Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino 2009

Working from a tiny, organically farmed vineyard of only 3 hectares, Diego ferments his wines in cement vats, using only the ambient yeasts that come in with the grapes, and ages them in large oak casks. His is a resolutely “traditional” style of Brunello di Montalcino in a zone that, having gained a lot of fame and prestige, has seen a lot of producers “supe up” their Brunelli with lots of new wood and, in some instances, prohibited grapes varieties intended to beef up Sangiovese.

Not so at Cerbaiona, where you’ll only find Sangiovese that looks and tastes as it is intended to: brackish-red in color even in its youth, never any heavy vanilla/oak tones, leaving great lift and acidity in the wine. The analog here is not Bordeaux (as many Brunello producers would have it), but Burgundy; Sangiovese’s woodsy, spicy, perfumed side is truly on display here, in wines that are certainly powerful but by no means fat and chunky.

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