I have been searching for some time for a great Brunello di Montalcino which is also good value. As I'm sure you are aware they can be eye-wateringly expensive partly due to the ageing period before the wines are released for sale. But this one fits the bill perfectly.
The Marchesi family has over 30 years of wine-producing experience - and they specialise in the Sangiovese grape in Tuscany. The Brunello is produced on their smallest estate, Coldisole, with just 6 hectares of hillside vineyards in the eastern part of the Montalcino area. They focus their attention on the micro-climate of the territory and make sure the most suitable Sangiovese clone is used; only the best bunches of the best Sangiovese clone are used in the Brunello ensuring a very elegant wine.
This award-winning Brunello di Montalcino is a really special wine; it will not disappoint if you like well developed Italian wines. It may need to be decanted because of a little sediment but also because its savoury aromas may need a little time to open up and reveal the underlying fruits. On the palate, there are many flavours - fruit including sour cherries, plums, red fruits - redcurrants and cranberries - plus spice, cedar, vanilla and a tomato-savouriness.
The tannins have softened since this was tasted 'en primeur' by Decanter, i.e. before bottling. The wine has been aged in barrel for three years and then in bottle for a further year before release. It can be aged for much longer still if you can resist it but it is drinking very nicely now.
It is a fine example of a well structured, traditional style Brunello, fine subtle tannins, juicy fruits and a medium-body.
The wine is substantial enough to cope with big meat dishes such as game, goose, steak, braised beef, offal and rustic stews. Mushroom dishes are a good match and milder cheeses including goats' and sheeps' cheese.
"Colour: garnet red, intense and bright, with delicate hints of orange.
Bouquet: impressive and persistent with hints of wild fruit, spices and vanilla.
Taste: dry, warm, well-balanced and persistent"
16.5 points Decanter Blind 'en primeur' tasting
"Balsamic notes on the nose followed by dry fruits and dry flowers hints. Very elegant with plenty of tertiary notes coming through, though the finish is tough."