2007 Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1114414 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is more than a worthy follow up to the spectacular 2006. Freshly cut flowers, violets, licorice, leather and tar meld into layers of dark fruit in a dazzling display of elegance and power. Silky tannins and expressive perfumed notes both add further refinement on the huge, explosive finish. The combination of ripeness of the year allied to a classic sense of structure is immensely appealing. This is one of the few 2007s I tasted that still needs time in the cellar, even though today it is flat-out stunning. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027. It is hard to imagine how much Jan Erbach and Caroline Probitzer have accomplished in just a few years. Erbach and Pobitzer embody the same adventurous, risk-taking ethos one rarely sees in Montalcino, but which is much more common among top-flight, artisan growers in Burgundy, Piedmont and Champagne. Pian dell’Orino is still a young estate, and the wines can sometimes be a bit inconsistent, especially the Riserva, which I don’t think is still fully formed from a conceptual standpoint. Still, I have little doubt the potential is there for Pian dell’Orino to be one of the top ten producers in Montalcino in a few years. The writing is on the wall. Hard work, passion and dedication always pay off. Jan Erbach describes 2007 as similar to 2003, with the exception of rain during July, which helped the vines recuperate a bit. The harvest was earlier than normal and took place from September 20 to October 1.  (4/ 2012)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright deep red. Subtle, precise aromas of raspberry, minerals, smoke and flowers hint at a liqueur-like ripeness; there's something almost Burgundian here. Dense, thick and compellingly sweet, with outstanding chewy depth and sufficient energy to its sappy red berry and mineral flavors. Utterly seamless Brunello with chewy, lush tannins and outstanding lingering sweetness. A very ripe wine for the vintage, but it all works  (7/ 2012)

K&L Notes

From JancisRobinson.com: "Palish to mid ruby with orange reflexes. Pinot Noir look-alike. Quite spicy and herbal and hinting at liquorice. Not very open yet, but much more fruit driven on the finish. Unsettled tannin at the moment. Nothing ostentatious about this wine. Fine acidity on a concentrated finish. Slow burner." (03/2012)

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Price: $84.99

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Varietal:

Sangiovese

- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Tuscany

Specific Appellation:

Brunello di Montalcino

- Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from a specific clone called "Brunello" in the town of Montalcino. Situated in the southwestern part of Tuscany the town of Montalcino sits on a ridge about 400 feet above the Eastern plain. This ridge divides the region into three diverse growing areas. The northeastern part produces wines with brighter fruit, more cherry and high tone notes and somewhat leaner body. The southeastern portion often referred to, as the "Golden Triangle" is the home of Biondi Santi, the family who invented Brunello and championed its production for half a century before anyone else. This region produces wines with rich body, deep ripe cherry to plum fruit with lots of earth and spice. The third portion is the southwesterly facing slope which is the warmest (hence the ripest grapes), consistently producing wines with more breadth and richness. At the turn of this century, there were more than 150 growers who produce the 233,000 cases annually from the 2863 acres inscribed to Brunello.