Biondi Santi – The Evolution of a Wine Legend, by Filippo Magnani

 

On July 8th I was thrilled to be invited to the estate of the renowned Brunello producer, Biondi Santi. I also had the pleasure to taste their magnificent wines. It has been a great honor for me to be back in the place where the legendary Brunello di Montalcino has been created.

In the year of 1999, which was at the beginning of my career, I met the legendary Franco Biondi Santi in front of the 18th-century villa Tenuta Greppo. To this day, it is still a significant point of reference for my working and personal life in the world of wine.

At that time [1999], I was a young boy with a drawer full of dreams.

I was welcomed at the beautiful entrance, of the wine estate, by Mr Franco Biondi Santi and I immediately perceived his humanity and kindness. For me, he was a passionate teacher, elegant and very enthusiastic. A charismatic man. After several years, I am back there with my team. We were welcomed by Sabine Cappelli from hospitality, and Lene Lundvald Bucelli from marketing and communications. They guided us into the discovery of the innovations of the estate, transmitting the same humanity and kindness that has always distinguished the Biondi-Santi family.

An endless success of “Great Men with a Vision”

There is an indissoluble thread between the success of one of the most important wine territories in the world such as Brunello di Montalcino and the history of the Biondi Santi family. The line of a dynasty of brilliant men; charismatic and visionary figures who have always been able to look forward. Masters of winemaking that managed to keep up the family name and their traditions. They’ve always taken care of their beloved territory of Montalcino. It was first the revolutionary intuition of Clemente Santi that in the 1850 decided to plant the Sangiovese variety at Montalcino. The name Biondi Santi comes from the will of his grandson Ferruccio, son of Caterina Santi (Clemente’s daughter) and Jacopo Biondi, to keep the grandfather name. Clemente and Ferruccio shared the same love for viticulture and vinification. The name Brunello di Montalcino (with capital B) on the label was first seen in 1888 under the guidance of the latter. Ferruccio Biondi Santi also noticed the robust character of the Sangiovese Grosso grape and decided to vinify it on its own to produce wine suitable for aging.

Another turning point was in 1966 when Tancredi (Ferruccio’s son) established the specification when the DOC was created for the Brunello di Montalcino (then upgraded Docg in 1980). The other brilliant visionary of the last century was Franco Biondi Santi (1922-2013) who learned from his ancestors the fine art of vinification. As a wine producer he meticulously continued the growing practices and further enhanced the already cult wine of Montalcino. He carried on the study begun by Ferruccio and continued by Tancredi on the research of a grape that was the most resistant to the cryptogams that were affecting their vines. The selection process concluded with the identification of the clone known as BBS11: which stands for Brunello Biondi Santi with the 11 corresponding to the chosen mother plant. Biondi Santi is the only producer to have given its name to a grape clone.

After many years and long tradition in the wine production, the new generations of the family, Jacopo Biondi Santi and his son Tancredi Biondi Santi initiated a major change and evolution for Tenuta Greppo, welcoming a new partner in the leading of the estate to be able to continue the enduring commitment of producing outstanding wines. Today the winery is under the guidance of Christopher Descours, proprietor of the EPI Group, who leads hand in hand with an extremely qualified Italian team. An important strategic alliance driven by the great respect for the bicentenary know-how in the vine growing and by the common goal of reaffirming once again Biondi-Santi among the most special and desired wines in the world. The vision of the new partner was endorsed immediately by Giampiero Bertolini who was appointed as CEO in November 2018 standing at the helm of the historic winery today. 

Vineyards and Soils

Since 2018, huge investments have been made. The new partnership carried on the scientific research of Franco, who introduced a rigorous study on the parcellation both in the vineyards and in the winery depending on the age of the vines.  It shows the extraordinary effort of the leaders of the estates to try to understand and develop their beloved terroir. An accurate examination in the professional hands of the agronomist Pietro Parra starting from the analysis of the vineyards, and taking a fresh approach to the terroir. He has been able to fully map the characteristics of all the different types of soil and exposition. The estate today is comprised of 47 hectares. All the grapes are from different vineyards that extend between the four historical sites Tenuta Greppo, I Pieri, Scarnacuoia, Pievecchia and the new acquisition Ribusuoli.

