Epic Wines - 2011 vintage release from Gianni Brunelli – La Cantina

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Epic Wines - 2011 vintage release from Gianni Brunelli

 

2014 Gianni Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino *Limited*        RRP $62

2011 Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino *Limited*   RRP $140

 *All wines are advertised as pre-release. Due to arrive in mid-April*

*Please send your orders in soon as the wines will sell out*

 

For sure this was one of our most celebrated wines and producers last year. We have been offered only a tiny allocation of both the 2011 Brunello and 2014 Rosso from Gianni Brunelli, so be quick with how much you’d like to reserve of each wine.

 

With a name like his, how could Gianni Brunelli ever make anything other than wine from Montalcino. Helped by his father’s original tender of the land, Le Chiuse di Sotto is one of the region’s most recognised estates for the production of traditional, unencumbered Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino. Brunelli’s two vineyards (one in the North of Montalcino and one in the South) provide a wonderful, contrasting wine that is equally rich, deep and savoury as it is perfumed, aromatic and driven by its gorgeous fruit. Brunelli remain one of the only estates to purposely blend their Northern and Southern vineyard fruit every vintage, making these wines consistently special and unique. The vineyards are managed organically, in keeping with the late Gianni Brunelli’s intent to bring the land of Montalcino to tables around the world. The ethos inside the very small winery is the same, so each of the wines are elevated in large oak only and made without additions. These wines are truly Montalcino, in character, charm and complexity.


Montalcino’s 2011 vintage was warm, and undoubtedly less classical than the dreamy 2010 vintage. A heat wave from Africa settled over Tuscany in August, but the region still saw cool night time temperatures and good water reserves both before and after the warm spell. Still, harvest was 2-3 weeks earlier than usual. One thing 2010 did impart on the whole of Montalcino, though, was a dramatic lifting of the bar of the quality of Brunello di Montalcino. The sorting tables in Montalcino during vintage 2011 were busy, but the common goal was the same: to keep the world’s eyes firmly on the wines from this tiny and beguiling part of Tuscany. As such, the wines show gorgeous generousity in these early days, tannins that are velvety and soft and the dark, cherry skin characters unique to Brunello are glowing. Yields were significantly lower, so great Brunello 2011 is harder to come by than the previous vintage, but the best producers still shine as brightly. You can rest assured that Gianni Brunelli is within the upper division.

 

“Gianni Brunelli, a man of many interests, established "Osteria Le Logge" in Siena (which has become one of the top restaurants of the city). In 1987 Gianni returned to Montalcino and purchased Le Chiuse di Sotto (and its vineyard called Canalicchio), an estate that had belonged to his father Dino, with two hectares of vineards standing at 200 meters above sea level in the northern part of the area. In 1989 Sangiovese for the production of Brunello and of Rosso started being grown again. The vines of a small plot are still the original ones planted by Dino in 1947. The "Podernovone" estate was subsequently purchased. The property has a magnificent view on Monte Amiata and is endowed with 4.5 hectares standing at 350 meters above sea level, mainly Sangiovese with a small percentage of Merlot (that goes into the IGT/proprietary wine "Amor Costante"). The soil of Podernovone, made up of calcareous-marly schists, reflects light and heat thus favouring the ripening of the grapes. The different climate of the two properties (fresh and airy at Canalicchio with a lot of rain in the summer and warmer and ventilated at Podernovone) results in complex and elegant wines. After Gianni passed away in 2008, his wife Laura, who already used to work with him at the estates and at the restaurant, takes care of the production and of the marketing of the wines. Paolo Vagaggini, one of the major experts of Sangiovese, is the winemaker. The vineyards are followed directly by Laura Brunelli with the supervision of an agronomist, a friend of hers. Sustainable viticulture is pursued” Nicholas Belfrage, MW

 

2014 Gianni Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino                                                                                                                            RRP $62.00

Fruit is taken from the same vineyards (Canalicchio and Pordenovone) as the Brunello, but from the vineyard’s younger (15y/o) vines in the less exposed parts. Aged in large Slavonian oak casks for 12 months, and then a further 6 months in bottle, the Brunelli’s Rosso di Montalcino is less of a reflection of the Brunello, but more a unique and individual wine in its own right. A core of red fruits, cherries, deep raspberry and rose petals with delicate overtones of forest floor, fresh mushrooms and earth. Vintage 2014 in Montalcino began poorly, but settled and eventually mild August and September temperatures turned it into a very good one, this wine reflecting the year’s perfumed, lifted and aromatic side. Gianni Brunelli’s Rosso is a wonderful wine which captures the fruit purity of both of these unique vineyards

 

2011 Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino                                                                                                                       RRP $140.00

Leave it to Laura Brunelli to talk you through the 2011 vintage of her flagship: “We think that the 2011 vintage could be defined as “special”. It was excellent considering the health of the vines and the integrity of the fruit. It was slightly difficult at the end of the vegetative cycle due to the wide day/night temperature range during veraison, and due to the constant increase of the temperature before the harvest. During this vintage a correct management of the canopy and of the soil was extremely important. The alcohol strength was quite high, so that we had to be very careful during the vinification of the wine in order to avoid a stuck ferment. Moreover, it was very important to manage the oxygenation in an optimal way by controlling the absorbable nitrogen in order to enhance and to preserve the fruit (in the wine). The maceration with the skins after the ferment was not very long (8-10 days maximum). We believe that our Brunello 2011 can be considered “very good”. The nose is very good, it is complex and rich, the aroma is well supported by interesting and flavourful mineral notes. The structure of the tannins is not excessively rich, but this makes the wine ready when it opens up on the palate. We did not produce a Brunello Riserva in 2011, so the wine usually allocated towards it went into our regular Brunello”

 

As these wines are extremely limited they will be distributed on a ‘first-in first-served’ basis, and by allocation until they arrive. If you would like some, please send your order direct to me at:

chris@mercato.com.au

(08 8337 1808)