2011 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1244895 94 points James Suckling

 The aromas of wet earth, sliced mushroom and blueberry are very pretty. Full body, firm tannins. Structured and firm. Excellent. One of the wines of the vintage. Drink now or hold.  (10/2015)

94 points Vinous

 The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is fabulous. In 2011, proprietor Paolo Bianchini bottled just one Brunello. That commitment to quality comes through loud and clear. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and licorice all flesh out in an effortless, incredibly inviting wine. The warmth of the vintage and the natural generosity of these vineyards in Castelnuovo is evident, yet the 2011 possesses remarkable balance to match all of that intensity. I don't expect the 2011 to make old bones, but is gorgeous today. Readers should expect a flamboyant, decadently full-throttle wine built on voluptuousness and generous, racy fruit. Bianchini gave the 2011 three full years in cask. (AG)  (2/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is a very beautiful wine that shows a fraction of good things to come. Very fruit-driven at the moment, it should flesh out further with time. Evident fruit underlines the warm growing conditions of this vintage. You get dark cherry, raspberry, dried strawberry and plum. The bouquet doesn't feel overripe per se, but you definitely get a taste of the warm growing season. Delve deeper, and this Brunello begins to reveal spice, herb, cola, tar and black licorice. These elements form the base of the wine's budding complexity. As nice as this wine is to drink now, I look forward to trying it five years from now. (ML)  (3/2016)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Earthy and structured, this opens with aromas suggesting underbrush, grilled porcini, sunbaked earth, wild berry and dried aromatic herb. The big, bold palate doles out layers of mature black cherry, raspberry jam, licorice, sage, tobacco and black tea. Firm, velvety tannins provide structure and finesse. Drink 2019–2029. (KO)  (5/2016)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Cherry, leather, wild herb and underbrush flavors highlight this juicy red. On the lean side, but the vibrant acidity keeps this focused and fresh, extending the woodsy spice and tobacco elements on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2025. (BS)  (6/2016)

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Price: $39.99

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- 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.


- 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.


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.