Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Aged Brunello di Montalcino Post 1

In self-defense, my posting dates have been off, so I've actually been writing less intermittently than it seems. With that out the way, I apologize for the length between my posts. I'm moving from my apartment and am a touch scattered. I'm constantally reminding myself not to start another post, that I've already finished one and just need to post it. Whoops.

The focus of today's post, which was by the way, hiding deep in the depths of my laptop for a week, is Sangiovese. But not just any Sangiovese, the Brunello di Montalcino clone of Sangiovese to be exact. There are millions and millions (or maybe hundreds) of Sangiovese clones out there, each tasting slightly different from the next because of where they're grown. Different nutrients, geography, etc.. produce different grapes.

The Brunello clone of Sangiovese is grown in the town of Montalcino, in Tuscany. With Italian wines, the grape (Brunello) is often listed before the town (Montalcino). When you see Brunello di Montalcino on a label it's like the bottle is saying to you, "Hi, I'm a Brunello grape who grew up in the Montalcino region." I would advise you at this point to politely nod and attempt to move the conversation forward before it starts to tell you about its large extended family and the history behind the lineage moving in different directions. Sangioveses tend to get emotional when they talk aobut thier cousins in Chianti.

And most often, the botle of Brunello that will be sitting on your wine shop's shelf will be around four years old. If it's the year 2007, the bottle will likely read 2003. This is the vintage. You want to either A) buy a Brunello that age or older and decant the hell out of it if you are drinking it soon, or B) buy a younger bottle and cellar it to tame its wild, wild tannins, or B) look for an older Brunello to fully experience what the grape has to offer.

A Brunello such as the 2001 Capanna Brunello di Montalcino, would be a perfect wine to drink now. With food. Which I will divulge in the next posting, coming in three days.

In the meantime, check out this wine grape glossary website:
It's a fantastic website for learning about grape varietals and wine, and has a good write-up on the Brunello clone of Sangiovese.

Next post I'll divulge my wine and food pairing thoughts on this luscious grape (really I'm waiting to find my picture of the aforementioned wine bottle to visually stimulate ya'll through the next post).

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