The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino was born in 1967 after the recognition of the D.O.C., as a free association of producers with the aim of safeguarding this wine whose prestige was asserting itself more and more.
It has proved throughout the years an instrument of scrupulous and responsible self-discipline and has brought together estates both old and new, small and large enabling wise and consolidated habits to become a strategy of qualitative success.
The work of the Consorzio consists in safeguarding, controlling and enhancing the value of the Denomination of Origin wines of Montalcino. It assembles as partners all producers with 100% participation.
The hill of Montalcino stands like an island at the heart of Tuscany, offering to those who climb towards it from the surrounding valleys a feeling of progressive conquest, of a pleasant approach.
Perhaps because of its geographic position, far from the busy traffic arteries or because of the pure air that pervades an unspoiled pristine panorama, a visit to Montalcino is an experience rich in reminders that involve one in the magical relationship between man and nature which, here have the rare quality of being absolutely spontaneous. The inhabitants of this town who have always worked in the woods and the fields, have known moments of glory during their fight for freedom in the 16th century, resisting at length the Spanish and French sieges.
But clearly Montalcino's best image is revealed thanks to the most precious gift of this land that is both hard and generous: the wine. Already appreciated during the past centuries, the wine production remained faithful to the ingrained traditional Tuscan criterions. It was only towards the end of the 19th century that the first experiments were started in setting off the value of this particular raw matter and its environment by enhancing their characteristics.
This is how Brunello wine was born and to this day it is born as a result of tenacity and passion, guarded with love during the years of aging in wineries before it is presented to the world that has learnt in its turn to love it, beginning and end of a legend that every bottle renews.
The production area corresponds to that of the territory of the Montalcino Township. Distributed according to the best viticulture traditions of the surroundings and admirably located in the beauty of the countryside, the estates of Montalcino provide an opportunity for pleasant wine tourism itineraries.
Passing through charming hamlets and thick woods one comes across well tended vineyards, perfectly equipped smart wineries: the pride of every farm, from the smallest to the biggest.
The production area is delimited by the valleys of the Orcia, Asso and Ombrone rivers. Its shape is almost circular with a diameter of 16 Km and a surface of 24,000 hectares.
Its economy is mainly agricultural with the vines occupying only a small part of the surface, which is divided as follows: 50% woods and fallow land; 10% olive groves, 15% vineyards, the remaining part is covered with arable land, pasture and other crops.
The hill of Montalcino, formed during different geological eras, presents ground characteristics that vary extremely in their constitution and structure, which is why it is difficult to make widespread generalizations. The lower areas are made up of fairly loose soils originating in the transport of detritus with a deep active layer of the quaternary. As one climbs, the soil becomes rich in rock fragments while the active layer diminishes since these soils were formed by the decomposition of autochthonous rocks, particularly marl and dendrite.
The climate is typically Mediterranean with rainfalls concentrated in the spring and late autumn months (annual average 700 mm.) In winter snowfalls, particularly above 400 metres are not unusual. The proximity of Monte Amiata (altitude 1740 m.) to the Southeast provides a natural protection against exceptionally intense events such as cloudbursts or hail. The medium hill strip on which most of the wine estates are concentrated is not affected by late mists, freezing or frosts which can take place in the valleys, while the frequent presence of wind guarantees the best conditions for the health of the vines.
During the entire vegetative phase of the vine the weather is mainly mild with a large number of sunny days, which ensure a gradual and complete ripening of the clusters.
The different orientations of the slopes, the marked modulation of the hills and the varying heights between the land in the valleys and on the hill-tops (Poggio Civitella), determine very diverse micro-environmental climates, despite the extreme proximity of the areas. The most widespread growing method of the vines in Montalcino is the cordon spur, obtained by short pruning (2 buds) of a variable number of spurs per trunk.
Brunello di Montalcino is a visibly limpid, brilliant wine, with a bright garnet colour. It has an intense perfume, persistent, ample and ethereal. One can recognize scents of undergrowth, aromatic wood, berries, light vanilla and jam.
To the taste the wine has an elegant harmonious body, vigorous and racy, it is dry with a lengthy aromatic persistence.
Because of its characteristics, Brunello can be aged for a long time, improving as the years go by. It is not easy to determine exactly for how many years it improves. It depends on the vintage. It varies from a minimum of 10 years to around 30 years, but it can be kept for even longer. Naturally it must be kept in the right way: in a cool cellar, but above all with a constant temperature, in the dark, without noises and smells; the bottles should be laid horizontally.
Accompaniments for Brunello di Montalcino
The elegance and the harmonious body of this wine allow for accompaniments of well structured and composite dishes such as red meats, game - both feather and fur, possibly accompanied by mushrooms and truffles. It also goes perfectly together with international cuisine dishes with a base of meats and sauces.
Brunello is also an excellent accompaniment for cheeses: seasoned tomes, Tuscan pecorino, structured cheeses. Moreover, because of its characteristics, it can be enjoyed as a meditation wine.
Brunello di Montalcino wine should be served in ample shaped rounded crystal glasses, so as to gather its composite harmonious bouquet. It should be served at a temperature of 18°C-20°C. The very old bottles should be decanted into a crystal jug, in order to oxygenate them better and offer the wine in its total purity.
Production Rules of Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino was recognized as a wine of DENOMINATION OF CONTROLLED AND GUARANTEED ORIGIN with the Presidential Decree: D.P.R. 1/7/1980, and various modifications ensued subsequently. The rules established by the disciplinary regulations in vigour according to the Decree of 19/5/1998 are as follows:
- Production area: The Montalcino Township
- Variety: Sangiovese (also called "Brunello" in Montalcino)
- Maximum yield of grapes: 80 quintals per hectare
- Ratio of grape yield to wine: 68%
- Minimum aging in wood: 2 years in oak. Minimum aging in bottles: 4 months
(6 months for the Riserva)
- Colour: intense ruby red tending towards garnet as it ages
- Odour: characteristic intense perfume
- Taste: dry, warm, lightly tannic, robust and harmonious
- Minimum alcohol content: 12.5% Vol.
- Minimum total acidity: 5 g/lt
- Minimum net dry extract: 24 g/lt
- Bottling: can only be done with the production area
- Ready to be sold: 5 years after the year of the harvest (6 years for the Riserva)
- Packaging: Brunello di Montalcino can only be sold if it is in Bordelaise
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