What We Say 2008 Rosso di Montalcino DOC
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This is an exceptionally rare and small quantity wine that is from a micro producer in the Montalcino region. The Wine Spies has an exclusive allocation of this wine. If you are a fan of Tuscan classics, get yourself some of this delicious wine.
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Mission Codename: Baby Brunello
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive Rosso di Montalcino DOC for our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Le Benducce de Tornesi
Wine Subject: 2008 Rosso di Montalcino DOC
Winemaker: Maurizio Tornesi
Rosso di Montalcino, made from the same grapes and in the same region as its big brother, and perhaps the finest of all the wines in Italy, Brunello di Montalcino, is younger and fresher. It is aged for less time in oak and is widely considered an excellent lower cost version showing many of the flavor characteristics of Brunello. Most notable, Rossos will be more youthful and crisp due a shorter oak regimen. Recently, Rossos have been deeper and more concentrated that in years past producing a wine that appeals greatly to the American palate.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dense ruby red with a brilliantly clear core that has bright ruby streaks when held to the light. Along the edges, the color remains dense and shows subtle orangish tints. When swirled, slow fat legs are slow to develop before descending to the wine below.
Smell – Bright and tangy red fruit including raspberry and red cherry lead the way and are followed by complex toasted oak and woody notes. Herbal and earthy undertones linger along with a touch of hot spice and bittersweet chocolate and vanilla caramel.
Feel – Bright and youth but without sacrificing smoothness, this full-bodied wine has finely textured tannins, racy acidity and a finely textured mineral character that lasts long into the finish.
Taste – Tangy and ripe red raspberry and red cherry as found on the nose warmly glide over the palate as the complex notes of wood, spice, bittersweet chocolate and even hints of orgeat mingle as the fruit lasts and lasts.
Finish – extremely long and clean with lingering red fruit hints along with a touch of bittersweet chocolate and wood that lasts as the textured minerality and mouth drying tannins beg for another sip.
Conclusion – As with all of the wines from Tornesi that we’ve featured, the 2008 Le Benducce de Tornesi Rosso di Montalcino DOC fully represents the character of the region. A classic baby Brunello with great aromas, flavors and texture just in a more youthful package. Cellar for several years to watch this wine develop, but if you can’t wait, a little time in the decanter or glass will provide you with a classic Italian experience. Pair this wine with anything big, rich and tangy or with grilled meats..
Below is a recap of our original mission when we visited Tornesi
My spy communicator again. Does it ever stop ringing?
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 Montalcino region can be viewed in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Le Benducce de Tornesi
About This Wine:
Color: intense ruby red with violet nuances
Smell: persistent, with well balanced notes of fruits and wood, long finish
Flavor: nourishing with distinctive tannins, velvety, fresh with notes of red fruits. Service temperature: at 19° C in glasses for red wine.
About The Winery:
History of Le Benducce – Tornesi: Since 1750, when Montalcino still was an insignificant spot on the map, this winery had been owned by the Tornesi Family. Maurizio Tornesi, the actual owner, received this piece of soil, which is situated only a few meters from Montalcino away, from his grandfather Giuseppe.
The decision to use this domain for viniculture, was given by the favourable location to of the hillside, i.e. south/southwest at an altitude of 400 m o.s.l. Maurizio Tornesi successfully makes use of what nature has given to him, also thanks to the “historical” help of father Gino and the knowledge of the oenologist Paolo Vagaggini.
The winery embraces actually a surface of 7 hectars subdivided as follows: 4.5 ha of Sangiovese Grosso vines in production used for Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino with a density of 4.500 stocks/hectar, 600 Olive trees and a little woodland.
The winery is working according to the principle of maximum reduction of pesticides and all production stages are done manually. The main shoot of the vines is cut down to 6 eyes, in order get a naturally controlled production of 2 kg /vine ca.
About Brunello di Montalcino
The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino was created in 1967 immediately after the issuance of the D.O.C. as a voluntary association of producers who were seeking to foster the steadily increasing prestige of their wine. The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino has shown itself in the intervening years to be a scrupulous and responsible instrument of self-discipline. It has also served as a catalyst for new and old, large and small estates so that sensible customs, consolidated, became a common strategy for success in terms of quality.
Look and Taste of Brunello Di Montalcino
Visually Brunello Di Montalcino is a limpid and brilliant wine with a lively garnet colour and with an intense, persistent, full and ethereal bouquet. In its bouquet can be detected the scents of brushlands, aromatics woods, small fruit, a light trace of vanilla and fruity jams , all combined.
To the taste , the wine has an elegant and harmonic body with strength and breeding . It is dry, with a pronounced aromatic persistence. Because of its characteristics, Brunello di Montalcino can withstand lengthy ageing improving with time. It is difficult to say for how many years the wine will improve in bottle. That depends, in fact, upon the vintage. It ranges from a minimum of 10 years to 30, but it can be kept even longer. Naturally, it should be conserved in an appropriate way, in a cool cellar but, above all, in one where the temperature is constant, where it is dark and where there are no reverberations and bouquets. The bottles should also be laid down horizontally.
Owner/Winemaker: Maurizio Tornesi
1st bottling: 1993
Grapes: Sangiovese in Montalcino also called “Brunello"
Soil: mainly Galestro, mixed clay, very rich in stones
Harvest: manual selection of the grapes which are put in perforated cases and are gently unloaded directly in the hopper of the stalk-remover.
Fermentation: intense extraction of the skins with frequent 1’e—passing of the must over the grape dregs at the beginning of the fermentation and 21 further medium and still maceration on the marc. Careful control of the temperature during fermentation, max. Z9 ° C and left to come down naturally until drawing off the Wine
Aging: for 8 months in traditional new Slovenian oak casks of l3 and Z5 hl and partially in French oak casks of 225 lt. “barriques” – Refining period in the bottle: minimum 4 months in air-conditioned wine cellar
TA: 5.7 g/lt
Production: cases (estimate)