About a two-hour drive south of Florence, atop a sharply cresting hill, is the walled medieval village of Montalcino, offering spectacular views of the countryside below: rolling hills of grassy fields, evergreen forests, olive groves, and steep vineyards adjacent to ancient stone wine cellars. This is the home of Brunello, one of the country’s most critically acclaimed wines, revered worldwide for its elegant expression of Sangiovese. Brunello is composed solely of a clone of Sangiovese known as Sangiovese Grosso (also called ‘Prugnolo Gentile’ or ‘Brunello,’ ‘little brown one’, in reference to the grape’s smaller, darker bearing) that produces fuller, richer berries. More pointedly, it is noted for having thicker-skinned berries, and because of this, Brunello produces wines with exceptionally bold fruit flavors, high tannin, and high acidity, the latter of which in particular extend the life of the wine, well into the decade+ range, rewarding patience (that is, if you can wait!). Production of classified Brunello itself requires 5 years of aging after harvest vintage, with 2 years minimum in oak and 4 months in bottle.

Lovers of old-school Brunello look for the delicately ethereal aromas typical of the variety: forest floor, wild berries, violets and balsam (menthol or eucalyptus), all supported by a strong, yet refined, structure; the best bottlings are supple and elegant wines that remain drinkable for decades. Exhibiting freshness, balance, and power, Brunello's got the oomph but always a sleeker, more seductive made evident in some of our favorites below!

Food Pairings: grilled ribeyes; lamb koftas with stone ground mustard; pan-seared duck breast with plum sauce; wild mushroom ragù; hard, aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano

It is always recommended to uncork + decant the bottle a few hours before serving.
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