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Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 1998

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

"Thick and chewy Brunello, with green tobacco, berry and mineral character. This needs some time. Full-bodied, with mouthpuckering tannins. A big and boisterous wine. Best after 2004."
-Wine Spectator

COLOR: Intense ruby red, with slight garnet hues

BOUQUET: Ample and complex with notes of ripe wild berries and overtones of vanilla and liquorice

FLAVOR: Full and intense, with hints of leather, tobacco and cocoa, full ripe berries and strong tannins

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Red meat, braised and stewed meats, game and mature cheeses

Critical Acclaim

WS 92
Wine Spectator

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Col d'Orcia

Col d'Orcia

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Col d'Orcia, , Italy
Col d'Orcia
Col d'Orcia is the internationally celebrated producer of one of Italy's most revered red wines, Brunello di Montalcino. Situated on the outskirts of the medieval hilltop village of Montalcino in Tuscany's Siena province, the estate has a rich winemaking history that dates back to the 1700's. In the hands of the Cinzano family since 1973, Col d'Orcia is owned today by Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, with day-to-day operations directed by Edoardo Virano.

Winemaking at Col d'Orcia is entrusted to chief enologist Pablo Harri, whom many contemporary wine experts credit with being one of Tuscany's foremost experts in the art of making outstanding Brunello di Montalcino wines. Maurizio Castelli serves as consulting enologist.

Integrity is the cornerstone of Col d'Orcia's prestigious reputation. Low yields are maintained through methods such as winter pruning and "green harvesting" and all grapes are hand picked and vinified with the utmost care to ensure the level of quality upon which Col d'Orcia has built its reputation.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

SWS98677_1998 Item# 57261

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