Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
There’s a lot in this wine, in terms of complexity, that is all underpinned by concentrated, ripe and assertive red cherries. The oak is nicely placed and there’s a sense of purpose and build on the palate that really sets it apart. High-class tannins. Try this from 2022.
It's a wine that takes time to come around, and the 2013 is characteristically closed, rigid and austere in its youth. It hints at dusty black cherry and wild plums wrapped up in a graphite and iron fist. Bracing acidity cuts through the intense, concentrated core. The oak is polished but needs to integrate, while stiff, sticky tannins demand a few years to soften. This is all about patience.
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.
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.
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.