Tasting fresh, elegant, new vintage Brunello wines, a tempting invitation to explore the magnificent wine land of Montalcino…
From 11th to 21st November, the village of Montalcino under the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, hosted by “Benvenuto Brunello” which is dedicated to the new vintages of this famous wine. The 2022 edition gathered some influential wine writers, journalists, bloggers and traders from around the world to present the Rosso di Montalcino 2021, Brunello 2018 , and the Brunello Riserva 2017. 137 wineries and 300 ready-to-taste-labels read to be released on the market from January 2023. For the first time, on 17th November, “Brunello Day” made its debut simultaneously in the cities of London, New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto. The last 3 days of the event in Montalcino were open to the public by ticket. A unique opportunity for wine lovers to enjoy themselves in the increasingly innovative and prestigious territory of Montalcino and furthermore to get a chance to meet the brilliant producers of this territory.
A unique territory for the pure expression of Sangiovese
The production area of Brunello corresponds to the Historical Limits of the Municipality of Montalcino, a picturesque village, just 40 km south of Siena, which is surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and historical sites. The Montalcino district comprises 3,500 hectares of vineyards registered under the DOC and DOCG designations. The production area is in the shape of a square, around the town and it’s very interesting to go through the microclimate differences in such a small territory. It is a dry land that enclaves a multitude of combinations of microclimates and soils. In general terms, the grapes located in the cooler northern areas of the DOCG tend to ripen more slowly. These vineyard sites are located in higher-elevation hills (not over 600 metres) and are planted in gravelly Galestro soil. On the south side, the grapes are hosted in quite another environment. The soils are richer, like clay, the sunlight is more intense, sea breezes blow from the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the wines result more powerful. Furthermore, the presence in the South of Mount Amiata (1740m) has an important influence by shielding the vineyards from strong atmospheric phenomena and provide breezes that keep the climate dry and the vines’ healthy.
The Sangiovese Grosso – the fingerprint of Brunello
Brunello di Montalcino is a 100% Sangiovese-based wine that needs long periods of aging before the quality peak. Once reached, it represents a true champion of balance, complexity, and maturity. Sangiovese is the only grape allowed in the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and Rosso DOC. It is a very sensitive native grape, one of the highest quality varieties that needs careful practicing, and impeccable attention to its production process, harvest and vinification. It is a variety that shows off fragrant notes of cherry and plum, hints of spice and an extraordinary texture. The natural tannic structure and high acidity levels of the Sangiovese are the main factors of its longevity. It performs differently in each different site and changes depending on its environment. The terroir combined with the play of time has always given elegant wines with perfectly balanced, rich bouquets. Brunello di Montalcino never fails to be a surprise. It is an example of an impressive year by year quality persistence and every vintage looks at a different profile of the beauty of Sangiovese variety, revealing a different nuance of its character each time.
A successful wine story
The road that leads Montalcino to be the phenomenon that it is today is a path that speaks of great difficulties, resilience, and a success that in the world of Italian wine has no equal. Many interpreters, local producers, important winemakers and wine families from other regions and even international investors, but who all produce Brunello with the same grape, under the same strict rules and with the same quality objectives. The shared path and consistency of nature at its best, is perhaps the greatest strength and energy of the ascent, and subsequent permanence of Brunello di Montalcino among the wines that we can define legendary. The echo of success, in the last 50 years is continually expanding and there is no oenophile that doesn’t proudly display Brunello wines on their precious wine shelf. Today, the popularity of Brunello di Montalcino continues on world markets, thanks to a sharply rising average price, a good hold on volumes, and further growth in strategic markets, already protagonists of a boom in demand over the previous two years. The results are noted by the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, in the release of data recorded by the new Price Observatory on sales over the first nine months of the year. According to the sample of wineries, accounting for 28% of designation sales, the growth trend in September registers + 21.5% in terms of value, with a leap in average prices of “Vintage” and “Riserva” products – now close to 27 Euros per bottle ex cellar (+ 14%, with peaks of over 24% in the USA) – well beyond the inflationary push. Also on the rise, surprisingly for a not very rich last vintage (2017), are the volumes, up by 6%. The projection over the 12 months of 2022, according to the Consortium, should bring a total value of Brunello sales close to 250 million Euros. Numbers for Rosso di Montalcino are also up, with rises in both value (+ 20%) and volume (+ 9%).
In Italy it is known by 2 out of 3 consumers, surpassing in notoriety even the nearby Tuscan Giants. This is the data collected by Wine Intelligence that analysed the strength and recognizability of the 46 main appellations made in Italy. Domestic demand proceeds very well, confirmed as strongly rising and now representing about one third of the entire market thanks to a growth in volumes of over 17%, with values at + 31%. Overall, in the first nine months of this year, nearly 7 million bottles of Brunello di Montalcino were sold between “Vintage”, “Vigna” (i.e., single-vineyard) and “Riserva” products, the latter being the protagonist of a very strong increase over the same period in 2021.
Montalcino, a dream wine travel destination
Montalcino was a very important stop of the Via Francigena, a road that ran from England to Rome and, therefore, it welcomed and hosted important men of power, nobles, politicians, popes… The great Wines of Montalcino were crafted to satisfy the illustrious visitors who were traveling to reach the Eternal City, and that’s why the hamlet has always displayed absolute quality winemaking for centuries. Montalcino today is internationally affirmed as an authentic, high-end wine destination. Visiting Montalcino is not just about tasting. It has to do with the history of its people, and it helps you to understand why wine is so integrated into the culture of its inhabitants, who from generation to generation continue to pass on their passion and know-how. The town welcomes many visitors and the care of its hospitality has become just as important as the attention to its wine. Ancient buildings and modern B&B, luxurious accommodation within the wine estates and impeccable hotels. The cellars are open to all visitors and the experiences to participate in are numerous. It is possible to choose the itinerary that best suits their own needs, and each chosen path knows how to leave its mark. The rolling hills of Montalcino are also the setting for two important sporting events, where professional, competitive, and amateur cyclists and walkers can take up the challenge or try their hand at routes of different intensities and difficulties: the Brunello Crossing (for the walkers) and L’Eroica (for the cyclists) for example.
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