95 Points Wine Enthusiast:Brunello di Montalcino is a gracious, classy wine. Sweet red cherries, flowers, mint and spices are just some of the aromas and flavors that emerge from this mid-weight, restrained Brunello. In 2006 Altesino’s Brunello impresses for its balance, freshness and finessed tannins. It isn’t a blockbuster, but it will drink well upon release and over the next decade or so, perhaps longer. Floral notes waft from the glass on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.
Brunello di Montalcino, ambassador of the high quality of Italian wine in the world, was the first wine to obtain recognition of the DOCG. The Brunello shows a brilliant ruby ??red color which tends towards garnet as the years pass. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of violets, tobacco, chocolate and pleasant memories of wild berries and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a well-balanced attack, full body, good tannins and important stuff.
Vineyards have been successfully planted and maintained throughout Italy since the Etruscans in 750 BC. With the rise of the Roman Monarchy in 508 BC international varietals were introduced and widely cultivated. As the Roman Empire expanded into new regions, soldiers returned with wine from their conquests and the first international wine market was established. In 410 AD, the Visigoths sacked Rome, causing many high-society Romans to flee to the countryside where they established vineyards. For the most part, those vineyards have been maintained through modern day, leading Italy to produce more wine than any other country and boast the most land under vine.
Italy grows more grape varieties than any country in the world. Currently, more than 1200 grape varieties are grown that produce more than 3000 specific wines. The most notable red grapes are Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Primitivo, Nero d’Avola, and Negroamaro; of the whites, Pinot Gris, Glera, Trebbiano, Cortese, and Garganega stand out. Italian white wines are generally easy to drink, approachable and seafood-friendly, while the reds tend to be hugely varied. Northern Italian reds like Amarone and Barolo are deep, powerful reds that pair easily with roast meats and mushrooms. The reds of central Italy are a little less heavy and show more finesse when paired with tomato sauces and wild game. Southern Italian reds, with their full-bodied black-fruit-dominated flavors are some of the best pizza-wines in the world.
Serving suggestions: red meats, roasts, large game, mature cheeses