Gianni Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino, 2018
Not the cheapest Rosso by any stretch, but sometimes you need to pay a little bit more for something a bit special - or at least things that are limited in availability.
So what is Rosso di Montalcino?
Simply put, it is red wine (rosso) from Montalcino. Montalcino is a fantastic city in southern Tuscany, that sits atop a large hill. If you approach from the north, say from Siena, then you are faced with this intensely dramatic wall that the city is perched on. I have been here several times, and stayed in a hotel where my view was facing north across the plains that stretch away from the city. Beautiful. The back and sides of this massive hill slope away from the town, and it is on the back or southern side of the hills that some of my favorite producers are located; their vineyards baking in the sun.
Montalcino is one of the great wine towns of Italy and Tuscany, making the vast majority of wines from the Sangiovese grape. In fact, the local name for Sangiovese is Brunello, or little brown one, noting the difference between the Sangiovese grown here and in other areas. The skins on the Brunello variation tend to be a bit thicker, and the berries a bit smaller - thus gaining flavor, color and tannins - a hallmark of many Brunello di Montalcino, which is made exclusively from Sangiovese.
Rosso di Montalcino is the secondary wine of the area, and is often made from younger vines or vineyards that do not make the premium tier quality for the Brunello bottlings. Also from Sangiovese, this DOC can deliver wines of great affordability and elegance - as well as some simply dependable wines depending on the producer. I do go for the Rosso di Montalcino regularly because it is approachable at a younger age, costs much less than Brunello and is a great food wine - as are many sangiovese based wines.
Gianni Brunelli is a small estate, today run by Gianni's wife Laura, since 2008. With some vineyards dating back to 1947, but most planted in the late 1980s, this estate is small but producing powerful wines. The reputation has come on a bit over the past few years, and their wines have become more and more sought after - and as such harder to find. And as noted above the cost on this wine may be slightly higher than some of the competitive frame, but in the end it is worth it. The wines are tremendous - if you can find them.
How does it taste?
Approximately $40 retail for this vintage.
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With over 25 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.