“Tenuta Greppo”, is the main block around the winery, 560 metres above sea level. It is situated on a 26-hectare, coming from a massal selection of the oldest vines of the property dating back to 1930, the majority of them are BBS11 clones (Brunello Biondi Santi 11).

“I Pieri”, east of Montalcino, sitting at 370 metres altitude with a cool east-facing exposure, like Greppo, are poor, calcareous soils with a high marl content.

“The Scarnacuoia” on the west of the village Montalcino, at 450 metres altitude with old-terraced vineyards separated by dry stone walls.

“Pievecchia”, the lowest lying site, at 200 metres altitude with a cool, airy, north facing exposure. The soil here has a higher clay content.

“Ribusuoli”, is a plot acquired at the end of 2019 at an altitude of 380-450 metres, not far from Tenuta Greppo, with very similar soils and exposures.

Biondi-Santi is committed to respecting the environment and safeguarding biodiversity. Today, as in the past, the vineyards are not treated with any invasive chemical agents.

The Winery and its Wines 

New concrete and oak vats were purchased to maintain the winery’s tradition of the use of concrete for fermentation and Slavonian oak for ageing. The grapes are destemmed and crushed upon arrival at the winery. Only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation of the riserva. The process takes place in oak vats, unlike the regular Brunello, which ferments in concrete vats. Federico Radi, the technical Director in charge of the wine production, is focused on continuing the balance between tradition and innovation. Biondi-Santi produces three wines, all crafted with Sangiovese Grosso: Rosso di Montalcino; Brunello di Montalcino; and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. All three wines are bound together by a distinctive style, driven by a signature freshness, which makes them vibrant, and a specific balance which makes them elegant and very suitable for long ageing in the bottle.

My tasting at Biondi-Santi, Tenuta Greppo  on the 8th of July 2021

Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2018
The Rosso di Montalcino 2018 was produced exclusively from Biondi Santi proprietary vineyards and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 12 months and released on the market after 3 years from the harvest.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 13%

Notes:
Brillant medium ruby core with compact rim. Expressive flavour of strawberry, blueberries, and violet mixed with scents of rhubarb and mint. Lively red fruit in the palate with abundant freshness and well-integrated tannins. Elegant and lingering finish. Charming wine with ageing potential.

Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2015
The 2015 Brunello was produced exclusively with a selection of grapes from Biondi Santi proprietary vineyards, then aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years and released on the market after 6 years from the harvest. For the first time in history Biondi-Santi, this wine was produced in 750 ml and Magnum bottles.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 14,5%

Notes:
Bright deep ruby core with narrow rim. The wine expresses intense aromas of black cherry and plum mixed with scents of chocolate and fresh tobacco. The palate is balanced, the acidity matches perfectly with the soft tannins and with the alcohol. Harmonious structure with long aftertaste. A beautiful wine.

Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2013 Riserva
The 2013 Riserva was produced exclusively with a selection of grapes from Biondi Santi proprietary vineyards comprising of the oldest parcels, then aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years and released on the market after 7 years from the harvest.

Vintage 2013 is officially the 40th Riserva produced from 1888 until 2013. For the first time in history Biondi-Santi produced three large formats in addition to the 750 ml bottle: Magnum, Jéroboam and Mathusalem.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 13,5%

Notes:
Intense ruby core with paler reflections. Very complex nose showing aromas of red cherry and blackcurrant. Slightly meaty with overtones of cedar and leather. Vibrant, fresh palate with velvety tannins well matched with a lovely fruit and a lively acidity. Soft and persistent. An outstanding wine, clear expression of pure Sangiovese with long lasting life.

