1997 Brunello di Montalcino, DOCG, Fattoria Casisano Colombaio

1997 Brunello di Montalcino, DOCG, Fattoria Casisano Colombaio

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1997 Brunello di Montalcino, DOCG, Fattoria Casisano Colombaio

Description

Intensely rich, fresh and well-defined black, spicy fruit characters predominate on the nose leading on to a palate displaying impressive concentration with beautiful balance and length. A classic and drinking now and over the next decade.
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About this WINE

Fattoria Casisano Colombaio

Fattoria Casisano Colombaio

Fattoria Casisano-Colombaio is a medium-sized Montalcino estate which is fast becoming one of the rising stars of this prestigious Tuscan wine Region. The estate was purchased in 1990 by the Ciarpella family, a medical family from Rome, who completely renovated the Casisiano cantina and the 18 hectares of vineyards.

The estate is located on a south facing ridge between Montalcino, Sant Angelo in Colle and Catstel Nuovo dell' Abate. Riccardo Ciarpella is now the Casisano regisseur and supervises all the work in the vineyards while Dr Vagagini is oenologist. The vines have a high average age with over half of the grapes used in the Brunello coming from 70-year old vines. Since 1996 all the vineyards have been cultivated along organic lines. Without doubt an estate in ascendancy.

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Brunello di Montalcino

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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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.

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