BRUNELLO


Brunello is an important clone of the Italian Sangiovese (sangiovese grosso) found exclusively in the Tuscan town of Montalcino. Brunello translates "the little brown one" so named for the brown hue of its skin.
One of the first records of "Brunello" was a red wine that was made in the Montalcino area in the early 14th century. In 1831, marchese Cosimo Ridolfi (who was later appointed Prime Minister of Tuscany by the Grand Duke Leopold II) praised the merits of the red wines of Montalcino above all others in Tuscany. In 1865, an agricultural fair in Montalcino noted that the prize winning wine of the event was a "select red wine" known as a Brunello. In the mid-19th century, a local farmer named Clemente Santi isolated certain plantings of Sangiovese vines in order to produce a 100% varietal wine that could be aged for a considerable period of time. In 1888, his grandson Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, a veteran soldier who fought under Giuseppe Garibaldi, released the first "modern version" of Brunello di Montalcino that was aged for over a decade in large wood barrels.
By the end of World War II, Brunello di Montalcino had developed a reputation as one of Italy's rarest wines. The only commercial producer recorded in government documents was the Biondi-Santi firm, but the prestige of these wines soon encouraged other producers to emulate Biondi-Santi's success. By the 1960s there were 11 producers making Brunello, and in 1968 the region was granted Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status. By 1970 the number of producers had more than doubled to 25, and by 1980 there were 53 producers. In 1980, the Montalcino region was the first Italian wine region to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation. By the turn of the 21st century, there were nearly 200 producers of Brunello di Montalcino, mostly small farmers and family estates, producing nearly 330,000 cases a year.
For a Brunello the obligatory minimum ageing in wood is 2 years in oak casks (of any size and origin) and the obligatory minimum ageing in bottles is 4 months. However usually is commercially available
the 4th or the 5th year after the harvest year (6th year for the Riserva).
The brunello is a wine that needs to be aged to reach the best taste; in fact  the wine will reach its best around 10-12 yrs after harvest.

The Cantina di Montalcino produces one of the best Brunellos and a visit to this winery is a must!













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