2004 Pietranera Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Sangiovese •Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
This is an exceptionally rare and small quantity wine that is from a historic producer in the Montalcino region. The Wine Spies has secured a very limited allocation and will be offering it at an exceptional price today. If you are a fan of big Tuscan classics, get yourself some of this delicious Brunello di Montalcino.
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Mission Codename: A view to kill for
Operative: Agent White & Agent Blush
Objective: Secure an exceptional 2004 Brunello di Montalcino
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Agricola Centolani
Wine Subject: 2004 Pietranera Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Brunello di Montalcino occupies a special place in the hearts of all Wine Spies. Coming from a very distinct and designated (DOCG – officially designated in 1967 as one of Italy’s first DOC classified wines) region in Tuscany about 70 miles south of Florence, Brunellos typically are the best wines produced from the Sangiovese grape. By regulation, Brunellos must be produced by using a 100% Brunello clone of the Sangiovese grape, hence the mystic and lore of this exceptional wine. Typically, Brunellos are among the most expensive Italian wines, which is why today’s wine is such an exceptional offering.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and deep garnet with a dark clear core that shows ruby red reflections when held to the light. Along the edges the color fades slightly to a garnet, then violet, then ruby. When swirled, widely spaced thin legs descent to the wine below.
Smell – Medium-bold in intensity with earthy and complex aromas of red Italian cherry and other red and black fruit, hints of savory spice, floral violets and subtle oak are layered over hints of tomato vine and smoke.
Feel – Very smooth and supple in texture this medium to full-bodied wine has well structured and velvet-fine grained tannins that linger long into the clean finish. Medium-bright acidity with a touch of zest and spice coats the mouth inviting a full exploration of the traditional a distinctive Italian character of this wine.
Taste – Classic flavors of rich and tangy red cherry, blackberry, raspberry and plum are deeply layered and well integrated with earthy notes. Savory spices and smokey hints along with austere oak nuances adds complexity to this elegant wine.
Finish – Extremely long with lingering red fruit that gracefully linger over this wine’s supple and textured tannins.
Conclusion – The delicious *2004 Agricola Centolani Pietranera Brunello di Montalcino DOCG * is made in the traditional method with large Slovenian oak casks which adds a smokey oak component without it being overbearing. This Brunello di Montalcino shows finesse and character. Give this wine a little time to breathe and open and take your time enjoying mouthwatering sip after sip and you’ll be rewarded with a wine that is both lavish and at the same time elegant. We enjoyed this lovely wine with a selection of classic Roman pastas.
My spy communicator again. Does it ever stop ringing?
“Hello? Agent Blush here…”
The voice on the other end, obviously electronically disguised, said, “Dead drop. La Loggia. 3rd Arch. Mark plus 18 hours…. Mark.”
The line went dead.
Who was that, how would I possibly make it to Italy in 18 hours, and how do I know it wasn’t a trap?
Requesting detailed analysis, I sent the automatic recording of the call to Central Command, where Agent Red was the acting Ops Chief. A few minutes later, Red reported back, suggesting that the source could not be verified – but that the 3rd arch of La Loggia might have some significance.
Approving the mission, Red arranged transport and I was underway. 14 hours later, well rested and ready for action, I hopped into my rental car and sped through the Italian countryside.
On arrival at La Loggia, a 14th and 15th century construction which consists of 6 beautiful archways, I noted that the area was filled with tourist throngs. On a beautiful day like today, I am not surprised.
Making my way to the 3rd arch, a young man catches my eye. He smiles at me as he passes me and looks down into his hand, which is clutching a small package. I follow him with my eyes and watch as he sets the package down next to a waste can before walking on.
Making my way to the can I casually scoop up the box and carry it to a nearby bench. I set my spy communicator on top of it and key it to analyze the contents. Almost instantly, the screen displays: “Findings inconclusive, handle with caution.”
Alarm bells ring out in my head. Looking around at all of the people, I decide that it would be best to deal with this right here, rather than risk upsetting whatever might be inside.
I remove a hairpin from my hair and use it to open the box (only spy hairpins have a finely sharpened edge). The box now open, I hear a distinct ticking sound. My heart races. I delicately remove layers of paper packing material to reveal two boxes, one large and one small, the ticking sound coming from the latter.
I take out the bigger box. There is liquid inside. Wine Spies don’t do bombs, for goodness sake, we sleuth out wines. The most danger I have ever experienced was when a corkscrew malfunctioned and I cut my thumb.
Gently, I open the larger box. Whew! It is just a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino inside. Relieved only for the briefest moment, I suddenly remember the smaller ticking box!
As I begin to remove the box, a soft voice above me says, “Maybe these will help”.
Looking up, I see a grinning Agent White. He has two wine glasses in his hand and a huge smile on his face.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Agricola Centolani in the famed village of Montalcino can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Spectator – “Has some earthy character, with raspberry and blackberry aromas. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. A bit tight now, but pretty, cheery and structured. Best after 2009. 6,600 cases made. –JS”
Silver Medal – Decanter
About This Wine:
The wines of Pietranera, produced by the homonymous vineyards that lie on the south-east slope of Montalcino, express the typical characteristics of the terroir, marly and of volcanic origin, to which they belong.
The Brunello of Montalcino Pietranera is ample and broad, with an intense ruby-red colour and a tendency to garnet red with the ageing. On the nose it presents a wide range of aromas among which fruit and spicy hints, besides some notes of cacao and chocolate in the best vintages. It has a supple tannic structure, and stands out for its elegance and the long finish.
About The Vineyards:
One kilometre from Sant’Antimo Abbey, a masterpiece of French Gothic art in Montalcino, close to Via Francigena along which Charlemagne once travelled under Velona Castle, the old manor house overlooking the valley, there are the magnificent vineyards of Pietranera, cultivated with Brunello according to the dictates of tradition.
About The Winery:
Agricola Centolani is a world-famous wine estate located in the heart of Montalcino, one of the most evocative villages in legendary Tuscany. Brunello di Montalcino, one of the world’s top wines, grows here in the Siena area, amid Valle d’Arbia’s stark landscape and Valle d’Orcia’s wild, sunny stretches. The Peluso Centolani family owns the homonymous company and possesses two major wine estates in Montalcino: Tenuta Friggiali, with cellars and offices, and Tenuta Pietranera, whose vineyards, olive groves, arable land and woods cover approximately 200 hectares.
Region: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Varietals: 100% Sangiovese