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Treasured Wine of Tuscany: Brunello di Montalcino

2017 Castello Tricerchi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

For wine enthusiasts the world over, it’s virtually impossible to think of Tuscany's famously picturesque hills without also thinking of its ubiquitous red grape, Sangiovese. The myriad of Tuscan Sangiovese styles — including Chianti, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino — can be attributed to Sangiovese’s numerous clones and the unique Tuscan mesoclimates defined by variations in altitude, exposure and soil type. The truly extraordinary sites produce the most distinctive and sought-after Sangiovese, with Brunello di Montalcino arguably being the best expression of all.

In the area surrounding the tiny hilltop town of Montalcino in Tuscany’s south, Brunello di Montalcino is made from the local Sangiovese clone, Brunello, otherwise known as ‘the little brown one’. The high iron content of the limestone clay soil here also contributes to Brunello’s robust qualities. Generally deeper in colour and higher in tannins than most of its Tuscan counterparts, it is one of Italy’s rarest, longest-lived, and most collectible wines. Brunello di Montalcino was one of Italy’s first 8 wines to be granted DOC status in 1966, and the very first to receive DOCG status in 1980. Current DOCG requirements stipulate that Brunello cannot be released until January 1st of the fifth year after harvest. At least two years must be spent in barrel and four months in bottle.

Castello Tricerchi is an historic estate on the north side of Montalcino, centred around a castle that was constructed by the Tricerchi family in the 15th century. The wine cellars can be found in what used to be the castle's dungeons. The 13 hectares of organically farmed vineyards are planted solely with Brunello to make both Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino wines. The estate's north-facing slopes provide cooler temperatures and significant diurnal variations, ensuring superior development and ripening conditions.

Coming from the warm 2017 vintage, the Castello Tricerchi Brunello is made from 100% Sangiovese. Ruby red in the glass with great clarity. On the nose, ripe cherry, blood orange and balsamic notes are evident. The palate is intense and structured, medium-bodied with silky tannins and enough acidity to ensure continued evolution when cellared appropriately. A great match for red meats, mature cheeses and game.

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