Luce Della Vite Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
The overall judgement on the 2006 vintage is very positive, in particular for the quality level of the grapes brought in. Spring was characterised by temperate conditions, scarce rains, and lack of heat stress, all of which favored sound, healthy fruit. Light rains during the summer helped maintain groundwater reserves for the vines. August was not excessively hot, with the result that ripeness in the various sections of the grape (pulp, skin, pip) developed evenly and with good balance. September and October brought sunny days, dry and crisp, which were the desired conditions for producing all of the qualities necessary to the making of high-quality, firmly-structured wines.
Luce Brunello appears ruby red with garnet highlights. Fragrances of wild berry fruit, such as blueberry and redcurrant, predominate on the nose; crisp notes of citrus follow, succeeded in turn by spicier impressions of forest underbrush, tobacco leaf, pencil lead, and black pepper, all lifted by intriguing nuances of star anice and China Calassaja bark. It develops full-bodied and warm in the mouth, with a forceful suite of tannins. This is a wine of incredible concentration and near-endless progression and finish.
James Suckling - "What a nose of tangerines, dark fruits, spices and cigar box. Full bodied, with incredible concentration and power. It goes on for minutes. Mind blowing. Meat, dark chocolate, dried fruits, mushrooms. Turns to aniseed and black licorice. It is a wine with soul. How can Sangiovese be better? Better in 2014."
Wine Enthusiast - "This beautiful wine (gorgeous both in terms of execution and presentation) offers rich layers of mature fruit, chocolate, espresso and exotic spice. The wine's texture is incredibly smooth, soft and persistent. "
Wine Spectator - "This dense, powerful red exhibits black cherry and tobacco flavors, followed by a note of black tea on the finish. Woolly in texture, with the tannins lending a gruff conclusion. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2027. 1,300 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the richest and most powerful wines of the vintage. Super-ripe blackberries, blueberries, mocha, new leather and sweet spices flow from this textured, opulent Brunello. The muscular fruit powers through to the finish, accompanied all the way by firm tannins from the oak. The sheer concentration and depth of fruit are remarkable, but ultimately this comes across as a heavy, labored Brunello with limited finesse. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. "
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Luce Della Vite Winery
In 1995, Robert Mondavi of California and Vittorio Frescobaldi of Tuscany joined hands to create an Italian wine of extraordinary quality. Their partnership was the first of its kind in Italy, and their premier offering was Luce della Vite. The name means light of the vine in Italian, and was inspired by the morning sunlight on the way from Florence to the renowned winemaking region of Montalcino.
Aptly named, Luce shines brightly as the very first blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from this highly-regarded Tuscan winemaking region. Montalcino lies approximately 20 miles south of Siena, and is considered the birthplace of the richest and most intense Tuscan wines. The Luce vineyard—adjacent to Marchesi de' Frescobaldi's Castel Giocondo estate—sits at elevations of 1300 to 1500 feet, the highest vineyard site in Montalcino. Sustainable agriculture honors the unique slate and rocky limestone soils, yielding elegant Sangiovese and round, supple Merlot.
Luce inspired a second label, Lucente, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot sourced throughout Tuscany. A third label, Danzante, produces Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese/Chianti, and Merlot sourced throughout other important Italian wine regions. View all Luce Della Vite 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.
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