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Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • WE93
  • W&S93
  • RP92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Il Palazzone Brunello is intense ruby red with deep garnet hues. The bouquet is intense and ethereal with aromas ranging from dark fruit and berries to chocolate, coffee, leather, licorice and balsamic notes. The wines are silky and elegant, potent yet balanced and characterized by sweet tannins. Il Palazzone Brunellos are beautifully balanced with all the promise of their bouquet fulfilled in the mouth and finish.

Critical Acclaim

WE 93
Wine Enthusiast

Il Palazzone's 2004 Riserva exhibits nicely aged aromas of dried currants, spice, leather, tar, Indian spice, pressed violets and cassis. There’s excellent intensity and complexity here and the wine closes long with lingering layers of spice and smoke.

W&S 93
Wine & Spirits

From a ten-acre vineyard in western Montalcino, at an altitude of 480 meters, this wine developed its share of earthy power in 2004 (the first great vintage since Dick Parsons, then president of Time Warner, bought the property in 2001). Rooted in mineral tannin, the wine is brisk and sunny, with an elusive power to its fruit. New oak is still a major element in the finish, but there's plenty of earthen depth to the flavors that emerge from underneath. For the cellar and eventually, a thick-cut ribeye.

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

e 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is quite possibly the finest wine I have tasted from Il Palazzone. The fruit is rich, round and caressing, all qualities that carry through to the round, creamy finish. Red cherries, spices and subtle oak add layers of complexity on the close. This is essentially a fruit-driven, open style of Brunello. The wine is firing on all cylinders today and should drink beautifully for a number of years. The Riserva is made from vineyards in Montalcino and Castelnuovo dell'Abate. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.
Rating: 92+

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Blackberry and sliced lemon on the nose. Medium- to full-bodied, with medium chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Turns clean and very pretty. Focused and refined.

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Il Palazzone

Il Palazzone

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Il Palazzone, , Italy
Il Palazzone
Il Palazzone, or "The Big Palace" is a small estate that has been producing wine for over ten years. While the estate is roughly 20 acres, the land authorized for the production of Brunello di Montalcino is a mere 10 acres. Obviously, a property of these dimensions creates a tightly controlled environment which is determined by its owner. A New Yorker and a wine lover, not necessarily in that order, the proud owner takes an enormous interest in the vineyard despite the time constrains imposed by his day job as a business man. No care is spared in the entire vinification process, which end result is approximately 20,000 bottles each year.

Located on the western side of Montalcino, the estate is quite high in terms of altitude - roughly 480 meters above sea level. This altitude ensures excellent ventilation which is salutary for grapes, as it reduces mold production to a bare minimum. The constant action of the wind combined with the characteristics of the soil on the western side of Montalcino reinforce the character of the elegant wines produced by the estate. The vines themselves are over twenty years old and have therefore grown long root systems making them more resilient during periods of draught. These deep roots are able to reach minerals and components that and not present in the top soils and enrich the taste and aromas of the wines.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.

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.

DSLD2520_04_010_2004 Item# 121306

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