Brunello di Montalcino Docg 1983 Riserva  
The 1983 Riserva was produced with the Biondi Santi proprietary clone of Sangiovese Grosso called BBS11 (Brunello Biondi Santi 11), which was identified and selected by Biondi-Santi at Tenuta Greppo in the Seventies. For this wine were used only grapes from the oldest vines with over 25 years of age, then it was aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years and released on the market generally after 7 years from the harvest. It benefited from a long refinement in the bottle in the quiet and darkness of “La Storica”, the bottle library at Tenuta Greppo where all the historic vintages of Biondi-Santi Riserva are scrupulously kept.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 13 %

Notes:
Clear, garnet colour with paler tinge. The nose shows a magnificent bouquet with scents of prune and fig with hints of mushroom and tobacco. Delicate entrance in the palate with medium body and silky tannins. It shows equilibrium and finesse. A gorgeous wine, showing the purity and the potential of one the greatest Sangiovese in the world.

Tenuta Greppo and its terroir are a place of perpetual balance. Each bottle produced is unique and alive, growing without hurry in its charming relationship with time. It is a wine that maintains not only the great quality that has always distinguished the company, but it also assumes unique features year by year. Prolonged bottle-ageing is then essential to allow the Biondi-Santi style to develop to its fullest. Longevity is in fact the most precious quality of these wines. “It is intriguing to think that in a sip Brunello di Montalcino there are hidden all of the three temporal dimensions: the past with the history of a family and their dedication to viticulture, study and research; the present with lively, complex and intense flavors; and the future, that lies in the ability to grow in character, both its wines and its representatives.” Here they’ve always seen beyond the horizon, setting ambitious objectives. Pioneers that created what is considered today the finest expression of the Tuscan wine style.

Biondi Santi is the spearhead of one world famous wine destination. Wine lovers and wine professionals arrive in Tuscany from all over the world for their exceptional wine travel experience.

 

 

#Biondisanti #wine #redwine #winelovers #instawine #winetravel #winetourism #italy #tuscany #tenutagreppo #behindthebottle #italianwine #italianwinelover #tuscanygram #Sangiovese #winetasting @biondisantigreppo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Anteprima 2021”- Wine Preview of Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Filippo Magnini 

“The ancient crowned hill through the eyes of the queen grape”

When you are in the direction of San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, you cannot help but be enveloped by the magical atmosphere, you get catapulted into a fairy-tale. The hills of “Queen Vernaccia” crown the city of San Gimignano; at its foot lies the most fascinating and characteristic landscape of the Val d’Elsa. Impressive from a distance are the tips of the “crown”, a little Manhattan of the Middle Ages. The city of San Gimignano in the first centuries after 1000 AD was embellished with seventy towers and numerous palaces, built by the many wealthy families to display their wealth and power. Still today, the fourteen beautiful towers remain to characterize the city center and to make the unique and recognizable silhouette of the crowned hill. It is right inside the walls of the beautiful San Gimignano that every year we have the pleasure to taste the new vintages of wines made in this fascinating territory.

The event this year was different from the usual February schedule. The Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2021, in fact, was a month-long event that started on Wednesday the 19th of May and closed on Monday the 14th of June. The first day was dedicated exclusively to the Italian and international press. For the occasion, the consortium chose two principal venues: the De Grada Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where all the journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the latest vintages of the sixty-nine wines produced by thirty-four wineries (Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019, Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2018); and the Dante’s Chamber in the Town Hall for the 16th edition of the ‘White Wine and Its Territories’ series: “Vernaccia in Comedy”.  A choice linked to the tradition and history of Italy. In fact, this year is the 700th anniversary of the death of the poet Dante. The consortium has intertwined the main six female protagonists of Dante’s work and 6 characteristic white wines of the territory of San Gimignano. These six samples were chosen to be compared with as many wines from those that are among the major denominations for white wines: Alto Adige Valle Isarco Veltliner, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Orvieto Classico Superiore, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc and Palette Blanc. A so-called ‘battle’ between elegant queens, in a magnificent hall that narrates through its frescoes the path of our life.

TASTING REPORT 

During my stay at San Gimignano, I blind-tasted all the wines, which were majestically presented by the Consorzio del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 (34 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Fattoria di Fugnano
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Da Fugnano 

Brillant with pale straw core and watery rim. Pronounced flavour of pineapple with peachy overtones. Dry and sapid with bright acidity. Well balanced with good fruit and harmonious finish.  I like this wine.

