Quality obliges, Brunello tastes
Brunello di Montalcino, along with Barolo from Piedmont and Amarone from Veneto, is one of the truly great wines from Italy. This claim is fully substantiated by the fact that the wine-growing region around Montalcino was one of the first areas to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata status in 1966. Then, 14 years later, the region was the first wine-growing area ever to obtain the newly created quality level DOCG, Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita.
Accordingly, strict regulations apply to the cultivation of the Sangiovese clone Brunello in the creation of this Tuscan icon. More about that later, now first to the multilayered Brunello wine itself, which clears away points and awards right and left vintage after vintage and gathers dust in every well-kept cellar until the optimal drinking maturity is reached.
The Brunello wine in the profile
The Brunello red wine is already distinguished in the glass by its ruby sheen, which is accompanied by light brown tones. These come from the slightly brown skin of the Sangiovese Grosso grapes, hence the name Brunello, according to Tuscan dialect the "little brown".
The nose perceives aromas of ripe red fruits typical of the grape variety as well as a clear spiciness, which comes from the long ageing in barrels made of Slavonian oak or chestnut. At the forefront, nuances of cherry, plum and wild berries can be discovered, which are lavishly accompanied by vanilla, pepper and citrus fruits.
The palate also enjoys a multi-layered experience, thanks to the rich and spicy flavors. On top of the typically full-bodied finish, there is a strong trail of tannins that are completed by an acidic finish. The interplay of all facets is supremely elegant and aromatic, providing a warm and lingering finish on the palate.
Let Brunello breathe and decant it
A Brunello wine can be stored for years after purchase. Ten years of storage are not uncommon for the wine to reach its ideal maturity. If, however, you do not want to give up the pleasure of a Brunello di Montalcino, even though you have just bough tit, it is advisable to decant the wine. This means opening the bottle a few hours before drinking and pouring it into a carafe. In this way, possible lees cansettle at the bottom, which are in the bottle due to the failure of filtration in top wines. In addition, the air supply ensures an accelerated development of the bouquet.
The terroir around Montalcino
The terroir around the village of Montalcino, between the rivers Asso, Orga and Ombrone, is primarily responsible for the exquisite aroma. The wine region extends over the hills of the Val d'Orcia and is geographically located north of the Maremma, the hottest area of Tuscany. The wine gains alcohol and longevity from the ample hours of sunshine, ideal for aging Brunello di Montalcino wines for several years
The vines on the approximately 2,000 hectares receive a pleasant cooling by cool winds from the Tyrrhenian Sea, which create a wonderful balance to the high temperatures. Excellent conditions for the Brunello grape variety on the stony, dry and calcareous soils. Here, the grapes thrive until late September or sometimes until mid-October. Only then the harvest is started, which is also a risk for the vintners, because the weather change from summer to autumn, with cool temperatures and increased precipitation, can damage the Sangiovese Grosso grapes and reduce the quality of the potential wine.
By no means the only hurdle that the vintners around Montalcino have to overcome in order to ultimately press Brunello.
The rules for Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
The rules for the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG appellation are set out in 10 articles of the Disciplinare Brunello di Montalcino, written by the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, a voluntary association of winemakers and producers of the renowned red wine from Tuscany. Each of these articles deals with one aspect of the production and in turn summarizes numerous sub-items.
Simplified, the regulations can be summarized as follows
- The area for the production of Brunello di Montalcino includes the historical border of the municipality of Montalcino.
- Only the Sangiovese Grosso grape variety, known locally as Brunello, may be used.
- The grape yield per hectare must not exceed 8 tons.
- The wine must age for at least 2 years in oak or chestnut barrels, as well as four months of bottle aging. For the predicate "Riserva" the maturation in the bottle is extended to 6 months.
- Brunello is characterized by a ruby to garnet red color, an intense aroma and a dry, harmonious taste that is tannic when young.
- The alcohol content is at least 12.5% by volume.
- The wine may only be bottled in Bordeaux bottles in the Montalcino region.
- Brunello di Montalcino may only be sold 5 years after the harvest, for Riserva even 6 years after the harvest.
The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino
The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, founded in 1967, is committed to maintaining the quality and integrity of Brunello di Montalcino. It is an association of small and large wineries and producers with a common view on the past, present and future of the wine region and the wines native to it.
Again and again, there were voices of isolated persons who wanted to obtain a relaxation of the strict regulations. The opposition, on the other hand, saw in a possible relaxation the decline of the wine region and of the reputation of the wines. So it happened in 2008 that a vote was held within the consortium, which voted with a clear 97% in favor of maintaining the rules.
The daily business is the marketing and external presentation of the Brunello di Montalcino red wines as well as the other wines, namely Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello di Montalcino and Sant'Antimo
Furthermore, the consortium is responsible for the qualitative classification of the vintages. Thus, the outstanding vintages are awarded with 5 stars. To document all the vintages, tiles have been artistically designed and presented in the town hall every year since 1991.
Things to know about Brunello
What makes a Brunello di Montalcino?
Besides its ruby-red colour and spicy note of red fruits, the label Brunello di Montalcino gives some clues. The bottle contains pure Sangiovese Grosso wine, pre-aged for quite a long time and storable for a long time.
Food recommendation to the Brunello wine
Braised and grilled meat with strong sauces as well as aromatic cheese are optimal companions to Brunello. Brunello red wines are also recommended with mushroom dishes and dishes garnished with truffles.
Drinking temperature for Brunello wines
Brunello di Montalcino red wines have the ideal drinking temperature at 18°C. In addition, a Brunello red wine should be given some time to breathe, either in a decanter or in the bottle. About 1 to 2 hours are good for the multilayered red wine.
Shelf life of Brunello di Montalcino red wine
Thanks to the lush tannins in Brunello, storage for up to 10 years is no problem. A potential storage place should offer a cool, dark and temperature-resistant environment.
How long will an open bottle of Brunello last?
An opened bottle of Brunello can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, if resealed. If the bottle is half full, the shelf life is reduced to 3-4 days. Always follow the rule of thumb: the less content, the shorter the shelf life.
Buy Brunello di Montalcino online
For a special occasion or great enjoyment - a Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany serves the highest demands and tastes simply wonderful to boot. Find your favourite or get expert advice from our sommeliers. You can reach us at the telephone number 0351 - 469 256 55 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course you can also browse through our large selection of international wines and spirits and discover the best Brunello wines and more for yourself. For a smooth shopping experience, VINELLO also offers you fast shipping and numerous payment methods. Choose your favorite from 14 options and await your securely packaged package of premium Brunello di Montalcino wines. Order online and enjoy - with high reputation and the VINELLO wine trade.