Brunello di Montalcino is a region that needs no introduction, but in case you haven’t heard about it, here’s what you need to know. Brunello is made with 100% Sangiovese fruit according to Italy’s highest classification DOCG. Producers must follow strict guidelines about using only local Italian grape varietals and traditional production techniques for their wines to be considered DOCG. While you can certainly decide for yourself, most critics cite Sangiovese as the best Italy has to offer. It is a versatile grape that can adapt to various climates, and there are several different mutations across Italy. Sangiovese from Brunello offers a fleshy texture with primary flavors of blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, chocolate, leather, and violets. They also usually have medium-to-high tannins, high acidity, high alcohol, and a medium body.
Brunello is known for having high aging potential, which leads to precise processes to bring out the best flavors. Extended maceration periods and aging in Slovenian Oak barrels for three or more years are essential to giving the wine its signature flavors. Even after the bottles are released, many Brunello vintages benefit from decades of additional aging, particularly for the more exceptional years. The downside? The most famous vintages tend to be the most expensive. The more overlooked vintages, however, often still have plenty to offer, which is undoubtedly the case with 2014.
2014 was one of the coldest and wettest years Italy has seen and proved to be a challenge for producers in Brunello, but the expert winemakers of the region were up to the task. Sacrifices were made across the board, especially when it came to the harvest. Severely reduced yields and bottle production were necessary to ensure the final product still stood up to the DOCG requirements. All of these complications led to a toned-down, and muted version of the Sangiovese Brunello Di Montalcino is known for. Robert Parker Wine Advocate writes:
“In winespeak, a weak vintage such as 2014 can be recast as ‘elegant’ or ‘finessed.’ I’m not going to disagree, because in fact this vintage is indeed both of those things. The aromas are dainty, fragile and graceful.The mouthfeel and the fruit flavors in 2014 are shorter, thinner and more abrupt compared to those other vintages.”
All of this ultimately means that 2014 is a very drinkable short-term vintage that doesn’t need a special occasion to justify popping open a bottle. Whether you’re waiting for your other Brunello bottles to age or simply curious about the unique stripped-down flavors, this vintage is an opportunity to taste the best Italy has to offer without the wait. Secure your bottles today and see for yourself how the expert winemakers of Italy were able to take what was, in all honesty, a terrible year and produce beautiful wine that stands up to the reputation of Brunello di Montalcino.
Shop our entire collection of Brunello di Montalcino here.
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