Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and Appreciating One of Italy's Greatest Wines
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Expert wine writer Kerin O'Keefe has a deep personal knowledge of Tuscany and its extraordinary wine, and her account is both thoroughly researched and readable. Organized as a guided tour through Montalcino's geography, this essential reference also makes sense of Brunello's complicated history, from its rapid rise to the negative and positive effects of the 2008 grape-blending scandal dubbed "Brunellogate."
Brunello di Montalcino helps wine lovers maneuver their way among Montalcino's minefield of diversity by breaking the vast commune down into seven distinct subzones, ranging from the highest reaches around the town of Montalcino, which yield austere, elegant wines destined for lengthy aging in cellars; down to the lower plains in the deep south around Sant'Angelo Scalo, home to immediate, muscular Brunellos with higher alchol and lower acidity; and to all the other fascinating areas that lie between those two geographical extremes.
O'Keefe also provides in-depth profiles of 58 carefully chosen wineries, big and small, famous and unknown, who produce excellent Brunellos that best express the quintessential chracteristics of both Sangiovese and the various subzones in Montalcino.
List of Illustrations
Introduction. Brunello: A Modern-Day Phenomenon of Made in Italy
Part One. The Place, the Grape, the History, and the Wine
2. Temperamental Sangiovese: Location, Location, Location
3. Birth of a New Wine
4. Brunello Comes of Age
5. Boom Years and the Loss of Tipicità
6. The Brunellogate Scandal
7. Brunello Today and Tomorrow: The Return to Tipicità, or Business as Usual?
Part Two. Leading Producers by Subzone
9. Bosco and Torrenieri
13. Castelnuovo dell'Abate
Part Three. Beyond Brunello: Other Wines and Local Cuisine
14. Montalcino's Other Wines: Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello, Sant'Antimo, Chianti Colli Senesi and IGT Toscana
15. Brunello, Rosso, and Food Pairing
Appendix A. Vintage Guide to Brunello
Appendix B. Brunello at a Glance
can say for sure if these were all planted with Brunello, and 1,243 hectares of vines in promiscuous fields, before nearly all were razed in 1930 by phylloxera. Montalcino’s many small poderi (farms) lay in ruins and the town’s wine production was at a standstill. During this difficult period, in 1926 Tancredi and other local growers, including Fratelli Crocchi, Padelletti, and Tamanti united together and formed the Cantina Sociale Biondi Santi e C. This cooperative cellar, which used Tancredi’s
the oldest vineyards are over thirty years old, planted at densities between 3,330 and 5,000 plants per hectare in Eocene soil composed of predominantly marl and rock with traces of clay. These are near-ideal growing conditions for Sangiovese to yield wines with ample aromas and structure. Guided by consultant enologist Paolo Vagaggini, whose father consulted for the estate before him, Maria Flora’s winemaking leans toward the traditional, with temperature-controlled fermentation in steel vats,
complexity but just the right structure for easy drinking. La Gerla Località Canalicchio Podere Colombaio 53024 Montalcino (SI) Tel. + 39 0577 848599 www.lagerlamontalcino.com email@example.com Right next to Paradiso di Manfredi is the charming La Gerla estate. Although it takes its name from the large, old-fashioned baskets that grape harvesters once strapped to their backs, the farm was formerly known as Podere Colombaio Santi, and was originally owned by the Biondi Santi family. After the
and will cellar for years. Rosso. Lovely, floral, fresh, and bright with a tannic backbone. Very refined and delicious. Moscadello. Using a Moscato clone native to Montalcino that was already in their vineyards when they acquired the property, Capanna produces a fresh and floral Moscadello that is a fresh dessert wine with a dry finish. They also make a late-harvested version that is fermented and aged in botti, with a big, round structure dominated by honey and apricot flavors. Pairs
experiments with massal selection on the nearby Il Poggione estate. FIGURE 22. Astronomer and winemaker Giuseppe Sesti of Castello di Argiano, crafts rich, powerful Brunellos using traditional methods. Photograph by Paolo Tenti. The tepid microclimate of this part of Sant’Angelo, halfway between Sant’Angelo in Colle and Sant’Angelo Scalo, naturally generates fruit-forward wines while the vineyard altitude of 350 meters (1,150 feet) above sea level reins in excess. Soil composition of sand mixed