Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto 1997

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"Everything is here. Mineral, licorice, berry and meat aromas. Full-bodied, yet dense and refined. It coats your mouth, but gratifies every inch of your palate. A masterpiece. Best after 2007. 2,220 cases made."

-Wine Spectator

The Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is produced from a selection of vineyards situated in the natural amphitheatre by the Asso river. The particular microclimate, the "terroir", the low production per vine and the great attention to detail in the winery together produce a well balanced wine with character and good alcohol content. It is only produced when we consider the quality of the grapes harvested to be excellent. It is aged for about 2 years in French oak casks and then for at least 18 months in the bottle.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 97
Wine Spectator
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto opens to a profoundly dark color and inky appearance. The bouquet is seamless and tight, with a long continuum of dark fruit nuances, dried cherry, cured meat and exotic spice. There are evolved aromas of tar and smoke as well. That said, there was agreement between Giacomo Neri and myself that this was not a perfect bottle. Despite its broad textural embroidery, the wine seemed less able to deliver in terms of depth, definition and sharpness. On the other hand, the tannins are sharp, almost astringent, and not what I would have expected from this iconic vintage (that is credited with kick-starting Brunello sales in the United States market). That explains the question mark in my score.
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Casanova di Neri

Casanova di Neri

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Casanova di Neri, Italy
Casanova di Neri Casanova di Neri’s Vineyards  Winery Image

Casanova di Neri was established in 1971, when Giovanni Neri acquired an estate not far from the town of Montalcino. In 1978 they produced their first Brunello di Montalcino. Over the years their continuing goal has been the search for land believed to be optimal for growing high quality grapes. In 1981 they released a single vineyard bottling from their four hectares amphitheater vineyard site in NE Montalcino, named Cerretalto.

In 1991, Giovanni’s son, Giacomo took over the management of the estate and the winemaking. Giacomo acquired vineyards in the southern part of Montalcino, which eventually became their Tenuta Nuova Brunello di Montalcino, which was first released in 1993.

Today, the estate has grown to include seven different vineyards in various parts of the denomination, totaling 156 acres of vines along with forested tracts, arable fields, and 50 acres of olive trees. The vineyards have been planted or replanted mostly with cuttings propagated from old Sangiovese vines in the Cerretalto vineyard that produced distinctive, high-quality fruit.

Giacomo’s sons, Giovanni & Gianlorenzo are at his side at the winery. Giovanni is working in winemaking & vineyard management while Gianlorenzo is focused on marketing and sales.

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Montalcino Wine

Tuscany, Italy

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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.

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Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness 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. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.

SEC75569_1997 Item# 75569

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