Terralsole Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
#31 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
Intense rugy red color with garnet shades, limpid. The bouquet is etheral and complex, while the taste is potent with good structure, important tannins.
Wine Spectator - "This changes all the time as you taste it, with aromas of dark fruit and porcini mushroom turning to cigar box and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with masses of fruit and chewy tannins. Really powerful and long. Best after 2011."
Wine Enthusiast - "Here's a thick and opulent Brunello Riserva with a pleasurable and forward style that puts emphasis on intensity, quality of fruit and texture. The wine boasts a dark garnet color with aromas that span from exotic spice to pressed flowers. It needs at least five more years of cellar aging because the tannins are still a bit young."
Mario and Athena Bollag are the owners of Terralsole. She is a musician from San Francisco and he was born in Switzerland and trained as a lawyer. They both fell in love with Tuscany and each other and started Terralsole in 1997, planting two vineyards with a total of 15 acres. These two vineyards, Vigna Pian Bollolino and Vigna Fonte Lattaia are located in different terroirs of Montalcino so that the blending of the wine takes on a wonderful complexity. All grapes are hand picked and only the best clusters are used for this wine which spends a total of 24 months in barrel before bottling and another 6 months in bottle resting in their cool cellar before being released. View all Terralsole 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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.