Az. Agr. Fornacina
2004 Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
Sangiovese •Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
This is an exceptionally rare and small quantity wine that is from a boutique 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 seductive Tuscan classics, get yourself some of this delicious Brunello di Montalcino.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
Subscribe to our Daily Dispatch (above) and you’ll always know what our Top Secret coupon code of the day is. Every day we issue a new members-only code that entitles you to have Ground Shipping included and, sometimes, an added discount!
Mission Codename: Deep Roots In The Past
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exceptional and seductive 2004 Brunello di Montalcino
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Azienda Agricola Fornacina
Wine Subject: 2004 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Winemaker: Atilio Pagli
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 – With the color of dark cherry juice, this wine’s clear core shows its well developed bring and reddish brown hues when held to the light. Along the edges the color becomes red brick and when swirled evenly spaced thin legs are followed by slower fat tears that cling to the side of the glass.
Smell – Rich and redolent upon pulling the cork with ripe and earthy red Italian cherry leading the way. Once this wine opens up you’re greeted with a complex and well integrated blend of savory herbs, exotic spice including cloves and cinnamon, soft oak and hints of floral dried lavender.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine has elegant finely textured tannins and racy tangy acidity that lingers long into the finish.
Taste – Old world in character with tangy but also restrained dark ripe cherry, dried plum and raisins that are perfectly integrated with a very complex blend of the aromas found on the nose. Earthy hints blend with the exotic spice and savory herbs all framed with a smokey and toasty oak component.
Finish – Clean and long with this wines tangy cherry lingers for several minutes with its spice and herb notes.
Conclusion – The beautiful 2004 Agricola Fornacina Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is truly a special and unique wine that shows great complexity from the first sniff through to the last lingering taste. Decant this wine if you are going to enjoy it now or cellar for the next decade. We paired this wine with a classic Mediterranean plate of antipasto but be sure to check out Agent Sass’s food pairing below.
Agent Sass’s Review and Food Pairing:
With seductive color, of polished brick mixed with vibrant cranberry, this Brunello is clearly a holiday wine! The accents of smoke and cinnamon are apparent in the nose, lending to the image of a crackling fireplace, a room full of dinner guests, and the warmth and majestic flavors of this season! After time, this lovely wine’s ambrosial notes deepen well, and the essence of dark cherry engulfs one’s palate beautifully, lingering right through to the finish. Clearly a Roquefort cheese and pâté topped hunk of rustic bread, would pair sensationally with this “must have” for Thanksgiving!
About Agent Sass:
Agent Sass, currently a resident of New England, is a bond girl to the Nth degree! Speaking multiple languages, feasting on exotic game meats, drinking exclusively red wines – but for the occasional bubbly or Zind Humbrecht white – and having an affinity for leather trousers and “high fashion” shoes; Agent Sass produced an edgy wine etiquette DVD: www.sassfrommyglass.com. She has enjoyed wine with her dinner nightly, since age 10, and taught extemporaneous speaking to college students prior to today. While drinking copious reds, Agent Sass raises very pampered Cocker Spaniels and prepares all of their gourmet food from scratch. Despite her luscious crush on Malbecs, her favorite wine is tied between Ghost Horse Cabernet & Screaming Eagle Cabernet – still a delicious “menage a trois” for Sass, while she determines which it is, that truly hits the spot best for her!
WINERY INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Mauro Biliorsi, Owner
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Mauro. We are thrilled to be showing your 2004 Brunello di Montalcino today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MAURO: Thank you for featuring our beautiful Brunello di Montalcino.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MAURO: We have a written record where the great grandfather of my father (Roger Biliorsi) in 1922 informed the supervisory authority of that time, the sale of a small amount of wine. That is to say that the production of wine is a family tradition with deep roots in the past. And in general, the wines produced in Montalcino were written about in ancient texts dating back to the 1200’s
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MAURO: It is not possible to compare Brunello di Montalcino to other wines. Let it suffice to say that it is the only Italian DOCG wine label produced with only a single type of grape: Sangiovese. The Sangiovese in Montalcino, thanks to the special microclimate and soil, gives us a wine with unique characteristics that cannot be reproduced elsewhere.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
MAURO: My grandfather produced the wine for family use, but my father in 1981 decided to “professionalize” the production for it to become a business. The facts proved him right, from a few hundred bottles produced in 1981, after 30 years we have reached an average production of 20 to 25,000 bottles, broken down by type and vintage Brunello, Brunello Riserva (only in exceptional years) and Montalcino Rosso . Our cellar has been completely renovated, which allows us to work to exploit the full potential of our grapes and achieve better results.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MAURO: With regard to our wine Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2004 we can say that this is a great vintage. In fact, in Montalcino, the weather had a “best year” in 2004. Rain and sunshine alternated in order to have a perfectly good grape production that came easily to maturity in the regular time and manner and with the right balance of trace elements. Having had the chance to harvest of healthy grapes, with fully ripe berries, and pulp containing a good balanced, there were good conditions to produce a wine with special characteristics. Our wine Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2004, can count among our top vintages, a wine with a brilliant ruby red color with garnet, with a strong structure, and a well-balanced acidity. Full, persistent with a long finish.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MAURO: With an important wine, an important dish. We recommend red meat (pork, wild boar), venison, grilled meats and cheeses in general. It ’important to pour the wine into a decanter before drinking it to oxygenate it or uncork the bottle at least 4-5 hours before. In any case, the ideal temperature is between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Montalcino region so special?