Winery:  Fattoria San Donato
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 

Pale yellow core with greenish hues. The nose is fresh and fruity with scents of lemon and apricot. Vibrant entrance with medium alcohol. Dry with good acidity and a fruity finish. Lovely wine.

Winery:  Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Pale yellow core, lighter on the edge. Intense flavour of citrus fruit and green apple with light floral notes. Dry with lovely acidity which matches a good alcohol level. The aftertaste is persistent with pleasant notes of almond at the end. Very good wine !

Winery:  Il Palagione
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Hydra 

Straw coloured with paler rim. The bouquet is intense and ample with notes of grapefruit and apricot with scents of ginger. The mouth is intense and fresh with racy acidity. Quite a long finish. Fine, charming wine !

Winery: San Benedetto
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Clear with lemon colour turning slightly green on the rim. It expresses nice aromas of lemon and peach mixed with light notes of acacia. The acidity matches well with the rich fruit. Balanced palate with quite a long persistence.  I really appreciate it.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 (18 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Montenidoli
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Fiore 

Deep yellow core, lighter on the edge. The wine expresses a beautiful bouquet of lime and orange peel with overtones of thyme and mint. It is vibrant and structured to the palate with harmonious and fresh finish. Great potential for the ageing.

Winery:  Mormoraia
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Ostrea

Intense straw core with paler reflections. Intriguing nose with flavour of pear and maruted fruit with a hint of almond.  Lovely, creamy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level with fresh finish. Delicious wine !

Winery:  Panizzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Vigna Santa Margherita 

Colour ranging from medium yellow core to lighter rim. Intense flavour of lemon with scent of candied apricot. Slight notes of vanilla. Dry, lively palate with good acidity. Rich and elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva (10 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Cappella di Sant’Andrea
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva  – Prima Luce 

Brilliant, deep yellow colour. Intense bouquet of lemon and jasmine flowers with a hint of mint. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit and good acidity.  Well structured, mineral and complex.  I really like it !

Winery:  Cesani
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva – Sanice 

Medium yellow core with lighter hues. The wine displays an intense perfume white peach, grapefruit, and lemon with a light buttery note. Dry, sapid and intense with good acidity and freshness. Well balanced and harmonious. Excellent wine.

Winery:  Guicciardini Strozzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva

Medium yellow core with paler rims. Clean with beautiful nose of ripe apricot and mango with flowery overtones and a hint of almond. Medium body with lively acidity and freshness. The alcohol is well balanced with the fruit.  Elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE 2020 VINTAGE  

2020 was characterised by an excellent seasonal trend. The onset of the vegetative stages was a little early but still normal for the long term. The harvest also started a week earlier than in 2019. The health of the grapes was excellent and their quality was good, albeit slightly lower than the previous year. The wines of this vintage are smooth and round, have good aromas and their acidity is not excessive.

SAN GIMIGNANO AND ITS QUEEN GRAPE VERNACCIA 

San Gimignano is a small town of Siena, rich in charm and history. The village of San Gimignano is located almost halfway between Florence and Siena (about 60 and 45 km), and is easily reachable by car or a bus. It is a territory situated completely on hills at altitudes between 200 and 400 m above sea level. The soils are of the Pliocene era, dating back between 6.8 and 1.8 million years. And it is certainly the composition of the ancient soil that makes the wines produced in this denomination extremely fascinating and complex. The terroir of this area is characterized by the presence of fossils and shells, it is composed of pliocene soil and clay. These extremely calcareous sediments make the soil ideal to create vigorous and mineral white wines.The surface area of the Municipality of San Gimignano is of about 12,500 hectares, 5,600 of which are destined to farm productions (vineyards, olive groves, cereal crops). The San Gimignano hills present variable exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and availability of water. The multiple and sometimes unique combinations of these single factors have, even in such a small area, a significant effect on the characteristics of the wines made there.  The combination of the unique variables for wine growing in San gimignano: different exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and water…, determine, even in such a restricted area, a significant impact on the characters of the wines produced there.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white grape variety present in Tuscan since ancient times. Its bunches are large, long and pyramidal in shape, with an average density of compact and medium berries, round, very pruinose with thick peels. It has an unmistakable amber color when it is shone by the sun. A vine that finds its perfect condition in growing in calcareous-clay or tuffaceous soils

Always a big thanks to my colleague and friend Liz Palmer ! 

