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The 7 Greatest Brunello di Montalcino Wines to Purchase Proper Now

The 7 Greatest Brunello di Montalcino Wines to Purchase Proper Now

Considered the finest expression of the Sangiovese grape, Brunello di Montalcino is the standard bearer for the Tuscan variety. The vineyards surrounding the beautiful hilltop village of Montalcino received DOC status in 1968, and in 1980 Brunello di Montalcino was upgraded to become Italy’s first DOCG wine region. Signifying “controlled and guaranteed name of origin,” this is the country’s highest designation regarding production standards. Brunello wine is made with a dark, thick-skinned clone of Sangiovese called Sangiovese Grosso that locals call Brunello, which is a nickname for the Italian word for brown.

Made with 100 percent Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino wine must age at least two years in oak and an additional four months in bottle prior to release, but wines may not be sold any sooner than five years after the harvest. Riserva wines are sold six years after the harvest. On the one hand, aging prior to release means that the wine is ready to drink when you buy it, while on the other Brunello’s levels of tannins and acidity make it incredibly age-worthy, so these wines can spend decades in your cellar before opening. While the 2018s have just become available, you will not be disappointed if you pick up a bottle from another recent vintage, especially the outstanding 2015 harvest.

Expect bold red fruit flavors such as cherry, cranberry and fig with notes of vanilla, licorice, coffee, chocolate, violet or rose and touches of earthiness. Younger bottles will exhibit strong tannins, while those with a bit of age will show a more refined and polished tannic profile. Either way, the wine’s high acidity will keep the tannins from overpowering your palate. Brunello di Montalcino is terrific alongside risotto or pasta with mushrooms, classic Italian American entrees like veal or chicken parmesan, or flame-kissed Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Here are seven to savor now or cellar for a few years.

Source: Robb Report

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