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Salicutti Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione 2003

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP93
  • WS95
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • RP92
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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
The 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, , Italy
Salicutti
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.

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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

YNG16625_2003 Item# 106135

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