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Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG – 2011 – 96 points – Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast
“Beautifully balanced, this opens with alluring scents of wild berry, rose, baking spice and whiffs of chopped herb. Seamlessly combining ripe fruit and the firm's trademark finesse, the bright elegantly structured palate delivers juicy wild cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and a hint of black tea framed in polished tannins and fresh acidity. It's already tempting but the best is yet to come.”
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG – 2011 – 94+ points – Vinous
“Dark red. Musky nuances give way to brighter red fruit, licorice and herbal aromas. Rich and dense, with flavors of red cherry and minerals lifted by hints of orange peel and bergamot, not to mention noteworthy but harmonious acidity. Finishes long with youthfully chewy tannins and lingering hints of violet…”
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.
An average spring led to rain in June and July. An extremely dry August and September ushered in a healthy harvest starting on September 8. The grapes were healthy, ripe and rich in color with thick skins. The must was rich in sugar, extracts and acidity.Fermentation: Slavonian oak barrels using indigenous yeast Aging: 36 months in Slavonian oak, followed by 2 years in bottle