fanti (Tenuta San Fillipo) Brunello di Montalcino, plus a bottle of the 2004 vintage. My eyes welled up when I saw the 2005 Sesta di Sopra Brunello, a 93-point rated wine that I can drink now or wait until 2025, when I turn 72. I snapped up two bottles.
I wound up purchasing 12 bottles. The others were the 2004 Cascina Ballarrin Bricco Rocco Barolo; 2006 Colle Cristi Classic Amarone; 2004 La Poderina Brunello; 2006 Poggio Antico Brunello; and the 2004 Banfi Poggio Alle Mura Brunello.
These are all age-worthy and several will hit their peak maturity between 2018-2035.
While I knew this dozen would set me back a bit on my budget, I also realized it would cost me close to $770 to purchase them individually over time at the regular store price. With the closeout discount, however, I saved $210. In addition, I received another 10 percent off for purchasing a case, bringing my total savings to $266. My final tally was $504 — or an average cost of $42 a bottle.
The Wine Goddess was mildly upset by my Brunello binge, but that night we enjoyed the 2000 Fanti Brunello with a pasta Bolognese and she warmed up to the roasted aromas, concentrated layers of sour cherry and espresso and the beguiling finish.
“OK. I’ll pay for half,” she said to my delight, as I poured her a second glass.
“Molto bene,” I replied, content that my treasures were hers — and vice versa — for all time.
Email comments to jcampanini@lowellsun.com.