2011 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1229176 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Aromas suggesting underbrush, scorched earth, mature black-skinned fruit and a whiff of dried mint jump out of the glass. The big, chewy palate doles out mature Marasca cherry, graphite, chopped herb and dark cooking spice alongside firm, refined tannins. It’s absolutely delicious. (KO)  (5/2016)

92 points James Suckling

 This shows lots of mushroom, dried fruit, spice and walnut aromas and flavors. Full-bodied but agile and refined. Pure and balanced. Drink or hold.  (10/2015)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I was absolutely impressed with the 2010 Riserva released by Baricci at the same time as this wine. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is a different and more subdued Sangiovese, although it definitely shows the balance and integrity that made the Riserva so successful. This wine presents a balanced array of dark fruit and spice that appear closely layered and intertwined. The mouthfeel is silky and tight with evident alcoholic power. (ML)  (8/2016)

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Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2017 | Send Email
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Sangiovese is one of the most thoroughly researched and oft-bewildering grape varieties, as experts have yet to determine its true place of origin, whether actually related to wild grapevines found in Tuscany or descended from crossings of ancient Sicilian and Calabrian vines. Perhaps it will remain a mystery, but one thing remains certain—it is, along with Nebbiolo, unsurpassed for making magnificent wines in its native country. Brunello di Montalcino is perceived as the greatest exemplar of this grape, and those deep, expressionistic wines from the warm slopes of Montosoli are virtually unrivaled for their complexity, power and depth. Nello Baricci, the nonagenarian proprietor, has climbed these hills since he climbed out of a cradle, and his wines are the true measure of the man, full of strength, grace, generosity and gravitas. Bearing exotic aromas and flavors of truffles, violets, leather, spice and black cherries, the 2011 Brunello is a beautiful tribute to this singular spot on earth. Drink deep!

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/22/2016 | Send Email
Lots of depth here but no hard edges and a drink- me- now personality makes this a great go-to for current consumption. This big, chewy wine has dark fruit, earth, spice, herb, mineral and more in a rich but well balanced package. Drink tonight or age up to 10 years.

Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/14/2016 | Send Email
When I arrived at Baricci during my travels this past Spring, I put the notebook aside. This estate is known for their consistency and excellence and the wines did not disappoint. I was especially taken with this outstanding Brunello. Although faced with the challenge of a short yet unexpected heat wave in mid-August, Baricci managed to produce an impressive 2011. It's brimming with spiced cherry and berry fruit with earthy nuances and solid acidity to boot. There's plenty of stuffing and though it may live in the shadow of the 2010 vintage, it drinks beautifully now and won't require extended cellaring like the aforementioned. Don't miss out on this annual favorite.

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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.