Posts tagged ‘lisini’

2010 Rosso di Montalcino

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I recently returned from my second trip to Montalcino this year – how nice to see the colors of the vineyards and wildflowers in May instead of the grays and browns in February – and I’ve tasted through more than 75 examples of the new releases of 2007 Brunello di Montalcino and almost as many versions of the 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. I’ve reported on these wines already and will write more in the future.

Whenever I visit a producer in Montalcino, I taste through the entire lineup, which includes their Rosso di Montalcino. This is a wine, also made exclusively from Sangiovese, that is sourced from vineyards that are less than ten years old or perhaps from cooler vineyards that do not get as ripe as the finest plantings in the area. It is a wine that is generally released some 18-24 months after the harvest – much earlier than Brunello, which is on a five-year release cycle – which makes the Rosso a lighter, more approachable wine that is meant for earlier consumption. I don’t generally agree with those who label Rosso di Montalcino as a “baby Brunello,” as it doesn’t have the richness or the complexity of a Brunello, but is is a pleasant, sometimes very fine bottle of wine that does at least give one a preview of the vintage, letting us know what that year’s Brunello will be like in some three years’ time upon release.

What all this is leading to is the remarkable quality of the 2010 vintage for Rosso di Montalcino. I met with several producers who told me about the excellence of this particular growing season in Montalcino, with Mario Bollag of Terralsole telling me that, “the grapes from 2010 are the best he’s ever seen.” Other producers echoed this thought, so while the bottles of Brunello from this vintage will be something to look for when they are released in three years, at leat now we can enjoy the new versions of Rosso di Montalcino.

I’ve tried several examples of 2010 Rosso di Montalcino to date and have been most impressed by the SestadiSopra, a small traditional estate that I’ve rated as among the best producers of Brunello over the past half-dozen years. Their new Rosso is a lovely wine, with aromas of ripe morel cherry, cedar and a hint of mint with precise acidity and an ultra clean finish and excellent persistence. I ordered a bottle of this for our small group at Taverna Grappolo Blu in the town of Montalcino and it was wonderful with lunch; I don’t know if I’ve ever tried a more delicious Rosso di Montalcino!

Other 2010 Rosso di Montalcino I love include the elegant Ciacci Piccolomini, with its lovely red cherry and red rose aromas; the Lisini, with its light herbal notes in a traditional, subdued style; the fruit-forward Uccelliera; the appealing and perfectly balanced Fuligni, which has lovely cleansing acidity; the irresistible Le Chiuse with inviting fruit and floral aromas and remarkable balance and finally, the exquisite Il Paradiso di Manfredi, with beautiful morel cherry, red plum and iris aromas, notable concentration and gorgeous varietal purity; this is as complex and as ideally structured a Rosso as you can find.

There are other examples of 2010 Rosso di Montalcino that I have yet to try, these include top producers such as Il Poggione and Gianni Brunelli. Then there are producers such as Biondi-SantiTassi and Poggio di Sotto, who will not release their 2010 Rosso for another 8-12 months; I can’t wait to try these versions!

While these are not wines to replace Brunello, as they do not have the depth of fruit of those wines, these Rosso are beautiful wines that are ideal bottles to enjoy while you wait for the 2010 Brunello to become available on the market in 2015. Many of the best Rosso di Montalcino from 2010 will be at peak enjoyment then, so grab them now while you can easily find them. You have been warned!

June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

Tre Bicchieri Winners

Just announced are the 2011 Tre Bicchieri winners, the top rated Italian wines of the past year, as judged by the editors and tasters of Gambero Rosso, that country’s most famous wine publication. Here is the link

As always, lists such as this will be debated and my list will be different in some cases than that of Gambero Rosso (and so will just about every Italian wine lover’s). But it’s certainly an excellent list and one that highlights every region in Italy, so good for them!

