Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino 2008
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Clear and intense ruby red with pale garnet highlights. The nose shows fruit and vanilla blended with leaf tobacco. An austere, full and persistent entry, generous mid-palate, and intriguingly tangy finish. Made with 100% Sangiovese (Brunello).
James Suckling - "Wow. This has a wonderful depth of fruit and character for this vintage of Brunello. Full and velvety with gorgeous fruit and a spicy, dried chili and berry character. Drink or hold."
Wine Spectator - "A mix of cherry and balsamic aromas and flavors marks this supple, juicy red. Beautifully balanced, with well-apportioned acidity and tannins. Capped off by fine length."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Tar, licorice, game, incense and smoke are some of the many notes that emerge from the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino from Mastrojanni. Big, rich and powerful, the 2008 shows the wilder side of the Sangiovese. The 2008 impresses for its freshness, nuance and delineation, all qualities that are increasingly evident as the wine opens up in the glass, releasing an attractive mélange of floral-infused nuances. Firm tannins frame the virile, beautifully articulated finish. Based on this showing, I am very interested to taste the top selection, the Vigna Schiena d'Asino, next year."
Wine Enthusiast - "Brunello Mastrojanni is always a highlight among the various wines from Montalcino. Bright and elegant, it shows aromas of cherry, cola, ginger, dried spice, leather and spice. The mouthfeel is lean and tight with crisp acidity and firm, polished tannins."
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About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (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.