Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 1999
The 1980 Brunello di Montalcino was the first wine in Italy to obtain the D.O.C.G. appellation (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita - controlled and guaranteed from the origin). The D.O.C.G. is the most prestigious classification of wine in Italy. As a result, only specialized and authorized vineyards can produce Brunello di Montalcino and a series of rules regarding production must be observed.
Four years of total aging are required for Brunello. For more than a century Brunello was aged three of these four years in wood, but as from the 1995 vintage this requirement was reduced to two years. Nevertheless, at Poggio Antico we continue to respect the traditional method for our classic Brunello, keeping it three years in large oak barrels.
Brunello must be produced with 100% Sangiovese grapes and a minimum of 12.5% alcohol by volume is required. Total acidity cannot be lower than five parts per thousand. At Poggio Antico the alcohol content, total acidity, and dry extract always reach optimum levels, thanks to low yields and the favorable geographical position of its vineyards.
Poggio Antico's Brunello di Montalcino is typically deep and intense ruby red in color. The bouquet is well developed and persistent, and increases in intensity with further bottle aging. It has a very clean nose, with hints of blackberry and licorice. In the mouth it is rounded and concentrated, with great vitality, yet elegant and harmonious, thanks to the particularly sweet tannins. It has a very long finish and ages gracefully under proper conditions.
Poggio Antico is one of Montalcino's most elevated estates, with vineyards averaging 1476 feet above sea level, southwest of the famed medieval citadel. Both the unique location and altitude privilege the wines of Poggio Antico, which benefit from the perfect exposure and enjoy favorable overnight drops in temperature, ideal conditions that increase finesse and intense bouquet.
Poggio Antico was founded in 1976 and consist of 50 clayey, calcareous acres of Brunello di Montalcino. The estate has seen a phenomenal growth, going from 50 to the present 80 acres under vine, developing two parallel Brunello worlds – the more traditional, larger-barrel Brunello, aged longer in Slavonian oak and the modern, finesse-driven Altero, aged in tonneaux of French oak; securing a stellar position in the global market and extending and upgrading the facility to ultrahigh-tech standards.
In 2017 Poggio Antico changed hands and was purchased by Atlas Invest, and it is now directed by the new General Manager Federico Trost. Poggio Antico recently lead a soil survey to approach the plot-by-plot management which started with the 2018 vintage by identifying, and consequently harvesting and fermenting separately, the micro terroirs inside each vineyard. All the estate is currently under organic conversion and a renovation of the cellar and of the hospitality center are part of the new plans.
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.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and 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 success growing in California and Washington.
Tasting Notes for Sangiovese
Sangiovese is a dry , red wine with a medium body and qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Perfect Food Pairings for Sangiovese
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Sommelier Secrets for Sangiovese
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.