Rather than bring up wines that I thought should have made the list, I want to focus briefly on a few wines I am most excited to see receive the award (an honor that carries a great deal of weight in Italy as well as some influence in America). To start with, I am excited that my friend Davide Rosso has finally been awarded a Tre Bicchieri: this is for the Giovanni Rosso 2006 Barolo Ceretta. This is good news for three reasons: first, Rosso has been crafting some beautiful Barolos from Serralunga vineyards for several years now, so this award may finally give him some overdue attention. Secondly, Gambero Rosso is in total agreement on this wine with me – I rated this wine as one of the top 10 Barolos from 2006 that I have tasted to date (out of 125) – so I guess great minds think alike! Third, taste this wine and see if you don’t agree with me that this is an sublime Barolo that is floral with appealing fruit and elegant tannins. 2006 was an old-fashioned vintage with deep concentration and big tannins, so the wines will age for quite some time, but this wine is going to be more drinkable over the short term than most of its competitors. By the way, this is a traditionally aged Barolo in botti grandi – it is a gorgeous traditional Barolo. Complimenti, Davide!

Davide Rosso, Az. Agr. Giovanni Rosso (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

Gambero Rosso also agrees with me on several other 2006 Barolos, most notably the Ceretto Bricco Rocche, Vietti Rocche and the Renato Ratti Rocche (note: the Rocche vineyard of Ratti is located in La Morra, while the Rocche of the other two wineries is in Castiglione Falletto.) These are superb wines with impressive concentration and structure; expect them to be at their best in 20-plus years. It is also nice to see Gambero give their highest award to the 2006 Ascheri Barolo Sorano Coste e Bricco; this is an elegant, polished Barolo that is only produced in the finest vintages and one I’ve loved for some time now. I didn’t have the 2006 rendering of this wine rated as high as previous vintages (such as 2004), but no mind, I have it rated as excellent and it’s nice to see Matteo Ascheri receive this honor.

Briefly, I think GR missed the boat on a few bottlings of 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, but I am pleased to see that they did honor the Canalicchio di Sopra and Caprili, two excellent estates that make their wine in a traditional style. I’m also pleased to see the 2004 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia get the award; this winery just keeps improving year after year.

Other wines I’m delighted to note received a Tre Bicchieri:

  • Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2008
  • Inama Soave Classico Foscarino 2008
  • Agostino Vicentini Soave Superiore Il Casale 2009
  • Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2006
  • Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggio 2006
  • Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2007
  • Feudi di San Gregorio Fiano di Avellino Pietracalda 2009
  • Villa Diamante Fiano di Avellino Villa di Congregazione 2008
  • Mastroberardino Taurasi 2006 and Taurasi Riserva 2004

Of course, there are many other wines that I’d like to salute, but can’t list, given space limitations. But let me note one final wine, one you wouldn’t think would get the same honor as a wine such as Sassicaia or Ornellaia. The wine is the 2009 Cantine Lunae Bosoni Vermentino Nera, a rosé from this exemplary estate in Liguria. What’s that you say, a rosé from Liguria being rated as one of the year’s best Italian wines? Well it’s true and in my mind, it deserves the award. I tasted this wine at VinItaly this past April and loved the wine and reported about it in a previous post.

Including a Ligurian rosé is an excellent decision by Gambero Rosso and proof of the tremendous variety  and outstanding quality of Italian wine being produced throughout the country today. Who says Italy only makes great red wines?

October 18, 2010 at 9:22 am 3 comments

Best Brunello Producers

 

Plaque hanging outside the offices of the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino

Plaque hanging outside the offices of the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino

 

A few weeks ago, I wote a post on Brunello di Montalcino (read here) in which I discussed ths wine’s characteristics and makeup along with listing some of the finest producers. I thought readers would be interested in learning what some of the top authorities in Italy as well as this country think about Brunello, so I asked several experts in this field to provide me with a list of whom they believe are the finest producers of Brunello.

I asked for a list of ten, letting them know they could add brief comments if they wished. One contributor gave me twelve names, saying he couldn’t get his list down to just ten, while another gave me his list of his top ten followed closely by another ten. No problem- the more the merrier – and it shows you how many excellent producers of Brunello di Montalcino there are.

