Rosso di Montalcino often gets called a "baby Brunello." Some people take exception to this name, arguing that Rosso di Montalcino is its own wine, and Brunello is its own wine, and never confuse the two. But the facts of the situation argue for an inextricable relationship. Rosso di Montalcino comes from the same land, the same grapes and the same producers as its more collectable, age-worthy and expensive forebear, aging for a minimum of one year in barrel, as opposed to Brunello's almost three years. Aged less and often coming from grapes grown on younger vines, Rosso di Montalcino usually is a fresher, lighter, and more approachable wine. Rosso di Montalcino serves a stepping stone to drinking the often more formidable Brunello, gives a good indication of what a producer's style might be, and offers an early taste of the Brunello vintage.
But a good Rosso di Montalcino is also just a very tasty bottle of wine. In this respect, you don't need to think of it as a "baby Brunello"; you just need to enjoy it. Today, I'm very happy to bring back a Rosso di Montalcino that has been a huge hit with IWM clients, Talenti's 2013 bottling. When a producer makes a well-wrought Rosso di Montalcino, as Talenti does, it's easy just to enjoy, early and often. No matter what you call it, you'll want this under $25 wine in your cellar, on your table and, most of all, in your glass. It's simply delicious.
I'm also proud to bring you three new releases from Bolgheri's Le Macchiole: the estate's 2012 Messorio, Scrio and Paleo. This trio of Super-Tuscan mono-varietal wines slays me anew every vintage, and Cinzia Merli has outdone herself with these 2012 bottles. They're elegance in a bottle, pure expressions that exude their terroir with a flawless style. Finally, I'm delighted to offer one outrageously good bottle of Chambolle-Musigny from Faiveley. Burgundy lovers will want to get on this wine.