One of Italy's great reds, aged for at least five years before release?
If you had to name a top Italian red that's typically aged far longer than most wines and which comes from a small hillside appellation with a climate that's both alpine and Mediterranean, what would it be?
If you said Brunello di Montalcino, then full marks. Not that it's a competition.
This quirky, high quality, small volume, full bodied dry red is one of the great wines of the world and comes from a tiny area which is defined as a DOCG. This is the highest classification for a defined wine region in Italy and as a result DOCGs tend to be relatively small compared to their higher volume counterparts which are known as DOCs.
In the case of Brunello di Montalcino, the DOCG refers to the vineyards around Montalcino, which is a hillside town that's about 42 kilometres from the city of Siena, 150 kilometres from Florence and is 567 metres above sea level. Its most famous and most expensive wine is Brunello di Montalcino. This must legally be aged for five years prior to its release in bottle, so when looking at the great wines from this small township, it's important to take that into consideration.
A 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, such as 2016 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is actually a brand new wine, despite the fact it's already five years old.
The same thing applies to the other great Brunello di Montalcinos we have in store now here.
These wines are made from grapes grown in vineyards around the town of Montalcino and the name Brunello comes from the Italian word Bruno, which means brown. It was given to the grape variety that Brunello di Montalcino is made from; it's a 100% varietal wine, meaning it is made entirely from only one grape variety. And until 1879, that grape was thought to be a distinctively different variety than the main grape in Tuscany, namely Sangiovese.
In 1879, it was discovered that the Brunello grape is, in fact, a clone of Sangiovese which happens to produce particularly powerful, velvety smooth reds in this little highly prized hillside appellation. So, Brunello is one of Tuscany's few red wines that is made 100% from the Sangiovese grape and it is one of Italy's great red wines.
Buy Brunello di Montalcino from us here.
It's deliciously drinkable now but is without doubt a keeper for the long haul in a cool dark cellar.
And by the way, Rosso di Montalcino is not the same thing but that's another story.