So without further ado, here are the lists:

 

Jeremy Parzen – Author of dobianchi wine blog and co-author of vinowire blog. Italian wine writer, educator and marketer, currently living in Texas.

“Based on what I feel are indicative, traditional expressions of Brunello, available in this country… 

  • Le Presi
  • Il Poggione
  • Poggio di Sotto
  • Salvioni
  • Canalicchio di Sopra
  • Paradiso di Manfredi
  • Campogiovanni
  • Collemattoni
  • Caparzo
  • Fornace

 

Alfonso Cevola – author of On the Wine Trail in Italy blog and The Blend blog. Italian wine writer and marketer, currently living in Texas.

  • Altesino- cellar worthy
  • Angelo Sassetti – ultimate contadina
  • Argiano- stylish and elegant
  • Costanti – another classic their 2004 reminded me of their 1964
  • Fattoi- great pruners and dog trainers
  • Il Poggione – Love these guys
  • Lisini – classic archetype
  • Poggio alle Mura (Banfi) – their ’71 was so great
  • Poggio San Polo –  new young winemaker and energy

 

Tom Maresca – America’s leading writer on Italian wines, having contributed hundreds of articles on the topic for more than 25 years. Lives in New York City.

  • Banfi: great quality-to-price ratio
  • Barbi: very traditional house
  • Biondi Santi: self explanatory
  • Casanova di Neri: elegant
  • Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona: big, structured
  • Donatella Cinelli Colombini: very true to Montalcino character
  • Col d’Orcia: great finesse
  • Fuligni: a pace-setter in recent vintages
  • Lisini: the essence of Montalcino
  • Nardi: great strides in recent years
  • Poggio Antico: more and more, intensely Sangiovese
  • Il Poggione: superb vineyards

 

Charles Scicolone – Author of the blog Charles Scicolone on Wine. One of America’s leading authorities on Italian wines. Wine writer and restaurant consultant. He lives in New York City.

  • Fattoria dei Barbi- Some where between traditional and modren but I think more traditional
  • Biondi-Santi -Traditional and one of the best
  • Caparzo – Some wines in Traditional style, others modern
  • Casanova di Neri – use of botti, small french oak barrels and tonneau
  • Col d’Orcia
  • Il Poggione
  • Constanti- I think he is still traditional
  • Poggio Antico- They changed their style went modern with the 2001 vintage -loved the wine before this
  • Mastrojanni – in between
  • Pian delle Vigne- Antinori

” I really liked the 2004 Brunello from Banfi- I think it is the best Brunello they ever made. 

“It is difficult to tell the modern from the traditionalist except for Franco Biondi- Santi.

“In most cases the “traditionalists” are using more modern methods and the modern producers less small oak. Some make one Brunello in a traditional style and other in a modern style.

“I find Brunello to be very confusing. That is why I like my Brunello to be 1990 or older.”

 

Franco Ziliani – Author of vinoalvino blog and co-author of vinowire blog (with Jeremy Parzen). One of Italy’s most important wine writers and arguably the most influential in the country. Lives near Bergamo in the province of Lombardia.

  • Case Basse
  • Il Greppo Biondi Santi
  • Il Colle
  • Poggio di Sotto
  • Giulio Salvioni Cerbaiola
  • Lisini
  • Col d’Orcia
  • Fuligni
  • Gianni Brunelli
  • Capanna

Plus others like:

  • Il Poggione
  • Caprili
  • Gorelli Le Potazzine
  • Le Macioche
  • Sesta di Sopra
  • Il Marroneto
  • Uccelliera
  • Pian dell’Orino
  • Salicutti
  • Mastrojanni

 

And finally, my choices (in alphabetical order):

  • Biondi-Santi
  • Caprili
  • Col d’Orcia
  • Fuligni
  • Il Poggione
  • Le Chiuse
  • Pian dell’Orino
  • Poggio Antico
  • Poggio di Sotto
  • Sesta di Sopra
  • Talenti
  • Uccelliera

 

Do you have favorite Brunello producers? I’d love to read your choices- send them along.

July 22, 2009 at 8:44 am 3 comments


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