Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
The Tuscan climate regularly bestows on us the gift of excellent wine, but every so often fortune shows an extra measure of generosity. Only a careful selection of grapes from a truly exceptional harvest can produce a Riserva, and 2004 was just such a year. This wine presents itself in superlatives, with a tremendously deep and intense color. Its aroma reveals itself with beautifully ripe blueberry, and Fresh and dried roses—a bouquet that is subtle yet seductive. The wine opens on the palate with pleasant notes of cloves, Rose petals, and spices. Full-bodied, with fine and mature tannins and a long finish.
Wine Spectator - "Offers a beautiful density of blueberry and blackberry fruit on the nose and palate. Impressive for its fruit structure and ripe tannins. Long and intense, with loads of new wood, but seems to hold together wonderfully. Best after 2012. 495 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "Castello Romitorio’s beautiful Riserva Brunello delivers ripe fruit notes with inky consistency and elegant mineral tones framed around a core of solid red fruit. The wine is supple and very polished with impressive persistency on the finish."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a dark brooding effort that emerges from the glass with warm notes of mocha, spices, dark fruit, licorice and tar. Rich and voluminous, the wine blossoms on the palate with tons of depth. Sweet notes from the French oak appear on the finish, but everything about this wine is totally seamless and elegant. Though delicious today, the 2004 Riserva is sure to improve in bottle. Sweet tobacco, incense and fennel add complexity on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. "
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Castello Romitorio Winery
Castello Romitoria is located on a hilltop overlooking the Val d'Orcia and facing the township of Montalcino, in the provence of Siena. The castle, surrounded on three sides by thick oak forests, rests in the the northwestern quadrant of Montalcino, at an altitude of 450 meters. On a clear evening, one can see the city of Siena at a distance of over 40 kilometers.
Castello Romitorio, a massive 12th century hilltop fortress in Montalcino, has since 1986 produced exquisite Tuscan wines, grappa and olive oil in the best traditions of the region. After acquiring the estate in 1984, artist Sandro Chia spent the next several years restoring Castello Romitorio and transforming its lands into vineyards. He promptly constructed a cellar on the castle's ground floor with the mosts advanced equipment on the market, with a keen respect however, for ancient techniques. To ensure the highest quality, he recently enlisted the expertise of the country's leading oenoologist, Carlo Ferrini. View all Castello Romitorio Wines
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.