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Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP96
  • WS96
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Winemaker Notes

The Riserva 2004 comes from a 5-star vintage and was aged 5 years, 3 of which in oak. It's still a baby and will show its full colors in a couple of years, to go on living for a very, very long time. Depth and structure have all the magnitude of great Brunello Riservas, hailing from select grapes and oldest vines. Intense ruby, garnet color, the bouquet calls to mind spice, red fruit and subtle coffee nuances; on the palate, the noble tannins indicate future longevity and need to mellow out at this stage; they are complemented by firm acidity and brilliant notes of currant, cherries and spice. - Maria Flora Fuligni & Roberto Guerrini

Critical Acclaim

RP 96
The Wine Advocate

The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva reveals gorgeous clarity, precision and richness in a generous, enveloping style. The fruit remains incredibly pure and almost primary at this stage, suggesting the wine has many years of fine drinking ahead of it. Deceptively medium in body, Fuligni's Riserva has plenty of tannic clout to back up the sexy, opulent fruit. A layered, impeccable finish rounds out this utterly brilliant Riserva. Readers will not want to miss this fabulous Brunello from Fuligni. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. What a joy it is to taste these new releases from Fuligni. The Brunellos in particular are both exceptional for their respective vintages. The wines capture a middle ground between modern and traditional styles that is immensely appealing.

WS 96
Wine Spectator

Aromas of blueberry and blackberry, with hints of lilac. Full and velvety, with powerful chewy tannins, but so well-defined and polished. Very long and intense, with bright acidity. Needs time to come together. Best after 2012.

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Fuligni

Fuligni

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Fuligni, , Italy
Fuligni
All labels bear the lion of St. Marco in honor of the Fulignis' Venetian origins. The family, however, has long been thoroughly Tuscan, founding the winery in 1923 round a Medici villa and a tiny country convent of the Renaissance. Maria Flora Fuligni and nephew Roberto Guerrini Fuligni have just restored the latter to its sixteenth-century purity. Its cool, cloistered tranquillity supplies ideal aging conditions for these elegantly structured reds, jointly orchestrated by Maria Flora, oenologist Paolo Vagaggini, and agronomist Federico Ricci. Besides this restoration work, the past year has seen further expansion of the vineyards (now 25 productive acres out of the total 247). Altitude varies between 1250-1480 feet above sea level. Exposure is mainly eastern and southeastern, and terrain consists of stony/clayey, hillside "galestro" marls. The soil is low in organic components — therefore conducive to minuscule yields. Crops are further cut back by the vines’ age (12-30 years), their density, severe pruning and green harvest. The newly added vineyards are even more densely planted, 10 to 12 years old and at a slightly lower altitude of 984 feet, on predominantly clayey terrain better suited to Merlot. The grapes are vinified separately according to cru, in a classically inspired international style.

With a distinctly Mediterranean climate featuring warm days and cool nights, the Lodi AVA in California’s Central Valley provides growers with ideal conditions for grape-growing. As most of the rain falls in winter months while vines are dormant, the risk of disease and pest problems is low and irrigation can make up for the dry conditions during harvest.

By a wide margin, Zinfandel is the most successful and widely planted variety in Lodi. Often made from old vines, these wines are robust and fleshy with ripe, plummy fruit and represent excellent value at the lower end of the price spectrum. Over 100 other varieties are grown here, ranging from the classic (Merlot, Chardonnay) to the obscure and experimental (Portugal’s Touriga Nacional, France's Picqpoul).

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.

HDN104856_2004 Item# 104856

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