Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1962 Primo Pacenti, a lover of the land with a knowledge of its products, founded Azienda Agricola Canalicchio di Sopra. Situated in the northern side of the Municipality of Montalcino and in the middle of the tourist itinerary of Val d’Orcia, the farm extends for about 60 ha, 15 of which are cultivated with vines and 2 with olive groves.
Three generations live here side by side with the common aim of producing quality wines: the generation of the grandfather, Primo Pacenti, who founded the farm and managed it until the 1990's, as well as participating actively in the social life of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino; that of the father, Pier Luigi Ripaccioli, who with the grandfather has undertaken to increase the quality by proposing careful and meticulous work; that of the grandchildren, Simonetta, Marco and Francesco who joined the management in 2001, bringing with them new ideas and new technologies always in respect of ancient methods and customs.
The vines grow in two of the zones with the highest vine growing and wine making vocations in Montalcino: Canalicchio di Sopra and Le Gode di Montosoli. The different exposure and the geological differences of the soils produce different Sangiovese grapes where balance and power compensate one another in the wine cellar through the patient work which always seeks the best blend of tradition and innovation.
Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.
The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.
Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.