2001 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 micro 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.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
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Mission Codename: Micro-Giant
Operative: Agent Blush
Objective: Secure an exceptional 2001 Brunello di Montalcino
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: La Palazzetta
Wine Subject: 2001 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Winemaker: Flavio Fanti
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 – Deep and developed garnet with glistening ruby and brink-orange highlights and reflections through its dark but clear core. Along the edges, the color fades gracefully through brick to orange-pink. When swirled, fast thin legs ring the glass showing hints of this wine’s color.
Smell – Medium in intensity with bright and complex aromas of red Italian cherry and cassis, floral violet, subtle oak hints and a touch of cocoa and smoke.
Feel – Very smooth and supple in texture this medium to full-bodied wine has a distinctive Italian character of 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 palate of this wine.
Taste – Focused, graceful and bright, its complex ripe red fruit, including red Italian and black cherry, red raspberry, and wild blackberries dances across the tongue over complex notes of sublet earth, floral violet, sweet cocoa, zesty tar, and hints of leather, licorice and black pepper.
Finish – Medium long in length, this wine finishes clean with its stunning texture balancing the sublime fruit and other flavors perfectly with a kick of black pepper and cocoa that invites another sip.
Conclusion – Made in the traditional method with large Slovenian oak casks, this Brunello di Montalcino shows tremendous character and finesse without overpowering you. Take the time to let this wine 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.
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 La Palazzetta in the famed village of Montalcino can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Flavio Fanti, proprietor of the small family estate La Palazzetta, represents on of Montalcino’s elite sources of limited production Brunello. His ten acres of Sangiovese Grosso in picturesque Castelnuovo dell’ Abate occupy several of the zones’ finest parcels.
In these prime vineyards, Flavio begins with an organic cultivation, utilizing only manure, natural fertilizers, and copper sulfate to ward against mildew. A severe pruning in winter is followed by a severe reduction of grapes in summer, and again prior to harvest, to ensure that Flavio – nature permitting – brings same, top quality Sangiovese Grosso to his cellar.
For his Brunello, Flavio selects his best bunches of Sangiovese Grosso with then undergo a skin contact fermentation of about thirty days. The wine then undergoes an immediate malolactic in stainless steel and is then transferred for aging in Slovenian oak casks located in the antique cellar beneath his family’s dwelling in Borga di Sotto. Here the wine will rest for three years, and is racked minimally and only in accordance with the moon.
About The Winery:
Translated and excerpted from http://www.acquabuona.it.
Flavio Fanti and La Palazzetta may be made to this philosophy of life and job emblem: vineyard daily laboratory, history, source, goal and horizon. The Vineyard has find territory license and there produces Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino and the vineyard character may take some poetic and mythical significance, but without forgetting the responsibility and fatigue, commitment and desire, you need details. Flavio Fanti works 5 hectares of vines (and will be 9 shortly) around the Abbot, and his Palazzetta Castelnuovo dominates a Valley dream: faced, arroccate of the castrum with thick walls of the Bishop’s; building houses back, the amiatino, chioccia peaks more low, lonely and shining, the Abbey of Saint ’ Anthimus, which has itself to reflect a little magic also who do not believe in God. All ’ around is system, trained on wire cord and olive. All around is postcard image.
Flavio Fanti is simple, sincere and respectful person next so of their work and is appreciated for what it is bread bread and wine to wine. Direct, sincere and humoral, with bar sometimes fulminea Tuscan true affectionate with those who enter discreetly his life and discreetly wants to know, with a sense of hospitality invasive but distinct, ever so much as his ‘mania’ precision.
End font and typical products, ardour, power and longevity are is distinctive unite Flavio Fanti wines, and he shall request and want time to open it, focus and balance, in the face of those who says that the sangiovese today must be fresh fruity, and drink in the first three or four years of life. Here the sangiovese is large, and “large” are also wines therefrom, pursuing a consolidated tradition also made of patience.
Careful then in the stages of vinification and refinement, together with the systematic diradamenti to the economical morigerate organic at appropriate levels of stress made grapes using inerbimenti study is even, clear the terroirs staying around at the Abbey, will lead this small Tuscan cellar towards a bright future. Here the uomo-vigna marriage is fully realized, consumed, lived. Every day. The road is therefore being traced and with it, the future is.