by Paige Donner
Like any good California girl, I love me some Sangiovese. So when I was able to get my hands recently on a bottle of the stuff from the Old World, my lips were smacking and my fingers trembling as we uncorked the bottle.
Garnet Hued * Vanilla * Spice * Red Berries * Hint of Earthiness
Balanced power between Tannins and Acidity
Wine Spectator’s Notes On Brunello di Montalcino Vintages
- 2008 91 A cool growing season with rain at harvest; those who waited produced aromatic, balances and elegant wines. Drink or Hold.
- 2007 93 Hotter and riper than 2006; fruit-forward, rich and elegant, offering immediate charm and softer textures. Drink or Hold.
- 2006 95 Complex powerful wines that impress with ripe yet fresh fruit, firm, dense structures and fine balance. Hold.
Excerpt from Wine Spectator June 30, 2013
Sangiovese is virtually synonymous with Tuscany and is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. Brunello, a synonym for Sangiovese Grosso, or “fat Sangiovese,” gets its name from the big ripe grapes that are produced from these vines in the prestige appellation (Brunello di Montalcino DOCG) of Montalcino, a classic hilltop village surrounded by slopes just 30km. south of Siena in Tuscany, Italy.
Mocali is owned by the Ciacci family and overseen by enologist Tiziano Ciacci. Their soils are mostly Galestro and Alberese that enrich the ground with mineral salts. Their Brunello di Montalcino wine – in fact all Brunello di Montalicino wines – are made exclusively with Sangiovese Grosso grapes.
This DOCG shares the top spot only with Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. Though winemaking in the region is recorded from as far back as the 14th century, the wines we associate today with this very first Italian DOCG emerged in the 1870s. It’s largely credited to the efforts of the esteemed winemaking family of Biondi-Santi, namely Ferruccio,who decided to implement a revolutionary technique (for his day) of making his Montalcino wines – vinify his Sangiovese grapes separately from the other varieties. (At the time in Tuscany all grapes were fermented together – even the reds with the whites.) As he implemented this and a few other techniques, the resulting wines gained a reputation of being livelier and fruitier than other wines.
In July 1980 the appellation was formalized as Italy’s first DOCG alongside Piedmont’s Barolo. It is mostly small farmers and family estates who produce this exquisite red wine today and number approximately 200, up from just 11 producers in the 60’s. One of the DOCG requirements is that vineyards are not planted above 600m sea level. Brunello must be aged at least 4 years and for the riserva distinction, a minimum of 5 years aging is required. More INFO at Tuscany Taste.