wine: Brunello di Montalcino
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
& 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