2018 Brunello di Montalcino, Giuseppe Tassi, Tassi, Tuscany, Italy
The 2018 Brunello di Montalcino from Tassi keeps me coming back to the glass to take in its darkly alluring mix of crushed strawberries accentuated by hints of ashen stone, curry leaf and exotic spice.
This is silky smooth and polished in feel, with ripe wild berry fruits and savory herbal tones all motivated by brisk acidity. Lightly tannic yet potent and long, the 2018 finishes with impressive depth of fruit but also balance.
Eric Guido, Vinous.com (October 2022)
Concentrated mid-ruby. Rather closed on the nose and a tiny bit sour. Soft, round fruit with lots of powdery tannins. The fruit becomes tangy on the finish, while the whole could be a little more complex.
Walter Speller, Jancisrobinson.com (November 2022)
About this WINE
The Tassi family have deep roots in Montalcino. They have a legacy of working the vineyards of Biondi Santi and then as beekeepers, before turning their attention back to wine. Owner Fabio Tassi is a restaurateur, running the town’s flagship Drogheria Franci restaurant, and he owns its most prolific wine shop. His exposure to, and understanding of, Brunello’s wines, vintages and vineyards are greater than most – as are his relationships with many of the great winemaking families of Italy.
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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This comes from a single vineyard, tucked between the River Orcia and the hilltop Castelnuovo dell’Abate at 240 metres altitude. Here, the strata of soils are mix of iron-rich clay and galestro, filled with calcareous marine fossils. The 2018 vintage gave beautiful balance, without the blocky richness of 2017.
It’s undergone wild fermentation in concrete, and 30 days on skins followed by 30 months in ultra traditional Slovenian botti grandi. The colour is pale, and the nose is perfumed with cool rose. The palate shines with savoury fruit, relaxed, composed and confident with a light mineral brightness and fine earthiness. The finish is smoky and super stylish.
Drink 2023 - 2038
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