Among the many excellent Brunellos I have tasted over the years, there’s one that has positively impressed me for its authentic “slow” style and respect for tradition. Its name is Brunello di Montalcino Gorelli 2012 Le Potazzine.
After that glowing introduction, I guess I should regale you with the brief story of a young winery, owned by Giuseppe Gorelli and his wife Gigliola Giannetti, who now run a winemaking business along with their daughters Viola and Sofia, while still being respectful of the Brunello di Montalcino tradition.
If you are wondering about the meaning of the name “The Potazzine”, it is, simply enough, the local term for chickadees, small birds that live in the Tuscan countryside. Curiously enough, it’s also the same affectionate term by which grandparents and parents call their little girls. Young girls Viola and Sofia are therefore “The Potazzine” of Corelli family. The winery is in fact dedicated to them: 1993, the year of the company’s founding, is also the birth year of eldest daughter Viola; Sofia was born in 1996, the same year as the winery’s expansion.
The estate covers five hectares, split up into two distinct portions: three hectares in Le Prata, to the west, near the winery, 507 meters above sea level, hosting vines around the age of 14; and two hectares in the Sant’Angelo in Colle vineyard to the south, 340 meters above sea level, and part of the aforementioned 1996 expansion.
The Brunello Gorelli 2012 wine is composed of a blend of grapes harvested in the two areas and expertly assembled. The trick lies in blending the Sangiovese grapes from Le Prata, which give elegance and perfume, with those of Sant’Angelo in Colle, whose job is enriching the wine structure.
I enjoyed a preview of a Brunello during the latest “Barolo Brunello” event, and found it persuasive and possessed of excellent drinkability. It has delicate aromas of black cherry, Mediterranean herbs, sweet spices, juniper, violet flowers, sweet tobacco, eucalyptus and coffee beans. On the palate it shows remarkable freshness and liveliness. Not only that, it is also soft, intense without overdoing it, and has its strong points in its balance and its perfect, mellow tannins. Long finish with a delightful final taste of licorice. A Brunello adhering to tradition.
The objective pursued by Giuseppe and Gigliola, since their first wine-making in Le Potazzine, was to produce wine in the most natural way possible, seeking balance, elegance and a distinct character.
The distinguishing feature of Le Potazzine is the aging of the wine in Slavonian oak barrels of medium size, as tradition dictates.
The company owns a local restaurant with wine bar, “Le Potazzine”, in the heart of the medieval town of Montalcino (in the province of Siena).
Some technical details: only wild yeast fermentation is employed; the wine is aged in 30-50 hl Slavonian oak barrels for 40 months. After all that, the wine is finally left to settle in the bottle for around 8 months.
Retail price: €55; $ 59; My rating: 94/100
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