Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
The Riserva 2004 comes from a 5-star vintage and was aged 5 years, 3 of which in oak. It's still a baby and will show its full colors in a couple of years, to go on living for a very, very long time. Depth and structure have all the magnitude of great Brunello Riservas, hailing from select grapes and oldest vines. Intense ruby, garnet color, the bouquet calls to mind spice, red fruit and subtle coffee nuances; on the palate, the noble tannins indicate future longevity and need to mellow out at this stage; they are complemented by firm acidity and brilliant notes of currant, cherries and spice. - Maria Flora Fuligni & Roberto Guerrini
Wine Spectator - "Aromas of blueberry and blackberry, with hints of lilac. Full and velvety, with powerful chewy tannins, but so well-defined and polished. Very long and intense, with bright acidity. Needs time to come together. Best after 2012."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva reveals gorgeous clarity, precision and richness in a generous, enveloping style. The fruit remains incredibly pure and almost primary at this stage, suggesting the wine has many years of fine drinking ahead of it. Deceptively medium in body, Fuligni's Riserva has plenty of tannic clout to back up the sexy, opulent fruit. A layered, impeccable finish rounds out this utterly brilliant Riserva. Readers will not want to miss this fabulous Brunello from Fuligni. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. What a joy it is to taste these new releases from Fuligni. The Brunellos in particular are both exceptional for their respective vintages. The wines capture a middle ground between modern and traditional styles that is immensely appealing."
All labels bear the lion of St. Marco in honor of the Fulignis' Venetian origins. The family, however, has long been thoroughly Tuscan, founding the winery in 1923 round a Medici villa and a tiny country convent of the Renaissance. Maria Flora Fuligni and nephew Roberto Guerrini Fuligni have just restored the latter to its sixteenth-century purity. Its cool, cloistered tranquillity supplies ideal aging conditions for these elegantly structured reds, jointly orchestrated by Maria Flora, oenologist Paolo Vagaggini, and agronomist Federico Ricci. Besides this restoration work, the past year has seen further expansion of the vineyards (now 25 productive acres out of the total 247). Altitude varies between 1250-1480 feet above sea level. Exposure is mainly eastern and southeastern, and terrain consists of stony/clayey, hillside "galestro" marls. The soil is low in organic components — therefore conducive to minuscule yields. Crops are further cut back by the vines’ age (12-30 years), their density, severe pruning and green harvest. The newly added vineyards are even more densely planted, 10 to 12 years old and at a slightly lower altitude of 984 feet, on predominantly clayey terrain better suited to Merlot. The grapes are vinified separately according to cru, in a classically inspired international style. View all Fuligni 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.