What We Say 2001 Brunello di Montalcino - Valeria Selection
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If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day and offer it to you at at great price – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Le Benducce de Tornesi.
RARE WINE ALERT: This is an exceptionally rare and small quantity wine that is absolutely one of the best Brunello di Montalcinos that you will ever taste. If you are a fan of big Tuscan classics, get yourself some of this!
Mission Codename: The Man From M.O.N.T.A.L.C.I.N.O.
Operative: Agent Blush
Objective: Seek out an excellent small production Brunello di Montalcino for our U.S. based operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Le Benducce de Tornesi
Wine Subject: 2001 Brunello di Montalcino
Winemaker: Maurizio Tornesi and Paolo Vagaggini
Brunello di Montalcinos occupy 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 – Ruby-red and purple with orange and pink hues along the edges with thin legs.
Smell – Bold and intense with flavors of raspberry, toasted oak, earthy and a hint of leather.
Feel – Smooth, velvety and wet all over the tongue, then the medium tannins kick in to balance the mouth feel.
Taste – Excellent flavors characteristic of Brunellos and Sangiovese with raspberries, blackberries, black cherries and toasted oak.
Finish – This wine finishes long and smooth, inviting a second sip and then yet another.
Conclusion – The Tornesi Brunello di Montalcino is a lovely wine that is smooth to drink, bold and well rounded in flavor, complex and true to its varietal characteristics. This wine deserves the ratings it has received and perhaps should be scored even higher. The winery recommends opening for at least 2 hours or decanting prior to serving.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The Montalcino region can be viewed in this satellite photo.
Wine Spies Technical Analysis
Owner: Maurizio Tornesi
1st Bottling: 1993
Extension: 7 ha
Vines: 4.5 ha
N° vines/ha: ca. 4,500
Production/ha in hl: 60-70 hl
Annual production in bt.: 9-10.000 bott./0,75 lt.
Different crus: Loghino, Piano, Lecciarello
Grapes: 100 % Sangiovese Grosso
Soil: mainly Galestro
Note: The Le Benducce de Tornesi – Valeria Selection label is a second label from for the same wine labeled by Tornesi for exclusive sale in the United States.
What the Winery Says
Le Benducce de Tornesi
Ratings and Reviews
Tanzer: 92 ‘Spicy aromas of cherry, plum, chestnut and game, with a pungent suggestion of capsicum. Suave and silky… with a faint saline quality and complex flavors of plum, burning tobacco and minerals.’
Wine Spectator: 91 ‘Gorgeous aromas of wild raspberry, lightly toasted oak and coffee. Full-bodied, with round tannins and a berry, meaty aftertaste. Ripe and rich with a thick, velvety texture.’
Wine Enthusiast: 90 ‘An inky-dark wine with an assortment of pleasing aromas: tobacco, leather, plum, resin and bacon fat. This wine evolves over time in the glass with increasing intensity of flavors.’
About This Wine:
This micro-production Brunello (a scant 350 cases made) is a serious Italian red by any measure. Wine Spectator: “Gorgeous aromas of wild raspberry, lightly toasted oak and coffee. Full-bodied, with round tannins and a berry, meaty aftertaste. Ripe and rich with a thick, velvety texture.”
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.