July, 1, 2013
A Note from Sergio
The beauty of excellent Brunello is in its astounding diversity--well, its diversity, its age-worthiness, its ability to carry its terroir like a song, and its exceptional deliciousness. Montalcino isn't big, but it offers 24 distinct microclimates. Today, I've selected two six-pack samplers that pull from all the major winemaking areas, and that represent the wide stylistic swath cut by this beloved wine.
The towns of Montalcino, La Croce, and Tavernelle form the center the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. This area's high altitudes offer cooling winds and a significant change temperature from day to night. These influences make the grapes ripen more slowly, producing wines with a nice tannic bite, high acidity, great elegance and tantalizing perfume. Biondi-Santi, situated 480 meters+ above sea level, began here, but you'll also find Cerbaiona, Gaja's Montalcino outpost Pieve Santa Restituta, and Case Basse di Soldera.
The northern areas of Canalicchio, Pianelli, and Montosoli are marked by lower altitudes and more influence from the Mediterranean. The wines from these regions, like Valdicava, marry ripeness and structure, seamlessly. The most concentrated wines come from the southwest; the wines of Castelnuovo dell'Abate provide remarkable finesse, and Poggio di Sotto's velvety sinuous wines represent the region well.
The upshot is that while the actual space of Brunello di Montalcino may be just 3,000 acres, it has a crazy range of microclimates, weather and producer styles. It's hard to hold Brunello in your head until you've tasted across a wide range, and the two samplers I'm offering today--one aimed at the new enthusiast and the other at the aspiring collector--offer an array of region, a variety of vintages, and a range of producer styles. I'm also happy to offer the Col d'Orcia Brunello Riserva 2004, a wine that comes from Sant'Angelo in Colle, in the southwest corner of the region, and one of Brunello's oldest and most historic producers.
And finally, the US has a big holiday coming this week; it's only right to celebrate it with big bottles of wine. I've chosen ten that I know you'll love to share with your friends and family. The IWM family will be celebrating the holiday with their loved ones, so IWM will be closed Thursday the 4th, open limited hours the 5th from noon to 5:00 pm and resuming regular hours Saturday the 6th.
Today's Featured Sections Include:
1. Spotlight on Excellence: Explore Brunello With These Two Sampler Six-Packs
2. Time Sensitive Offer: Big Celebrations, Big Bottles of Tignanello, Gaja, Cune--and More!
3. Our Experts Suggest: How To Choose Wine
4. Only At IWM: Col d'Orcia Brunello Riserve 2004 for Under $100
5. Wine Events: Great Whites of Summer