Benvenuto Brunello

 

Siting in the Tuscan hills, the picturesque, medieval town of Montalcino with a small population of just over 5,000 people[1], is not primarily known as a popular tourist destination; instead, it is renowned for its unique, Brunello di Montalcino wines. The town’s story started some eleven-hundred years ago at the beginning of the 9th century A.D.[2] and in a short time became known for producing wines that since then has been and remains its main source of revenue. Though inhabitants of Montalcino have had winemaking expertise for much of town’s history, it wasn’t until the middle of 19th century that farmers began to plant a variety of Sangiovese they named Brunello. The wine began to acquire international recognition for its quality and ageability in the later half of the 20th century, and in 1999, the Wine Spectator listed it amongst 12 best ever wines of the 21st century, only to upgrade its status seven years later in 2006 to ‘absolute best’ wine[3].
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Compilation

 

The township of Montalcino has 24,000 hectares belonging to it, but only 3,500 hectares are planted with grapes – dominated by Brunello di Montalcino (DOCG) with 2,100 Ha; with Rosso di Montalcino (DOC), Moscadello di Montalcino (DOC), Sant’Antimo (DOC) and other wines dividing the remainder of the land in proportions of 510, 50, 480 and 360 Ha, respectively[3].
Regardless of which winery produces Brunello di Montalcino, the DOCG classification ensures wine’s consistent quality through its tight regulation of the winemaking process – eg: grapes can only be sourced from within town’s boundaries; the wine has to contain 100% Brunello; and must be aged in oak for 24 months (many are aged for 36 months and riservas for 48 months) plus another 4 months in bottle prior to release. These winemaking practices give Brunello its distinct characteristics that include fragrances of dried red fruit (pomegranate, cranberry, dried cherry), and subtle wood + baking spice notes; body that is light to medium; acidity that is good, clean and mouthwatering; and tannins that are dusty/grippy – resulting in wine that is truly unique.
Rosso di Montalcino wines, also known as “baby Brunello” are made of the same grape, but have much more relaxed winemaking rules, including higher allowed harvest yields and shorter (6 month) oak maturation [2]. The resulting wines are fresher and more importantly, much cheaper than Brunellos.

 

Wines sold at Vintages Online will only be available for this special offer until Thursday April 10, 2014.

 

Wines of Col D’Orcia
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The 2006 Col D’Orcia Brunello Di Montalcino, aged in oak for 36 months, has a captivating nose of sour cherry, lees and wood. The wine is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated; with forward acidity, drying/grippy tannins and a medium to long finish. The fruits are drying out, drink now – 2018. My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. $54.00 Dionysus Wines & Spirits Ltd
The 2006 Col D’Orcia Poggio Al Vento Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino that was aged in oak for 48 months, has intense aromas of dried cherry, cranberry, cigar box, wood and clove. The wine is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated; with forward acidity, dusty tannins and a long finish. Drink now – 2024. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91-92 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 91-92 pts. $115.00 Dionysus Wines & Spirits Ltd
The 2004 Col D’Orcia Poggio Al Vento Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino, aged in oak for 48 months before bottling, has intense bouquet of violets, cherry, clove, fennel and light lees on the nose and cherry and cranberry on the palate. The wine is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated to aged; with good/refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. Drink now – 2020+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92-93 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 92-93 pts. $129.00 Vintages Online 965525
The 1997 Col D’Orcia Brunello Di Montalcino, aged in oak for 36 months, has powerful bouquet of violets, aged wood and pine on the nose and pomegranate, sour cherry and clove on the palate. The wine is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, aged; BALANCED with good acidity, refined tannins and a long, smooth and silky finish. Drink now – 2020. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 93 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 93 pts. $145.00 Vintages Online 961714

 

Wines of Loacker Corte Pavone
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The 2011 Loacker Corte Pavone Rosso Di Montalcino, composed of 100% Sangiovese that was aged in oak for 24 months, has appealing aromas of forest berries, raspberry, blackberry, dates, vanilla, coconut and oak. It is medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with mouthwatering/refreshing acidity, dusty tannins and a medium, chalky finish. Drink now – 2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 90 pts. $27.00 Vintages Online 373050
The 2009 Loacker Corte Pavone Brunello Di Montalcino, aged in oak for 48 months, has intense nose of lees, cherry, dried black cherry, cranberry and wood. It is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with forward acidity, grippy tannins and a medium to long finish. Drink now – 2025. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 90 pts. $49.95 EMPORIO WINES & SPIRITS
The 2008 Loacker Corte Pavone Brunello Di Montalcino, also aged in oak for 48 months, has appealing aromas of dried cherry, lees, wood and clove that are little light on the nose, but the palate full of cranberry, pomegranate, dried cherry notes make up for it. It is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with good acidity, refined tannins and a smooth and silky finish of great length. Drink now – 2020+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92-93 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 92-93 pts. $55.00 Vintages Online 373043

 

Wines of Argiano
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The 2011 Argiano Rosso Di Montalcino, composed of 100% Sangiovese aged in oak for 12 monts, has appealing notes of figs, plum and pomegranate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, grippy tannins and a medium finish. Drink now – 2020. My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. $27.00 Vintages Online 578047
The 2009 Argiano Brunello Di Montalcino, aged in oak for two years and then another in cement, has intense bouquet of anise, cigar box, wood, lees, and red currant on the nose and red currant, coconut and oak on the palate. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, grippy tannins and a silky, long to extra-long finish. Drink now – 2025+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 92 pts. $53.00 Vintages Online 154609
The 2008 Argiano Brunello Di Montalcino, also aged in oak for two years and then another in cement, has intense aromas of cherry and wood on the nose and cranberry and pomegranate on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, tight tannins and a medium finish. The fruit is still somewhat concealed; drink 2016 – 2025??. My impression: NICE, 91 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 91 pts. $53.00 Trialto Wine Group

