Rosso di Montalcino 2010
This wine comes from the Ginestreto vineyard, sitting lower than the other parcels, and with younger vine age. Had a countenance that is very smooth and bright with cherry and cranberry fruits, great finesse and crispness, fantastic balance that will develop nicely over the next few years.
Brunello di Montalcino 2007
A blend of the other vineyards, and is kept for three years in barrel and up to two in bottle. Had a dusty stalky delicate raspberry character, and whilst very dense and tannic is opulent and mellow with some toasty dark chocolate. This wine actually reminded me of some of the Barolos I had tasted the previous week.
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006
Showed as very reductive and stinky in the classic mould, but opened out to express wild cherries and tomatoes, very intense and velvety on the palate, focused and expressive with gentle yet firm complex tannins. Truly a wine for the ages.
One of the Fuligni vineyards
Looking back over the past few weeks in Italy there were certain trends that I have identified in hindsight. One of these trends was who I was hosted by in wineries depending on the region. In Alto Adige, Romagna and Valpolicella my hosts varied, in the latter two regions I was only there for a short time. In all of the other regions – or more specifically sub-regions – I was commonly hosted by a person of similar position. For example when I was in Friuli many of my hosts were one of the children of the owner/founder of the winery, who are now heavily involved with different elements of the business. When I was in Piedmont, more often than not I was hosted by either the winemaker or the owner/winemaker. In both of these cases the host is able to provide first-hand insights into the specifics of the winery, and are well prepared to answer any of my probing questions. As you could imagine, Tuscany is the most visited region in Italy by tourists, particularly English speaking tourists, and as such there are dedicated individuals to welcome these guests. In many instances this week I was hosted by these individuals, sometimes privately and sometimes with others. Because I have not only experience with wine education of this nature and also will continue to make this an important part of career, I don’t really mind listening in to different approaches to wine communication. Being somewhat selfish however, it is difficult to take a lot away from these experiences as most of the information provided I already know, and I don’t want to intervene too much on the tour. If I am honest I would think that wineries would take me a little more seriously than this, as I am not a tourist and am going to great expense to visit the region and winery. I don’t feel it is appropriate to ask for specific hosts as any invitation to visit is welcome, but I would hope that wineries I request to visit treat it as an opportunity. Montalcino is possibly the most beautiful part of Tuscany I visited, and the wines are out of this world, but unfortunately I didn’t learn a lot about this complicated wine and was a little disappointed at not being taken more seriously.
|The fort of Montalcino