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Salicutti Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione 2003

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP93
14.5% ABV
  • D95
  • V95
  • WS95
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • RP92
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WS95
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso harvested from the Piaggione and Teatro vineyards. After traditional fermentation, the wine is aged in a combination of large French and Slavonian oak casks for 3 years. Unfiltered to preserve the wholesome red berry and spice flavors typical of Brunello, Piaggione is matured for an additional year in the bottle to ensure finesse.

Piaggione offers an intense garnet color and a complex bouquet of fruit and floral notes. A solid tannic structure frames the palate with hints of coffee, tobacco and chocolate lingering on the finish. Concentrated, intense, and persistent. This is an artisanal Brunello, and an authentic gem from Montalcino.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Salicutti's 2003 Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione is simply gorgeous. Delicate, perfumed aromatics emerge from the glass, followed by suggestions of sweet red cherries, tobacco, smoke and underbrush. Medium in body, the wine possesses superb length and finessed tannins, in an understated style that relies more on finesse than sheer power. The use of oak is subtle and masterful. The Piaggione was fermented in stainless steel, where it subsequently underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked into 5-hectoliter French oak barrels, then 10-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks and finally a 40-hectoliter Slavonian oak cask. In 2003 the wine spent two years in oak as opposed to the standard three years as proprietor Francesco Leanza thought the warm vintage had yielded a wine that was best bottled sooner rather than later. That certainly looks like a wise decision as the Piaggione is without a doubt one of the vintage’s high points. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018.
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Salicutti

Salicutti

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Salicutti, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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Owner Francesco Leanza is a firm believer in total-quality processes and natural farming. This is reflected in his respect for the biological cycles of his plants, which he is convinced leads to vines that produce not only better-tasting fruit and wines, but also benefit the environment and the consumer.

The vineyards and olive groves of Salicutti are set in a large natural amphitheater with a spectacular view of the cultivated fields of Tuscany’s Orcia Valley and the nearby woods of Mount Amiata. In the middle of this charming natural setting lies the Salicutti estate, which prides itself on the production of high-quality wines through the use of traditional, environmentally respectful agricultural methods. Winemaking Process

Leanza’s environmentally sound approach to viticulture shuns chemical intervention in favor of a return to the basics: identifying the optimal terroir, sun exposure and vineyard altitude to produce exceptional wines. Leanza fertilizes his vines and treats vineyard pests using only noninvasive measures, such as under-plowing and natural fertilizers.

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.

YNG16625_2003 Item# 106135