 

Wines of Villa Poggio Salvi
The 2011 Villa Poggio Salvi Rosso Di Montalcino has appealing notes of figs and wood on the nose and figs, pomegranate and red currant on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, refined tannins and a finish of medium length. Drink now – 2020. My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. $25.00 Vintages Online 372714
The 2009 Villa Poggio Salvi Brunello Di Montalcino has pleasing, yet subdued aromas of fennel, clove, cigar box, tobacco, wood, cranberries, dried pomegranate and red currant. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated to aged wine; with crisp acidity, refined to dusty tannins and a medium to long finish. Drink now – 2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Soon to be released.
RECOMMENDED Score 91 pts. $45.95 Halpern Wine Enterprises
The 2008 Villa Poggio Salvi Brunello Di Montalcino has intense aromas of dried cherry, wood, clove and faint lees on the nose and dried pomegranate on the palate. It is medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good, refreshing acidity, dusty tannins and a medium to long finish. My impression: NICE, 90 pts – recommended for its value.
RECOMMENDED Score 90 pts. $45.95 Vintages 363028
The 2007 Villa Poggio Salvi Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino has intense barnyard, lees, red currant and pomegranate scents. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated to aged wine; with refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long finish. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts.
Score 90 pts. $74.00 Vintages Online 372656

 

Wines of Canalicchio di Sopra
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The 2011 Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino, aged in Slovenian and French Oaks (50:50) for 12 months, has appealing aromas of old wood, blackberry and light lees on the nose and dates and figs on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, dusty tannins and a medium finish. My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. $30.00 BND Wines & Spirits’s
The 2011 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino, aged in Slovenian Oak for 36 months, has attractive dried cranberry, pomegranate, dried sour cherry and old wood notes. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, grippy tannins and a long finish. Drink now – 2020+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 91 pts. $60.00 BND Wines & Spirits’s

 

Wines of Fattoria Dei Barbi
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The 2011 Fattoria Dei Barbi Rosso Di Montalcino has intense scents of cranberry, pomegranate, toast, wood, and faint vanilla and lees. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long finish. Drink now – 2018+. My impression: NICE, 90 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 90 pts. $22.00 Vintages Online 17103
The 2008 Fattoria Dei Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino has appealing aromas of dried cranberries, cherry and toast. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good/refreshing acidity, dusty tannins and a long finish. Drink now – 2018/20. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts – recommended for its value.
RECOMMENDED Score 90-91 pts. $42.00 Vintages Online 372938

 

Wines of Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse Di Sotto
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The 2011 Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse Di Sotto Rosso di Montalcino has intense aromas of cranberry, cherry, lees, and wood. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, grippy/drying tannins and a medium finish. The wine will benefit from further aging; drink 2016-2025+. My impression: NICE, 89-90 pts.
Score 89-90 pts. $35.00 Vintages Online 372912
The 2008 Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse Di Sotto Brunello Di Montalcino has captivating aromas of dried cherry, cranberry, fennel seed and old wood on the nose and pomegranate, dried cherry and more wood + spice on the palate. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with crisp, refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. Drink now – 2025+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92+ pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 92+ pts. $75.00 Vintages Online 30478

 

Wines of La Fortuna
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The 2009 La Fortuna Brunello Di Montalcino has intense, lifted aromas of pomegranate, cigar box, oak, clove and anise on the nose and pomegranate, red currant, coconut, and vanilla on the palate. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; BALANCED with crisp, refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long, smooth finish. Drink now – 2025+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 93+ pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 93+ pts. $59.00 Vintages Online 378935

 

Wines of Donatella Cinelli Colombini
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The 2007 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello Di Montalcino has intense notes of violets, dried cherry, pomegranate, old wood and clove on the nose and more of pomegranate and dried cherry on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with good acidity, dusty tannins and a long, smooth and silky finish. Drink now – 2025+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91-92 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 91-92 pts. $48.95 Vintages 113357
The 2007 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino has captivating bouquet of mushrooms, barnyard and dried cherry on the nose and pomegranate, dried cherry, vanilla and wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with forward acidity, dusty tannins and a long, smooth and silky finish. Drink now – 2025+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 94+ pts – recommended for its quality. This wine will be available as ‘future classics’ at the LCBO.
RECOMMENDED Score 94+ pts. ~$100 Le Sommelier

 

Wines of Corte Dei Venti
The 2009 Corte Dei Venti Brunello di Montalcino has intense aromas of barnyard, lees, black cherry, coconut, and wood. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. Drink now – 2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts.
Score 90-91 pts. $62.00 Looking for an agent.

 

Wines of Caprili
The 2008 Caprili Brunello Di Montalcino has intense aromas of cherry and lees on the nose and cherry and pomegranate on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long finish. Drink now – 2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts.
Score 90 pts. $49.95 Natural Vines
The 2008 Caprili Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino has intense aromas of lees, cherry and faint barnyard on the nose and pomegranate, red currant, cherry, oak and faint vanilla on the palate. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with forward acidity, grippy tannins and a long finish (decant as this wine has quite a bit of sediment). Drink now – 2025. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 91 pts. $59.95 Vintages Online 372755

 

 

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My thanks go to the Italian Trade Commission for the invitation to this special event.
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Refereces:

1. http://population.mongabay.com/population/italy/3173096/montalcino
2. Wikipedia
3. Consorzio del Brunello

 

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