Biondi Santi - 2001 Brunello di Montalcino

Fittingly the last wine this week from Biondi Santi is their Brunello di Montalcino. This is perhaps their best known offering year after year and one of the legendary releases to emerge from Italy annually. The 2001 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino is 100% Sangiovese Grosso. Vineayrds sources for this offering are between 10 and 25 years old. This selection was aged in Slavonian oak for 3 years followed by a minimum of 4 months bottle refining. 4750 cases of this Brunello were produced and the suggested retail price is $190.

Not surprisingly this wine is very reticent at first. If you're thinking about drinking it now, decant it for 10-12 hours. As it opens the nose shows cherry, eucalyptus, vanilla and cedar notes. Spice is the hallmark of the mid-palate with nutmeg and pepper as the main attractions. These spices are accompanied by fresh fruit flavors of red plum, bing cherry and light wild strawberry. The finish is very long and persistent with spice, earth and terrific mineral notes that cling to the back of the throat as this one closes out. This is is a rich, full flavored wine that should be paired with an equally opulent meal. Osso Buco, Grilled Tuscan Steak and Shepherds Pie come to mind as obvious complements.

What I like best about this wine is the tremendous finish that goes on for a long time, offering great complexity. Right now, though, this wine is a baby. My recommendation would be to sock a couple of these away for an anniversary or other special occasion 15 or more years down the road. By then this wine will have had a chance to resolve itself, secondary flavors will be more developed and it will be more impressive all around. As noted above if you do decide to drink it anytime soon, decant it for at least 10 hours. A tremendous example of a benchmark Brunello in a very good vintage. Kudos to Biondi Santi.

Imported by Shaw-Ross International Importers.

Up Next: Winemaker Dinner, Renae Hirsch of Henry's Drive.

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