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The Last of the 2012 Santa Chiara? Historic Monfortino! And 2005 Sassicaia Mags!
June 29, 2015 
A Note from Sergio

It seems fitting to finish this week of Sangiovese with a wine from Biondi-Santi's Il Greppo. The Il Greppo estate looms large in the landscape of wine. It's the birthplace of Brunello di Montalcino, first and foremost, but it's so much more than that. Clemente Santi isolated the Sangiovese clone that has come to be known as BBS11, his son Ferrucio used it to create the Brunello we know and love, and Tancredi Biondi-Santi realized the wine's ability to age. Because of the hard work done by Tancredi and his son, Franco, Brunello became a recognized DOCG wine in 1968. There were only a few dozen of Brunello makers until the late '80s; now there are hundreds of estates.

Franco Biondi-Santi, the "Gentleman of Montalcino" who passed away in 2013, fought hard to keep Brunello pure, unadulterated Sangiovese Grosso, the wine that his forebears created. He also created the estate's elegant, sophisticated rosato, first made in 2004. It's not too strong to claim that Biondi-Santi Rosato di Toscana is Italy's best rosé (the other contender that comes to mind is Raffaele Palma's Salicerchi from the Amalfi Coast), and this 2011 bottling is insanely good. Like all of Biondi-Santi's wines, this Rosato is thoughtfully made from nothing but Sangiovese Grosso; this estate cuts no corners, and this wine, released more than four years after its harvest, is no exception to that rule. Don't miss it.

Along with this great rosé, I'm delighted to present two other wines that are towering testaments to Italian winemaking: two vintages of Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista, the 2009 and 2010, and some of the last bottles you'll see of Giacomo Conterno 2006 Barolo Monfortino Riserva. Real aficionados will know all they need to know merely by reading those names, and I assure you the wines live up to their hype. They're more than iconic; they're legendary.


Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: Is Biondi-Santi Rosato 2011 Italy's Best Rosé?
2. Only At IWM:
Collector Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista
3. Time Sensitive Offer: The Last of the Giacomo Conterno 2006 Barolo Monfortino Riserva?
4. Our Experts Suggest: 
The Mastery of Luciano Sandrone
5. Wine Events: Upcoming New York & Aspen Wine Tastings: June-July 2015

My Best, 



Sergio Esposito