Preview Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2021 — by Filippo Magnani

Wine, history and tradition all mixed in this extraordinary wine region!

The “Anteprima” preview of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, usually held in February , was postponed to the 17th and 18th of May. Another great effort by another Tuscany’s consortium, opening their doors to international and Italian journalists. We were summoned to the beautiful town of Montepulciano, in the heart of the village, inside the suggestive Medici fortress where the Consorzio del Vino Nobile and the Enoliteca are located. You can feel the history above your head, surrounded by art, soft hills, vineyards and monuments! Extraordinary. 

The event, this year, is unique in its kind since the Consortium reserved for us a surprise! Indeed the preview was an opportunity to not only to evaluate actual vintages on the market such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2018 and the 2017 Reserves, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC 2019 but also to present the exciting new type of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; the denomination “Pieve” which will hit the market as early as 2024.

12 subzones and additional geographical units, represented by different Pievi (churches). The idea behind the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Pieve”, came from a scientific study which required the consent and collective participation of all the wine producers.

The Pieve originally was a church-owned building in charge of many duties, functioning not only as a church but also as a small hospital and as the village municipality. It is a name that will be a path between the past and future, intertwining the old culture and local winemaking with the international future and innovative production techniques. The grape blend will be tied to Sangiovese (also locally known as “Prugnolo Gentile”) and complementary native only Tuscan varieties allowed by the Consortium, with grapes exclusively produced by the producers and coming from vines that are at least fifteen years old. Another important factor is the implementation of an internal commission within the Consortium composed of oenologists and wine technicians. These experts will be delegated the task of assessing the characteristics that correspond to the specification before the required legislative steps.

Such interesting wines will represent the quality of this magnificent territory holding a precious history.

 

 

 

 

on my radar

                                      Winery:  Bindella – Tenuta Vallocaia
Wine:   Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018 
Ruby core with rims. Intense bouquet of cherry with balsamic overtones and slight scent of black pepper. Lovely entrance, round with ripe fruit, medium body. Firm, velvety tannins with a long finish. I like it ! 

 

Winery: Dei
Wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Ruby core with narrow light garnet rim. Intense nose of ripe plum and notes of rhubarb and new leather. Powerful structure with ripe red fruit, fragrant with well integrated silky tannins. Elegant with a long finish. Lovely wine. 

 

Winery:  Poderi Boscarelli  
Wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Brillant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis and violet. Spicy with overtones of leather. Full bodied with quite bright acidity. Well balanced with rich red fruit and elegant tannins. Harmonious finish. Charming wine with ageing potential.  

Winery:  Poliziano
Wine:    Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Ruby colour turning slightly purple. The nose expresses flavours of red fruit and rhubarb with a hint of mint. The palate is balanced with notes of ripe cherry and prune. Dry and fragrant, with soft tannins and long persistence.                                               Full body with a nice end.  Great wine. 

Winery:  La Ciarliana
Wine:   Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Clean with a deep ruby core. Lovely aromas of ripe plum with a touch of vanilla. Blackcherry in the palate with a light toasty scent. Full body with round, sweet tannins. Fresh and harmonious finish. I like it ! 

 

Winery:  Salcheto
Wine:      Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Bright with paler reflections. Pronounced flavour of red cherry, wild blueberry and balsamic notes and anice. Rich and well structured, good balance of body, fruit, acidity and velvety tannins. Lovely wine. 

 

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2017 Riserva
[wines 15 reviewed]

The Riservas 2017 turned out to be rich and ripe with intense fruit. The wines showed good structure, sweet tannins, and a discrete alcohol presence. 

on my radar

Winery:  Tenuta Valdipiatta
Wine:  Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Deep ruby core, paler on the hedge. Complex nose with flavours of dark cherry, prune and chocolate. Juicy palate with good acidity, discrete alcohol level and soft tannins. Fragrant and long. I like this wine! 

