An embarrassment to riches, Brunello Vintage 2012

2017/03/31 - Written by Marco Giovanetti
An embarrassment to riches, Brunello Vintage 2012
An embarrassment to riches, Brunello Vintage 2012
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The 2012 Brunellos will be arriving at the SAQ and LCBO this fall, just in time for the weather to get chilly again and before the christmas season.

And while for many times  are tight and is not a priority to spend a little extra money on a bottle of wine, well reconsider. 2012 is a great vintage to start a wine collection  for medium to long term wine aging.

Brunello di Montalcino It’s a red wine made from 100 percent Sangiovese grapes that are strictly grown in Montalcino. Now Sangiovese is the  king grape of Tuscany, but like all elemnts in the wine world, location matters. Montalcino is a Tuscan city on a big hill so the geological conditions are very different than, say, in Siena, also in Tuscany, but 20 miles south and flatter.

So this makes the grapes very different. The Sangiovese grapes from Montalcino are browner, hence the name Brunello, which sort of translates to "little brown one."

The bouquet of Brunello di Montalcino is one of those that can drive any wine lover crazy, of such a complexity that represents the nirvana of wine. Red fruits preserved in alcohol, complex notes of tea, coffee, earth and mushrooms are elegantly blended with each other, ethereal, embellished with balsamic returns, with violets that jump from the glass.

The palate is juicy and structured with iron, graphite and an unmistakable “mineral” trace that leaves the soil of the hills of Montalcino made of clay, limestone, galestro and alberese, a kind of stone you can find only there. In the mouth is elegant, structured, warm, driven  by a freshness that runs through all the wine, making it unique and polished.

Panoram Italia recently participated in the Benvenuto Brunello tasting making a stop  in  Montreal to taste the new vintage of these wonderfuls wines  that are arriving in North American shores as we speak. In general 2012 was a warm vintage with very dry conditions from January to August. The drought through the season resulted in a 15% decrease in the crop compared to the previous vintage 2011.

So now let’s talk about the wines. My impresion from the tasting is that in general,  these are mid-weight Brunellos with extroverted  aromatics and concentrated fruit on the palate that is balanced by fresh acidity. Most of the wines tasted were very refined, taking into account the heat of the vintage, and left me with a classic expression on the finish. At their best, they are enjoyable at the moment yet also with enough structure to last  in the cellar for ten to fifteen years–and in some cases even more.

Brunello di Montalcino is a perfect match for structured and composed dishes thanks to its warm and soft qualities.  This full bodied wine goes great with grilled red meat, and almost mandatory with a Florentine steak.

Brunello’s harmonious body and alcohol content (14% and up) marry well with strong flavors such as game, feathered and furred and especially with wild boar. When serving complex dishes and sides dsuch as mushrooms or truffles, you are surely on the safe side with a glass of Brunello.

Another great pairing is Brunello di Montalcino and cheese. Flavors blend perfectly with strong, mature flavors such as those in Parmesan or Pecorino cheese or aged cheese, enhancing the flavors and taste.

Prices in Quebec should be around $40-$100 when they arrive in the fall for the 2012 vintage.For more information, you can contact the agent which i have indicated after the hyphen in the wine title. However most of my favorite wines should fall between $60-$70. I know is not given but worth every $$.

Grazie!!

Top picks of Benvenuto Brunello 2017 edition:

Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012- Montalvin Inc

A nose bringing to mind leather with pitted cherry, tobacco leaf, prunes and cofee. Very expressive at this stage. Harmonious and round with sweet fruit and fleshy tannins. Will be at its prime in 5-10 years.

Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012-Sélections Fréchette

Mineral and earthy with dry black licorice, barnyard aromas and red cherry. On the mouth, powerful and elegant with a classic Brunello structure. Cashmere tannins with an opulent finale. Proyected maturity 2027-2030.

San Polo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 - Elixirs Vin et Spiriteux

A beautiful interplay of “minerality” and flowers. Aromas of dutch cocoa and roasted halzenuts. On the palate, long and fresh. Very fine tannins. Already quite approachable but will continue to improve in the next decade or so.

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012- Sociéte de Vins Fins

Cigar box aromas, graphite, baked earth with baking spice. Smooth and refined, it undress on the palate to display the ultimate elegance and ethereal harmony that is complemented by savory minerals, polished tannins and an energetic acidity that leads the wine to a lingering finish. Drink after 2025

Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012-Societe de Vins Fins

Very young but showing lots of promise. Woody with dark chocolate and cacao bean. On the mouth, very powerful and tightly wound with a blazing acidity. When it arrives, buy and forget in your cellar for the next 15 years.

Podere La Magia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012- Importations Syl-Vins

A beautifully nuanced wine that shows what an excellent vintage this is for Montalcino. Dark cherry, wild herbs, sage, licorice and underbrush open up in the glass, with good depth and intensity. On the mouth, racy and elegant with a long finish. At its prime in 2025-2030

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