2001 Casisano-Colombaio Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1024090 92 points Wine Spectator

 Subtle and complex aromas of blackberry, lightly toasted oak and licorice. Full-bodied, with layers of ripe fruit and velvety tannins. Long aftertaste. Gorgeous. Best after 2010. (JS)  (2/2006)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* This wine had loads of toast, coffee bean, moist earth, spice and stable. There's fudge and spiced chocolate in the mouth with a pinch of sour cherry over a black velvety finish. A solid, broad wine for guaranteed gratification but no hidden surprises.  (4/2006)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Fairly primary aromas of dark berries, flowers and exotic spices. Juicy and tightly wound; not especially fleshy but possesses good density. Reminded me of an old-style Bordeaux with its dried fruit flavors complicated by leather, tobacco, graphite and pepper. Nicely lifted by mineral and floral elements. A bit musclebound today, with firm acids giving the finish a bracing quality. This one needs at least four or five years of aging. 90+ (ST)  (7/2006)

K&L Notes

2 Stars! I visited Casisano-Colombaio for the first time this year. More traditionally styled, soft upon entry in the mouth, developed and aromatic, there is a complex blend of fruit, with hints of tea, leather and dark bitter chocolate; balanced on the palate, with tannins in check and an excellent finish. This is a marvelous example of Brunello di Montalcino in the classic style. A couple of recommendations for you to best enjoy this wine: I would decant this wine two hours ahead of time and serve it with a pork loin roasted with rosemary and potatoes, the perfect match... One last thought: please don't look for the color to be opaque like so many Cabernets or Syrah, Sangiovese doesn't have that color base. Just enjoy! (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)

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Price: $49.99
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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.


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.