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Luce Della Vite Brunello di Montalcino 2006

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • JS100
  • WE93
  • WS90
  • RP90
15.5% ABV
  • JS95
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • WE97
  • RP92
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • WS95
  • WS94
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3.3 5 Ratings
15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The overall judgement on the 2006 vintage is very positive, in particular for the quality level of the grapes brought in. Spring was characterised by temperate conditions, scarce rains, and lack of heat stress, all of which favored sound, healthy fruit. Light rains during the summer helped maintain groundwater reserves for the vines. August was not excessively hot, with the result that ripeness in the various sections of the grape (pulp, skin, pip) developed evenly and with good balance. September and October brought sunny days, dry and crisp, which were the desired conditions for producing all of the qualities necessary to the making of high-quality, firmly-structured wines.

Luce Brunello appears ruby red with garnet highlights. Fragrances of wild berry fruit, such as blueberry and redcurrant, predominate on the nose; crisp notes of citrus follow, succeeded in turn by spicier impressions of forest underbrush, tobacco leaf, pencil lead, and black pepper, all lifted by intriguing nuances of star anice and China Calassaja bark. It develops full-bodied and warm in the mouth, with a forceful suite of tannins. This is a wine of incredible concentration and near-endless progression and finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 100
James Suckling
What a nose of tangerines, dark fruits, spices and cigar box. Full bodied, with incredible concentration and power. It goes on for minutes. Mind blowing. Meat, dark chocolate, dried fruits, mushrooms. Turns to aniseed and black licorice. It is a wine with soul. How can Sangiovese be better? Better in 2014.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This beautiful wine (gorgeous both in terms of execution and presentation) offers rich layers of mature fruit, chocolate, espresso and exotic spice. The wine's texture is incredibly smooth, soft and persistent.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This dense, powerful red exhibits black cherry and tobacco flavors, followed by a note of black tea on the finish. Woolly in texture, with the tannins lending a gruff conclusion. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2027. 1,300 cases made.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the richest and most powerful wines of the vintage. Super-ripe blackberries, blueberries, mocha, new leather and sweet spices flow from this textured, opulent Brunello. The muscular fruit powers through to the finish, accompanied all the way by firm tannins from the oak. The sheer concentration and depth of fruit are remarkable, but ultimately this comes across as a heavy, labored Brunello with limited finesse. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.
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Luce Della Vite

Luce Della Vite

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Luce Della Vite, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
2006 Brunello di Montalcino
In 1995, Robert Mondavi of California and Vittorio Frescobaldi of Tuscany joined hands to create an Italian wine of extraordinary quality. Their partnership was the first of its kind in Italy, and their premier offering was Luce della Vite. The name means light of the vine in Italian, and was inspired by the morning sunlight on the way from Florence to the renowned winemaking region of Montalcino.

Aptly named, Luce shines brightly as the very first blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from this highly-regarded Tuscan winemaking region. Montalcino lies approximately 20 miles south of Siena, and is considered the birthplace of the richest and most intense Tuscan wines. The Luce vineyard—adjacent to Marchesi de' Frescobaldi's Castel Giocondo estate—sits at elevations of 1300 to 1500 feet, the highest vineyard site in Montalcino. Sustainable agriculture honors the unique slate and rocky limestone soils, yielding elegant Sangiovese and round, supple Merlot.

Luce inspired a second label, Lucente, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot sourced throughout Tuscany. A third label, Danzante, produces Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese/Chianti, and Merlot sourced throughout other important Italian wine regions.

Montalcino

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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 Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is responsible for both Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti but Montalcino has its own clone, which the locals call Brunello.

The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village, which fan out at various elevations. The variations of elevation and soils create Brunellos of different styles. From the valleys with deeper deposits of clay, the wines are typically bolder and deeper in color with more opulent black fruit. These wines tend to take better to aging in some percentage of new French oak barrels. The hillside wines and vineyards at higher elevations 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. These, in general, may be aged in larger and more traditional oak casks

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.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

RPT53922396_2006 Item# 109885

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