A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of drinking one of my favorite bottles of Brunello di Montalcino. Below you find my tasting notes for it.
Tuscany is hilly land, rich in forests and dotted with small villages and ancient castles. It is famous for It with its olive oils, Parma ham, cheese and of course wine. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico, Morellino di Scansano and Montecucco are all highly-prized but the red wines from Montalcino, Brunello and Rosso, are among the most famous Italian wines.
In the 1850s, Clemente Santi, an oenologist from Montalcino, began to study the different types of Sangiovese clones. He came to the conclusion that Sangiovese Grosso was best fit for red wine production. His nephew Ferruccio Biondi-Santi planted the first Sangiovese Grosso in Montalcino. The grapes were locally known as Brunello because of their dark color. Clemente named the wine Brunello di Montalcino. The Biondi-Santi family still produces Brunello di Montalcino today.
In 1966, Brunello di Montalcino became one of Italy’s first DOC wines and only 14 years later Brunello was upgraded to DOCG status. Brunello is produced exclusively with Sangiovese and has to age at least for five years out of which the wine has to spend 2 years in oak. A Brunello Riserva has to age for at least six years before it may be put into commerce.
Let’s take a closer look at the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva from Tenute Loacker.
2003 Tenute Loacker Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
In the glass, ruby red color with brownish hues. 15% was the label listed alcohol by volume.
The nose was very complex and intense. There was a heavy aroma of cocoa, blackcurrant, some forest fruit, plums, nuts and a bit of eucalyptus.
In the mouth, dry, full-bodied, well-balanced with mellow, pleasing tannins. Still fresh and quite earthy. There were notes of dark chocolate and spices. Spectacular, savory, lingering finish.
2003 was an excellent vintage for Brunello di Montalcino and vintners were very happy with it, especially after the rather poor 2002 harvest. The 2002 harvest is considered one of the worst of the last decades. Too much rain and mild tempreatures caused a difficult maturation. 2003 was a whole different story: Sunny weather from April to August allowed the grapes to develop well. The results at harvest were healthy grapes of high quality.
The 2003 Tenute Loacker Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is one the very best of its kind and highly recommended. A bottle retails for around 55€. For a Brunello Riserva that is a very good QPR.
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What’s your opinion on Brunello? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comment section below.