Biondi Santi - 2003 Rosso di Montalcino

The last two selections I'm looking at this week from Biondi Santi are from the legendary estate itself. This winery is not only a well known and regarded Italian Estate but a crucial player in the establishment of Brunello di Montalcino as a region. Today's selection is a Rosso di Montalcino. The 2003 Biondi Santi Rosso di Montalcino is 100% Sangiovese Grosso. Aging occurred in Slavonian oak for 12 months, followed by 4 months in bottle. Approximately 1,500 cases of this wine are produced each year. The suggested retail price for this offering is $75. Checking wine-searcher shows it's often available for about $10 less.

This Rosso di Montalcino has a heavily perfumed, concentrated nose featuring vanilla, violets, subtle strawberry notes and a touch of earth emerging once it's had a chance to open up. Decanting for an hour at minimum is highly recommended. Dried wild strawberry is prominent from the first sip onward. The mid-palate adds dried cherry and red raspberry notes, accompanied by subtle nutmeg, which carries through to the finish. Speaking of the finish, it's intense, persistent and has more forceful and obvious spice notes. Not surprisingly as with many well made Italian wines this offering is built to pair with food. Spit roasted lamb with rosemary would by my first choice. Failing that, other grilled or roasted meats will be a fine choice as well.

As with the wines from sister winery Villa Poggio Salvi, this selection has excellent acidity and balance. The oak influence is detectable but not obtrusive, adding complexity as it should. This wine will age effortlessly for at least a decade, probably a bit longer.

Imported by Shaw-Ross International Importers.

Up Next: Biondi Santi- 2001 Brunello di Montalcino

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