Its origins are based solely around the city of Montalcino, but there’s more than one style of Brunello. And there’s no better way to understand this intriguing wine than to seek out the single-vineyard expressions, says Monty Waldin
13 Brunello single-vineyard crus to try
Pian dell’Orino, Bassolino di Sopra, Brunello di Montalcino 2007
0.4ha, SE-facing, 300m, calcium-rich, free-draining sandy clay, SE of Montalcino.
This radiates clarity, has breadth and depth. Brilliant interplay between picked-to-perfection fruit and moreish tannins.
Price: £62.49 (2008) Les Caves de Pyrène
Salicutti, Vigna Il Piaggione, Brunello di Montalcino 2008
1.4ha, SE-facing, 420m, sandyclay, SE of Montalcino.
Real intensity, elegance, wildness, levity and digestibility. Constantly changes in the glass to keep you guessing. A jewel.
Price: £84.95 Uncorked
Baricci, Colombaio Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino 2009
5ha, SE-facing, 270m, fossil-rich clay, N of Montalcino.
Ethereal nose of ripe red fruits. Supersmooth tannins, breezily elegant and thirst-quenching.
Price: £31.50 Raeburn
Le Ragnaie, VV Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino 2008
0.8ha, SE-facing, 380m, darkish sandy loam, next to Mastrojanni’s Schiena d’Asino.
A moreish Brunello whose generously layered tannin and exquisite, glycerol-rich fruit unwind slowly.
Price: £47.46 Justerini & Brooks
Col d’Orcia, Poggio al Vento, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006
7ha, SW-facing, 300m, lime-rich clay-marl, in Sant’ Angelo in Colle.
A classic vintage, producing bright fruit and mouthwateringly ripe tannins in a carefully grown
wine, made to blossom during ageing.
Price: £90 Vini Italiani
Il Marroneto, Madonna delle Grazie, Brunello di Montalcino 2007
1.5ha, NE-facing vines, 400m, sandy clay.
A wine that looks and initially feels fragile but whose inner core reveals engagingly tenacious forest fruits.
Price: £56 Colasanti
Lisini, Ugolaia, Brunello di Montalcino 2007
1.5ha, SW-facing vines, 360m, red, iron-rich volcanic soil, between Castelnuovo dell’Abate and Sant’Angelo in Colle.
Exotic red cherry fruit on the outside, tightly wound savoury liquorice tannins within. A winning mix.
Price: £78 AG Wines, Berry Bros & Rudd
Mastrojanni, Vigna Schiena d’Asino, Brunello di Montalcino 2007
1ha, SE- and SW-facing vines, 380m, clay-limestone ridge above Castelnuovo dell’Abate.
Smooth. rich. black cherry fruit with tight tannins gently rounded by oak ageing; a silky finish.
Price: £75 Forty-five 10, Huntsworth Wine, Vini Italiani
Fattoria dei Barbi, Vigna del Fiore, Brunello di Montalcino 2006
5.7ha, S-facing, 300m on clay-shale, SE of Montalcino.
Intense rather than weighty, a cool start to the fermentation, preserving insistent bright red cherry flavours and wellweighted tannins.
Price: £44.85-£48 Exel Wines, Great Western Wine
Il Poggione, Vigna Paganelli, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007
15ha, E-W-facing, 250m, rocky clay in Sant’ Angelo in Colle.
Sour cherry fruit nicely arranged around tannins with a savoury balsam feel. Effortlessly drinkable.
Price: £45-£60 AG Wines, Exel Wines, Great Western Wine, Noel Young, Roberson, Tivoli Wines
Tiezzi, Vigna Soccorso, Brunello di Montalcino 2009
1.5ha, SW-facing, 500m on rocky clay, S of Montalcino.
Juicy red fruit with a spicy, wild, almost savage quality. Lithe rather than weighty, unassuming but with genuine presence.
Price: £28.26 Harvey Nichols, Lay & Wheeler
Collemattoni, Fontelontano, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007
0.4ha, SW-facing vine, 380m on stony red clay in Sant’Angelo in Colle.
Ripe dark fruit and cedar on the nose. Sticky red berry fruit on the palate with firmly focused oak and fruit tannins. Punchy.
Price: £55 Lea & Sandeman
Val di Suga, Poggio al Granchio, Brunello di Montalcino 2009
18ha, SW-facing vines, 400m, clay-based shale, SE of Montalcino.
Warm Mediterranean nose of dried fruit and sage, with levity on the palate as the berries give up their damson-flavoured juice beneath a quiet sheen of oak.
Price: N/A UK tenimentiangelini.it