La Serena Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Gemini 2006
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
La Serena's Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Gemini is and intense ruby red color. The nose is ethereal, well defined, ample, and persistent with elegant fruity notes. On the palate, the wine is round, sapid, supple, and velvety.
James Suckling - "Gorgeous aromas of dried flowers, nutmeg and dark fruits. Prune and coffee cake too. Full body, with velvety tannins and a powerful finish. Tannic and structured. Made from biodynamic grapes. Try after 2013."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Gemini opens with knock-out aromatics that lead to expressive layers of ripe red fruit, flowers, spices, licorice and tobacco. The balance of fruit, acidity and tannin is fabulous. Freshly cut roses, spices and licorice reappear to frame the finish. This is an exceptional, totally refined Brunello from Andrea Mantengoli. The Riserva was aged in a combination of casks and smaller French oak barriques. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. 95+"
International Wine Cellar - "Good dark red. Sexy high-toned perfume of cherry, ripe strawberry, dried rose, tobacco, leather and underbrush; the full monty of sangiovese. Superconcentrated, dense and suave, with terrific energy giving the red berry and saline mineral flavors a light touch. The very long, rising, firmly tannic finish saturates the mouth with perfume. Showed more mocha and oak with time in the recorked bottle, but this outstanding Brunello boasts buns of steel: wait 5 years, then enjoy it over the following 15."
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La Serena Winery
The La Serena estate has belonged to the Mantengoli family since the 1930s, but they did not start making wine until 1988, when brothers Andrea and Marcello entered the family business. What began as a one-hectare farm has since grown into nine hectares, with about six of those under vine, dedicated exclusively to Sangiovese for Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino.
The zone of production, Torrenieri, is in the northeast corner of Montalcino at about 400 meters above sea level. The soil there is similar to the Pertimali/Montosoli Cru areas, but is slightly less compact, providing wines with structure but perhaps more approachability in their youth than their neighbors. View all La Serena Wines
About Tuscany(TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.