Red, Ready, but will improve

2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Az. Agr. San Giuseppe, Tuscany

2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Az. Agr. San Giuseppe, Tuscany

Red | Ready, but will improve | San Giuseppe, Tuscany | Code: 908070 | 2006 | Italy > Tuscany > Brunello di Montalcino | Sangiovese | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£525.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£530.00
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Scores and Reviews

WA

96+/100

WA - The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a wine that will make readers fall in love with Sangiovese. Mediterranean herbs, underbrush, tobacco, plums and dark cherries are just some of the nuances that emerge from this graceful Brunello. Deceptively medium in body at first, the wine puts on weight in the glass while remaining delicate and impeccably balanced. The inner perfume builds nicely towards the compelling finish, where the closing blast of fruit punctuates the energetic close. This is a mesmerizing wine that combines finesse and power.

This is a breathtaking set of wines from Stella di Campalto, one of Montalcino’s most promising young growers. Campalto farms her vineyards following biodynamic principles. The wines are made in a similarly non-interventionalist manner. A visit to this small cellar is a must for anyone who wants to understand the potential of Sangiovese in Montalcino, especially in regards to finesse and elegance.
Antonio Galloni- Wine Advocate - May 2011

The Producer

San Giuseppe, Tuscany

San Giuseppe, Tuscany

Run by the talented Stella di Campalto, the 6 hectare San Giuseppe wine estate in Castelnuovo dell'Abate, is strewn with several soil types (volcanic, iron-rich, galestro, clay...). It was originally planted in 1992, became organic in 1996 and  then biodynamic in 2002.

Great attention is paid to harvesting the parcels of vines separately in order to capture the maximum fruit quality and soil expression, using gravity and a combination of large 38hl Austrian oak barrels and French oak barriques to vinify the juice as gently as possible.

All her fruit qualifies as Brunello di Montalcino, yet in 2003 she chose to declassify everything to Rosso di Montalcino; her inaugural Brunello has been released in 2009 for the 2004 vintage.

The Grape

Sangiovese

Sangiovese

A black grape widely grown in Central Italy and the main component of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano as well as being the sole permitted grape for the famed Brunello di Montalcino.

It is a high yielding, late ripening grape that performs best on well-drained calcareous soils on south-facing hillsides. For years it was blighted by poor clonal selection and massive overcropping - however since the 1980s the quality of Sangiovese-based wines has rocketed upwards and they are now some of the most sought after in the world.

It produces wines with pronounced tannins and acidity, though not always with great depth of colour, and its character can vary from farmyard/leather nuances through to essence of red cherries and plums. In the 1960s the advent of Super Tuscans saw bottlings of 100% Sangiovese wines, as well as the introduction of Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blends, the most famous being Tignanello.

The Region

Brunello di Montalcino

Along with Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino is Tuscany's most famous DOCG and the region's boldest expression of Sangiovese. Located 30 miles south of Siena with the hilltop town of Montalcino as its epicentre, its 2,000 hectares of vines are naturally delimited by the Orcia, Asso and Ombrone valleys. Brunello is the local name for the Sangiovese Grosso clone from which Brunello di Montalcino should be made in purezza (ie 100 percent).

The Brunello di Montalcino DOCG has a whale-like shape: at its head, at 661 metres above sea level on ancient, stony galestro soils facing east and southeast lies the town of Montalcino, where the DOC was founded. As you follow the spine south towards the tail, the vineyards lose altitude – those around Colle Sant'Angelo are at 250 metres – while the soils become richer with iron and clay. Further east, in the shadow of the 1,734 metre Mont'Amiata lies the village of Castelnuovo dell'Abate where the vineyards are strewn with a rich mix of galestro, granitic, volcanic, clay and schist soil types.

While Brunello di Montalcino's climate is mildly Mediterranean, thanks to the sea being a mere 20 miles away, the elevation of the vineyards provides an important diurnal temperature variation (ie hot days and cool nights). This benefits the grapes by maintaining acidity levels and extending their ripening time. The howling tramontana wind can also play an important role in drying and concentrating the fruit.

Historically, the zone is one of Tuscany's youngest. First praised in 1550 by Leandro Alberti for the quality of its wines, it was Tenuta Il Greppo who bottled the inaugural Brunello di Montalcino in 1888. By 1929, the region had 925 hectares of vines and 1,243 hectares of mixed crops, while in 1932 it was decreed that only those wines made and bottled within the commune could be labelled as Brunello di Montalcino. Since then, the number of producers has risen from 11 in 1960 to 230 in 2006, while over the same period the vineyards have expanded from 1,000 hectares to 12,000. The region earned its DOC in 1966, and was upgraded to DOCG in 1980.

Brunello di Montalcino cannot be released for sale until five years after the harvest, or six years in the case of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. During this time the wines should be aged for at least two years in oak, followed by at least four months in bottle (six months for Riservas); maximum yields are 55 hl/ha. 

Rosso di Montalcino is declassified Brunello di Montalcino, released for sale 18 months after the harvest.

Recommended producers: Costanti, Fuligni, Lisini, San Giuseppe, Soldera, Cerbaiona

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