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Biondi-Santi also thinks that his Riserva is one of the world’s longest-lasting wines:
“Even though Italian wine legislation requires that Brunello be matured in barrels for two years and in bottles for four to six months, we allow our wine to age for five to six years before bottling. We traditionally use Slovenian barrels, which further enhance the longevity of the wine. Then we cellar the Brunello in bottles for at least another two years before bringing them to market. Indeed, I doubt very much that, even after all this, the Riserva would be at all drinkable for at least another ten years, because it thrives on its magnificent reputation for longevity. A majority of our wines are sold in Italy, as they become extremely expensive once exported. In the price competition with top French wines, they invariably come in second place."
Biondi-Santi’s annual production volume is approximately 80,000 bottles, which are produced exclusively from the estate’s vineyards: 60,000 bottles of Brunello Annata and, in exceptionally good years, approximately 6,000 bottles of Riserva. The Brunello Annata is a direct descendant of the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva and is also produced during years which enjoy good, but not extraordinary, weather conditions. The Rosso di Montalcino is made using the same grapes as the Bruneelo, but is sold without going through the same ageing process as its big brothers. Despite this, the Rosso is a very highly esteemed wine in Italy, obtaining the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) classification in 1984.