Paradisone Brunello di Montalcino 2013
This Brunello is made after rigorous selection of the best Sangiovese Grosso grapes from the best plots of their property. The resulting wine is of course a pure Sangiovese, as prescribed in the DOCG regulations, and quantities vary according to vintage, climatic and growth conditions and the corresponding quality. There maybe years when we will not market their Brunello: that can happen when a specific vintage is not up to the high standards for this prince of wines of Montalcino.
The farm had previously been run by Concetta and her husband Piero: true country folk from another era, one that survives in the nostalgic tales of our grandfathers. The couple lovingly tended the soil, living solely on its produce and bartering eggs, goat’s milk and fruit in exchange for what they could not themselves produce. In the 1980s, they still lived in the old farmhouse, with no heating but that provided by the large fireplace.
Piero and Concetta stayed on. They could not have left the land that was their raison d’être, or abandoned their chickens and rabbits and goats. In fact, the more I saw of the couple, the stronger I felt to be my own ancestral bonds and awakened affection for the soil – where my family’s roots had previously lain dormant.
Hence my wish to take up the challenge: making wine in the elite winemaking area.
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.