Brunello de Montalcino

Definition - What does Brunello de Montalcino mean?

Brunello di Montalcino is an Italian red wine made in the town of Montalcino in the Tuscan wine region of Italy. In 1980 it gained DOCG status and is one of Italy's most famous and expensive wines. By law, it can only be made with 100% Sangiovese. Further specifications require that it goes through extended maceration and aged in oak for a minimum of 2 years and 4 months aging in the bottle before its release.

WineFrog explains Brunello de Montalcino

Brunello has been a long-standing tradition in Tuscany dating back to the 14th century. By the mid-19th century, a farmer, Clemente Santi, separated certain Sangiovese vines to produce a wine with only a single varietal. It was his goal to create this wine to age for a considerable time. This version was not released until 1888, by his grandson. The wine had been aged for over a decade in large wooden vats and the results were rewarded with many prizes.

Today, it is typically aged in large Slovenian oak casks. There are two versions:

  • Normale: It requires 5 years of aging following the harvest year with 2 years minimum in oak vats and at least 4 months bottle aging prior to release.
  • Riserva: Requires 6-years of aging following the harvest year with a 2-two year minimum in oak and 6-months minimum in a bottle.

Any winemaker who does not follow these requirements can face up to 6 years in prison.

The price for a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino starts around $135 and can go up to over $500 for special vintages. It is known to cellar for over ten years.

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