2008 Brunello di Montalcino, La Serena, Tuscany

2008 Brunello di Montalcino, La Serena, Tuscany

Product: 20081105269
Prices start from £220.00 per case Buying options
2008 Brunello di Montalcino, La Serena, Tuscany

Description

By comparison with the sultry 2007s, vintage 2008 was markedly different year, with fresher, crunchier, clove, black pepper notes accompanying the classic summer fruit flesh of Montalcino Sangiovese. Andrea chose to age 10% of the wine in French barriques, with the remaining in large slavonian oak; the wine spending 30 months in oak, being bottled in August 2012. The result is a generous, medium/full bodied and true expression of the region's famous wine, with plenty of open-hearted, brambly fruit flesh/polpa, spice, and gentle tannins. The fruit noticeably bright and ripe on account of Andrea's organic vineyard work.
David Berry Green
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About this WINE

La Serena, Tuscany

La Serena, Tuscany

Local lad Andrea Mantengoli and his family have been farming Cantina La Serena since 1988. The seven-hectare property sits close to neighbours Cerbaiona on the north-eastern shoulder of Montalcino, blessed with atypically white tuffo limestone soils. Proudly organic, Andrea sees his estate as a complete farm: he takes pride in the health of his spelt, grain, olives, honeybees and vineyards. They all benefit each other’s ecosystem and biodiversity – as does the quality of his grapes and wines.

The tuffo soils give the wines a mineral poise which is rarely found in Montalcino. He nurtures his vines the smartest way possible, yielding a transparent vista of his beloved farm and great terroir. Andrea pairs the organic approach with some modern practices. He uses gravity-fed tanks and steel as well as both large Slavonian barrels and smaller French barriques for ageing. This yields a compelling expression of Sangiovese – first and foremost terroir-driven, but with a contemporary shine. Like Andrea himself, his Brunello is full of energy and fiercely Tuscan.

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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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Critics reviews

Antonio Galloni, Vinous91+
Antonio Galloni, Vinous91+
La Serena’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino explodes from the glass with a heady melange of aromas and flavors. Mocha, espresso, licorice, plums and the blackest of cherries saturate the palate. A large-scaled, voluptuous Brunello, the 2008 could use another year or two in bottle to settle down a bit further. It should drink well for another handful of years. There is plenty of La Serena’s typical boldness in the glass.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media - September 2013 Read more