Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Intense ruby red with deep garnet hues; the bouquet is intense and ethereal with aromas ranging from dark fruit and berries to chocolate, coffee, leather, liquorice and balsamic notes; silky and elegant, potent yet balanced and characterised by sweet tannins.
Wine Spectator - "Supple and round, with an underlying earthiness, offering cherry and spice flavors. This is bright, with dusty tannins closing in on the finish. Balanced overall, in an elegant style. Best from 2013 through 2023."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is an open, inviting wine laced with red berries, flowers and sweet French oak. This shows lovely inner perfume and a rich, textured personality that makes it an excellent choice for drinking over the near-term. Sweet floral notes intermingle with spices and vanillin from the oak on the generous finish. This is one of the more engaging, accessible wines of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022."
International Wine Cellar - "Good medium red. Old-style aromas of sour cherry and chestnut with a hint of minerals. Juicy, youthful and light on its feet, with lovely definition and cut to its cherry and floral flavors. Not an extrovert or particularly sweet but quite insinuating and fresh. Finishes with lovely floral persistence and firm tannins supported by fruit."
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Il Palazzone Winery
Il Palazzone, or "The Big Palace" is a small estate that has been producing wine for over ten years. While the estate is roughly 20 acres, the land authorized for the production of Brunello di Montalcino is a mere 10 acres. Obviously, a property of these dimensions creates a tightly controlled environment which is determined by its owner. A New Yorker and a wine lover, not necessarily in that order, the proud owner takes an enormous interest in the vineyard despite the time constrains imposed by his day job as a business man. No care is spared in the entire vinification process, which end result is approximately 20,000 bottles each year.
Located on the western side of Montalcino, the estate is quite high in terms of altitude - roughly 480 meters above sea level. This altitude ensures excellent ventilation which is salutary for grapes, as it reduces mold production to a bare minimum. The constant action of the wind combined with the characteristics of the soil on the western side of Montalcino reinforce the character of the elegant wines produced by the estate. The vines themselves are over twenty years old and have therefore grown long root systems making them more resilient during periods of draught. These deep roots are able to reach minerals and components that and not present in the top soils and enrich the taste and aromas of the 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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