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New 2012 Biondi-Santi Brunello Release! New Cult Alberico! And Affordable Aldo Conterno!
October 31, 2017
A Note from Sergio

The Il Greppo cellar may be the best exemplar of what makes Biondi-Santi so very Biondi-Santi. On a botti just outside the locked door of the estate's private cellar, sit a worn tweed fedora and a cast-iron candleholder fitted with a simple white candle. They belonged to Franco Biondi-Santi, the late, great "Gentleman of Montalcino," and they rest waiting for him to don the hat and carry the candle, the only illumination he'd allow in his private cellar. It's what his father, Tancredi, did, and it's what his father's father, Ferruccio, and his grandfather's father, Clemente, did before him.

The Il Greppo cellar holds its giant botti, many of which are 150 years old. Franco used them to make his Brunelli because, he once told me, they "stamp the new vintages with the DNA of the old." Like the hat and the candle, it's what Franco's winemaker forefathers did before him--and it's what Franco's son Jacopo does now. Most producers would have replaced those botti decades ago; most producers would have had to do so. In the hands of most winemakers, botti grow old and stagnant over time--they age and they grow unproductive. But Biondi-Santi seems to have gotten a pardon from time. Year after year, decade after decade, these botti turn out amazing, ethereal wines, wines with near eternal aging properties, wines that only get better and better with time.

Today, I'm very proud to present the new 2012 Brunello from Biondi-Santi. I can't even pop the cork of this wine without missing my friend and mentor, Franco, who passed a couple of years ago. This wine's scent in my nose, its color in the glass, and its feel in my mouth seem to summon him. Biondi-Santi's '12 Brunello is a beautiful wine, and I look forward to drinking it again and again, each time experiencing a new facet, reawakening an old recollection, and making a new memory.

Along with this new Biondi-Santi release is a pair of wines from Alberico, Alessia Antinori's project to revive the winemaking legacy of her grandfather, Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, the Prince of Venosa. Like the new Il Greppo Brunello, Alessia's project is a way of stopping time--or at least changing its course--and these two wines taste like love, like history, and like the special Lazio lands where they originated. Don't miss Alberico's 2014 Bianco and 2012 Rosso; they're wines that are generations in the making. Finally, I snagged a few more bottles of Poderi Aldo Conterno's 2013 Langhe Rosso. It's under $30 and it's ready for you to drink right now!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Transcendent Biondi-Santi 2012 Brunello
2. Only At IWM:
Reviving the Prince's Wines with Two New Alberico Releases
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Your Go-To Aldo Conterno Rosso--Really!
4. Wine Events: Upcoming November Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito
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Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2013 750ml
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2013 750ml
Price: $29.99
Currently Unavailable.

2013 is a banner vintage in Piemonte, and this Langhe Rosso affords you an early taste of the benchmark vintage! Tarry earth, crushed flower petals, spice and underbrush frame the red and blue fruits in this gracious ’13 Rosso; it’s a food-friendly wine that pulls you back to the glass with every sip. Firm, fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity propel this balanced and seamless wine to a thrilling, lingering finish. A blend of 80% old-vine Freisa, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, Aldo Conterno’s Langhe Rosso, which has replaced the estate's famed Quartetto, is an incredible bottle of everyday red. Conterno harvests the grapes from vineyards in Bussia, then vinifies the wine in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and ages it in barriques for a year before bottling. more info
Alberico Bianco 2014 750ml
Alberico Bianco 2014 750ml
Price: $54.99
Currently Unavailable.

Old-vine Semillon is special, and the ’14 Alberico Bianco showcases the revered grape and its ancient vines in a wine that matches its kinetic acidity with telltale waxy viscosity. This luscious wine frames its orchard and stone fruits with citrus zest, crushed river rocks, white wildflowers, vanilla pastry, and a kiss of toasted oak. At once vibrant and rich, this beautifully structured wine dwells in its tensions where racy acidity, cheek-piquing minerality, and a floral inner perfume unite in a satisfying symphonic finish. This mono-varietal Semillon derives from just three rows of vines aged more than fifty years; grapes ferment in cask, and the wine ages in old, neutral puncheon (70-gallon barrels) for six months, followed by two years in bottle before release. Just 560 bottles, or 43 cases, made. more info
Alberico Rosso 2012 750ml
Alberico Rosso 2012 750ml
Price: $88.99
Currently Unavailable.

Reflecting its ripe, low production year and its unique lava soils, Alberico’s ’12 Rosso lays its succulent red and blue fruits on a foundation of tarry earth, incense, grilled herbs, warm baking spices and crushed flower petals. This is a caressing wine that pulls you back to the glass with its perfume and voluptuous mouth-feel, but for all its opulence, a sturdy mineral core gives the wine an energetic kick. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, grapes ferment with naturally occurring yeasts in temperature-controlled cement vats; the wine ages for one year in botti, followed by two years in oak puncheons (70-gallon barrels that are smaller than botti) and two years in bottle before release. Just 588 bottles, or 49 cases, made. more info
Biondi-Santi Il Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 2012 750ml
Biondi-Santi Il Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 2012 750ml
Price: $169.00
Currently Unavailable.

A brilliant ruby with garnet highlights, the ’12 Brunello Annata from Biondi-Santi glints with the estate’s classic hue. Violet petals, blood orange zest, pressed mint, sweet spices and crushed river rocks frame the pure, transparent red fruits in this aromatic and remarkably welcoming wine. Reflective of its warm growing season, this Brunello glides on the palate with a silky feel, driven by a lovely mineral core and trademark electric acidity; polished tannins cling to the cheeks as the wine builds to a mineral-laden, lingering finish. Known for its nose and intense age-worthiness, a Biondi-Santi Brunello's trademark aromatics and acidity are attributable to the vineyard's altitude that ranges between 1,300-1,600 feet above sea level. Biondi-Santi's Brunello Annata, or normale bottling, undergoes fermentation in traditional Slavonian oak for about 18 days, followed by aging in large oak casks of 800 to 7,000 liters for a period of three years, setting the standard for traditional Brunello. more info