Must-try wine: Brunello di Montalcino
Bill Belkin, category manager for our Wines & Spirits locations, shares the story of this highly sought after red wine.
Brunello di Montalcino comes from Italy’s famed Tuscany region – a region that has been blessed with high scoring wines all the way from 2004 to 2010. In fact, 2010 was one of the best-rated years for this coveted – and sometimes very expensive – red wine.
Brunello (which means “little brown one”) is always 100% Sangiovese Grosso, which is a similar strain of the grape that makes Chianti. However, Brunello is made only in Montalcino and is indeed one of Italy’s most famed DOCGs – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (meaning “Controlled Designation of Origin Guaranteed”).
Traditionally, barrel aging in large Slavonian oak casks will soften the wines, which can be quite tannic. Some producers have even taken their best vines and aged them in smaller French barriques – which will
give the wines a more pronounced “oaky” flavor. Laws for Brunellos are quite explicit: “No wine before its time.” Traditional Brunellos spend two years in oak and at least four more months resting in the bottle. Riservas, which are the most prized wines, undergo an additional year of aging before release.
Lunds & Byerlys Wines & Spirits locations are currently receiving many of the most coveted 2010 Brunellos. The stores also have an array of regular and riserva bottlings from past vintages. If you are looking for ageworthy, collectible wines please see your store manager soon – these wines will not last long!