Winery:  Tenuta della Talosa
Wine:     Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Brilliant deep red. Attractive bouquet of strawberry and violet mixed with spicy notes of black pepper. Full body with lots of red fruit in the center palate with smoky scents on the back. It expresses harmony with velvety tannins and long, fresh finish. Lovely wine. 

Winery:  Le Berne
Wine:  Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Brilliant, deep ruby core with violet hues. Intense flavour of black cherry and liquorice with overtones of lavender and new leather. Fragrant entrance with discrete alcohol and ripe fruit. Sweet, velvety tannins and quite long aftertaste. Harmonious, charming wine.

Winery:  La Braccesca
Wine:   Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva, Vigneto Santa Pia
Colour ranging from deep ruby core to lighter rim. It shows a lovely bouquet of ripe plum, violet and chocolate with a hint of tobacco. Full body with lively acidity well integrated with rich red fruit. Silky tannins with elegant finish. Great wine. 

 

THE 2020 HARVEST 

The year 2020 was defined by four key periods; germination from the 28th of March to the 19th of April; flowering from the 22nd to the 31 May; fruit ripening between the 21st of July and 21st August and the harvest which began on the 15th of September. Heavy rains interfered with harvesting operations, and in some areas of the appellation they continued without interruption. For this reason, the harvest was extended until the first week of October to avoid botrytis infections and a drop in yield quality. The wines of 2020, when tasted, demonstrated intense colors, a fine varietal aromatic expression and structure that is supported by medium acidity and tannins. On an analytical level, one can detect normal values of intensity and color tone, acidity, pH, extracts, and total polyphenols. The alcoholic grades are medium to high. Balance and elegance are keywords to describe the eccentricities of 2020 wines.

Montepulciano 

Near the city of Siena, Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G., Rosso di Montepulciano D.O.C and Vin Santo di Montepulciano D.O.C, are exclusively made within the city limits of the town of Montepulciano, near the city of Siena. We are talking of a territory that has been a wine production zone for centuries, witness to not only the progress in cultivation techniques but also of the geopolitical impact on those “noble” hills. We have known these hills as a wine territory since the 17th century. It is a place that captured the attention of elite and noble families of Tuscany and was recognized as one of the finest red wine areas of the region. Vino Nobile has been one of Italy’s most esteemed wines for centuries, though it has been eclipsed in recent times by other Tuscan wines. The turning point was 1980 with the birth of the Consortium. In the last 15 years, the consortium has made enormous efforts to elevate the production in Montepulciano. Only in the recent decades Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has witnessed amazing growth in terms of winemaking techniques and quality. Today, the roughly 70 producers of Montepulciano believe that the Sangiovese produced in this district can top the levels of excellence of the other Tuscan icon wines.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
International Markets

Always a big “Thank You” to my colleague, and friend, Liz Palmer !

 

Filippo Magnani

Benvenuto Brunello 2021 Preview  – Tasting Sensational New Vintage Brunellos – A Tempting Invitation To Discover the Wines and the Captivating Region of Montalcino – by Filippo Magnani

After Benvenuto Brunello “OFF”, the first preview of the year which was in March, an additional edition of Benvenuto Brunello was organized for the press from the 16th and the 17th May dedicated to the Tuscan wine previews “Anteprime di Toscana”. Thanks to the diligence of the Consortium Brunello di Montalcino, the tastings took place in-person in the heart of Montalcino village in the beautiful Monastery of Sant’Agostino. Forty kilometers south of the city of Siena, Montalcino is a stunning hilltop town in the heart of Tuscany. With rolling hills and farmland of rare beauty, the village’s distinctive mount is encircled by forest. Vineyards and olive groves fill the countryside and many historical stone buildings are witness to centuries of cultivation in this area. Montalcino and the villages of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, Sant’Angelo, and Torrenieri are picturesque hamlets with an overall population of just over five thousand inhabitants. This territory is of particular historical character, having never lost touch with the cultural heritage and traditions.