MAURO: There is no doubt that the territory of Montalcino is a very special area. The microclimate, soils, exposure to the sun and the winds make this area truly special. In fact, climatic conditions and excellence in the production of wine it is spoken about in the writings of the Middle Ages. The finding of well-preserved archeological sites where human presence is demonstrated in the era before Christ’s birth and even in prehistoric times demonstrates that, Montalcino, is an area that has always been noticed by man.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MAURO: At this time, after the harvest, we are at the stage of fermentation (stage where the “grape must” is transformed into wine through the process that turn sugar into alcohol) and in the coming days will proceed to the “racking” operation in open stainless steel tanks where the wine was made, proceeding or separate the wine from the “dregs” (skins of grapes that have a key role in the ’supply of color, trace elements and polyphenols).
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MAURO: All of our wines are produced using traditional methods while also employing extremely modern instrumental devices. Therefore, they are long-aging wines that have a tendency to get better over the years. We must not hurry to uncork the bottles that can be stored safely for years. In this case it is important to keep them in a horizontal position, in the dark at a cool temperature without thermal shock. In tasting the wines it is more important to begin with the younger ones first and to continue chronologically older in order to better appreciate the characteristics of each.
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MAURO: We will never tire of saying that our wines refer to the tradition of the wines of Montalcino. A recipe that has made unique and famous throughout the world the territory of Montalcino, otherwise unknown to most people, so we do not feel the need to “invent” anything new. We cannot confirm that our tendency, even today (at this time of financial difficulty around the world), continues to reward us in many points of view, confirming that our product philosophy is the right one. Tradition which comes from a constant presence in the vineyards, careful selection of grapes before the ’beginning of maturation, low production per hectare, traditional vinification and aging exclusively in large barrels (20 to 35 hl.) made of Slovenian oak without the use of barriques. And finally,the ’attention to detail which, added together, can make a difference.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Azienda Agricola Fornacina in the famed village of Montalcino can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Fornacina Brunello di Montalcino is characterized by a ruby red color with garnet reflections, as a result of aging. It has an intense perfume of mature red fruits, with spicy notes. It has a full, persistent palate with soft and elegant tannins.
Red wine produced from 100% Sangiovese harvested in the first decade of October vinificated in stainless steel tanks for 30 days.
After the Malolatic, the wine is aged in traditional Slovenian oak casks for 36 months.
After the wine refines for another 12 months in the bottle, before put into commerce.
About The Winery:
The winery FORNACINA is situated oust outside the town of Montalcino, surrounded by its vineyards the Biliorsi family produce the Brunello di Montalcino, in order to the tradition, giving free space to a passion that passes on for generations.
Ruggero Biliorsi is the founder of an activitywhere the first bottle of Brunello goes back to year 1981, now the activity is run by his son Simon with the collaboration from his brother Mauro, maintaining the same values of the grounds where their activity rise.
With the consultancy of our winemaker Attilio Pagli and our agronomist Folco Giovanni Bencini, we are caring out a small but ambitious project looking to produce a Brunello as the tradition commands, and also to protect the environment that surrounds the winery.
The winery has in 2004 recieved the certificate of Biological Grown Grapes (controlled by ICEA Cod. Prod. B 1295) a testimony of quality, and respect for this territory, and for the nature are the true priorities.
The wincellar built in two levels (one seven meters under ground) is thought and realized to introduce the right amount of moderness in the production, allowing us to carry out all the productive work, starting from the winemaking, the ageing and the bottling to a separate room for our working relations, winetasting and direct sale.
The big barrells are the absolut protagonist when we age our Brunello.
THE VINEYARDS: The surface of the vines are 5 Ha, where 3 Ha are situated around the winery at an altitude of 400 meters a.s.l. on the south, south – east side of the hills of Montalcino.
The other 2 Ha are on the south side of Montalcino, in Castelnuovo dell’ Abate.
The ground structure goes from an alkaline PH medium mixture to galestro. The production system density is about 4,500 plants per hectar, and we use the “rammed cord” raising system.
Continuous presence in the vineyards, careful selection of the grapes before and during the harvest, the characters of the grapes coming from two different hillsides, these are our ingredients for a production of unquestioned excellent wines.
THE PRODUCTION: We only market what we obtain from our own vineyards with a medium production of between 20.000 – 25.000 bottles a year, subdivided from Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva (only in the excellent years), and Rosso di Montalcino DOC.
The marc obtained after the fermentation, are made into our Grappa di Brunello.
Appelation: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Varietals: 100% Sangiovese
Vinification: Stainless steel vats for 30 days
Aging: Aged for 3 years in Slovenian oak casks then refined in the bottle for another 12 months.
Harvest: First 10 days of October