The first Brunello di Montalcino I’m going to present on this blog is one I’ve already tasted on two different occasions, months apart, and both times I was left simply astounded. The first time was last February, as part of “Benvenuto Brunello”, a preview of the new vintages of this extraordinary wine that takes place each year in Montalcino. I assume by now you’ve all heard of Montalcino, the historic town in the Siena province known worldwide precisely for its excellent red wine of Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin.
Then I tasted it again, last November, during “Brunello Barolo”, an event held for the top producers of the two best-known Italian red wines in the world.
The “two on two” I’m referring to is the Brunello di Montalcino Madonna delle Grazie 2011 selection of the “Il Marroneto” estate.
The owner is Alessandro Mori, a man of great culture and character, born in Siena and descended from a family of lawyers. The company was purchased by his father Giuseppe Mori in 1974, when Alessandro was 13 years old and his older brother Andrea 17, specifically for his children. What once was a childish “wine game” over the years turned into a serious and important matter; a full-time job, which was enough to persuade Alexander to abandon his career as a lawyer in order to concentrate solely on his beloved winemaking.
“Each vintage of Brunello “Il Marroneto“– Alessandro says – is associated with an important event in my life.” But what is your motto? “My wines, the result of a process that lies outside of any commercial standard, are the expression of my personality.”
According to Mori, what he sells today is no mere Brunello, and he considers “Il Marroneto” a brand of its own. He always made wine his own way, without giving in to the stylistic fashions of the time.
Brunello di Montalcino Madonna delle Grazie Selezione 2011 is a real cru. It’s made out of grapes from a single vineyard (Madonna delle Grazie) at 400 meters above sea level. It produces only 5,000 bottles.
The first vintage dates back to 2000. This selection is really a “super Brunello” from Sangiovese grapes. It emanates aromas of young berries, black cherries, violet flowers, licorice, humus, damp earth, aromatic spices such as juniper and rhubarb, sweet tobacco. Perfumes are a real changing bouquet.
The taste is intense, progressive, very fresh, fruity, soft and long, showing off fine tannins. A very elegant Brunello Top in which the fruit is perfectly perceived and valued.
A curiosity: the winery takes its name from an ancient tower, which is located near the ancient church of the Madonna delle Grazie, dating back to 1200, once used by nuns as silos for the chestnut flour with which they baked bread for Via Francigena travelers. The tower was named “The Marroneto” after the large chestnuts called “Marroni”.
Some technical details: The wine is made in vats of French oak, remaining completely still for the first two days; the temperature is then raised very slowly, reaching 30 degrees Celsius after about 5 days. Fermentation lasts about 20-22 days.
Aging: Aging in oak casks of 2500 litres for 41 months. It becomes Brunello after 5 years, even considering 10 months of aging in bottle.
Other excellent vintages of the same wine: 1990, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2010.
It’s a wine that can be drank on its own for a relaxing moment with friends.
My rating: 95/100; retail price: € 150 – $ 160
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