Salicutti Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione 2003
Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso harvested from the Piaggione and Teatro vineyards. After traditional fermentation, the wine is aged in a combination of large French and Slavonian oak casks for 3 years. Unfiltered to preserve the wholesome red berry and spice flavors typical of Brunello, Piaggione is matured for an additional year in the bottle to ensure finesse.
Piaggione offers an intense garnet color and a complex bouquet of fruit and floral notes. A solid tannic structure frames the palate with hints of coffee, tobacco and chocolate lingering on the finish. Concentrated, intense, and persistent. This is an artisanal Brunello, and an authentic gem from Montalcino.
The Wine Advocate - "Salicutti's 2003 Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione is simply gorgeous. Delicate, perfumed aromatics emerge from the glass, followed by suggestions of sweet red cherries, tobacco, smoke and underbrush. Medium in body, the wine possesses superb length and finessed tannins, in an understated style that relies more on finesse than sheer power. The use of oak is subtle and masterful. The Piaggione was fermented in stainless steel, where it subsequently underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked into 5-hectoliter French oak barrels, then 10-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks and finally a 40-hectoliter Slavonian oak cask. In 2003 the wine spent two years in oak as opposed to the standard three years as proprietor Francesco Leanza thought the warm vintage had yielded a wine that was best bottled sooner rather than later. That certainly looks like a wise decision as the Piaggione is without a doubt one of the vintage’s high points. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018. "
International Wine Cellar - "Full, bright red. Highly expressive nose offers dried flowers, spices, tobacco and cedary oak, plus a note of smoky reduction. Silky and seamless, with an insidious sweetness to its aromatic flavors. Not a wine of great power or thrust but very elegantly styled and satisfying. Relies more on its edge of acidity than on its smooth, fine-grained tannins for structure. Lovely wine. "
Owner Francesco Leanza is a firm believer in total-quality processes and natural farming. This is reflected in his respect for the biological cycles of his plants, which he is convinced leads to vines that produce not only better-tasting fruit and wines, but also benefit the environment and the consumer.
The vineyards and olive groves of Salicutti are set in a large natural amphitheater with a spectacular view of the cultivated fields of Tuscany’s Orcia Valley and the nearby woods of Mount Amiata. In the middle of this charming natural setting lies the Salicutti estate, which prides itself on the production of high-quality wines through the use of traditional, environmentally respectful agricultural methods. Winemaking Process
Leanza’s environmentally sound approach to viticulture shuns chemical intervention in favor of a return to the basics: identifying the optimal terroir, sun exposure and vineyard altitude to produce exceptional wines. Leanza fertilizes his vines and treats vineyard pests using only noninvasive measures, such as under-plowing and natural fertilizers. View all Salicutti Wines
About Tuscany(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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