2011 Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino (Previously $90)

SKU #1278347 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate's annata Brunello. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante (with vines planted in 1997) shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry. The fruit is nicely balanced by those elegant, ethereal notes of blue flower, balsam herb, cola and crushed pine nut that are characteristic of aged Sangiovese. (ML)  (3/2016)

93 points Vinous

 93+: The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante offers lovely density and richness, but it also comes across as a bit monolithic and not totally put together just yet, an impression that is reinforced by a slight hint of reduction in the bouquet. With time in the glass, the sweet red cherry and plum fruit begins to emerge. Tobacco, rose petal and orange peel add the closing shades of nuance. Readers should plan on giving the 2011 at least a few years in bottle, which should allow the wine to settle down a bit. In 2011, all of the fruit went into this single Brunello. (AG) 93+  (2/2016)

K&L Notes

Praise from the Wine Advocate on the producer's 2011 vintage: "Caroline Pobitzer and Jan Hendrik Erbach have released an explosive set of new wines from their glorious biodynamic estate located one ridge over from Biondi-Santi's Il Greppo. I was absolutely blown away by the precision and the quality of these wines, and the Bassolino di Sopra is one of the finest wines I have ever tasted in Tuscany. I learned that Jan is a big stereo enthusiast and he owns state-of-the-art equipment for listening to his impressive collection of vinyl records. The room that houses his music library is (not coincidentally I must assume) the same room where he conducts his wine tastings. There are so many magical connects between auditory and olfactory perceptions, and they come together with seamless harmony in this fantastic space that Caroline and Jan have created... Each bottle has been fine-tuned and finessed to achieve optimal performance in terms of pitch, melody and rhythmic patterns. Each one has been carefully considered down to the smallest note." (03/2016)

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Staff Image By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/27/2017 | Send Email
Holy Brunello! This is what Brunello is supposed to taste like. On the nose beautiful floral notes along with fresh cherries and blackberries, mesmerize the senses and allure you in. The palate offers it's own set of amazement with soft and velvety tannin, fresh integrated tannin and a long hypnotic finish. The rich wood is still pronounced, but with a couple years of aging should soften as well. Touches of plum, orange peel and cola can all be found swirling about, a testament to the quality of grapes. The vineyards are given the finest attention and are grown organic and bio-dynamically.

Additional Information:

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.