It is important to note that this DOCG is among the wine-growing areas with the highest organic incidence in Italy.

Following safety protocols, the capacity of participants was extremely limited and ensured proper distance between persons. All journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the last vintages released on the market: Rosso di Montalcino 2019, Brunello di Montalcino 2016, and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015. We can say that this edition of Benvenuto Brunello will surely remain a memory in each of our minds, not only for the outstanding organization that the consortium put on stage but also for the combination of two remarkable vintages.

Both 2016 and 2015 had exceptional conditions in the vineyard and produced wines of absolute complexity and longevity.

 The vintage 2016 was outstanding in terms of balance. Rainfall throughout the winter into the beginning of the spring was consistently average. After the blooming, rains in July set the perfect conditions for a great vintage. Summer shifted from not so high temperature (max 32°) to very chilly nights (min 13°), diurnal moderate temperatures alternated to night precipitation, which offered the wines an amazing structure, complexity, and aroma. The maturation took longer, a fundamental factor both for the different layers of the aroma and the quality of the tannins (especially in the Sangiovese grape and for long lasting wines)

The 2015 vintage was characterized by a cool winter preceded by an irregular spring, which continued with a hot growing season during the summer with adequate rain. Harvest brought limited rainfall and good ventilation which favoured the last stages of ripening of the bunches up to harvest…..continues .. https://bit.ly/3zbCDJR.

I have missed my friends and colleagues during this Benvenuto Brunello but I really hope that was the preview of the restart, once again in-person hopefully we will be able to discover this beautiful wine paradise in the near future.

Always a big thank to my collegue and friend Liz Palmer !

#wine #winetasting #winenews #italy #tastingnotes #winewriter #winejournalist #winetourism #winetravels #benvenutobrunello #brunello #AnteprimediToscana #Montalcino #wine #winetasting #wineblog #wineblogger #winelover #winestagram #winecritic #wineevent #vino #winetime #wineoclock #winewinewine @brunellodimontalcino #montalcino #brunellodimontalcino #benvenutobrunello #italianwine #redwine #brunellowinestage  @filippomagnaniwine

Introducing Filippo Magnani + Updates on Anteprime di Toscana

Filippo MagnaniIt is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce Filippo Magnani, wine journalist and wine travel expert (with expertise in the Italian wine regions) has joined our growing team as a regular contributor.

About Filippo Magnani

Filippo Magnani is a wine travel expert, with expertise in the Italian wine regions, and a wine journalist with his WSET Diploma.

Filippo graduated with a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management at the University of Economics in Florence, followed by an MBA in Hospitality Management at Brighton University (UK).

After working as an F&B manager in several global luxury hotels, he began the career in the world of wine in 1999 when, at the age of 26, he founded Fufluns, a travel boutique company specialized only in customized wine tours in Italy.

As an independent wine writer, he developed partnerships with various wine magazines such as Il Corriere Vinicolo, a trade wine review in Italy, Wine World Magazine, Liz Palmer’s website (www.liz-palmer.com), and his blog Tales Behind the Wine.

www.filippomagnani.itwww.fufluns.com

Filippo is also a member of the Circle of Wine Writers (CWW) and the International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV).

He is currently attending Anteprime di Toscana this week to review the release of new vintages and previews of Tuscany, in the beautiful frame of Fortezza da Basso in Florence. Watch this space for Filippo’s reviews and photos! Coming Soon!

https://www.anteprimetoscane.it/

Filippo states” The only regret is that I miss many international colleagues and friends… I will keep you updated with some hints throughout this week and further you’ll find the detailed reports of the tastings on my personal blog “Tales behind the wine” and Liz Palmer’s website”

 

#montecucco #biancodipitigliano #candiacolliapuani #carmignano #chiantirufina #collinelucchesi #cortona #maremma #orcia #terredipisa #suveretowine #valdicornia #valdarnodisopra #primanteprima #AnteprimediToscana #vino #wine #winelovers #winetasting #instawine @filippomagnaniwine