Legendary Montalcino producer Franco Biondi Santi has set a price of over £250 per bottle for his Brunello Riserva – one of the highest release prices ever recorded for an Italian wine.
As attention focuses on the small Tuscan town of Montalcino for news of the soon-to-be released and much awaited 1997 Brunello Riservas, Biondi Santi told decanter.com the €400 (£255) price tag was an attempt to keep buyers at bay.
When asked about his pricing philosophy, Biondi said, ‘The high price is to slow down the buying frenzy I witnessed with my Brunello 1997 Annata. I have seen many vintages in my long career, and 1997 was the best ever. I made less than 17,000 bottles of Riserva and I want to ensure that enough stays in the family wine library to be re-released and enjoyed by future generations.’
The Greppo estate produces its Brunello Annata in the very good years, while in exceptional years both the Annata and the Riserva are produced, the latter from vines over 25 years old.
The Biondi Santi family, credited with creating Brunello in the 19th century, is known for making top quality traditional-style Brunellos with astounding longevity.
In a vertical tasting in 1994, critics gave its Riserva 1891 a perfect score while in 1999 the estate’s Riserva 1955 was chosen as one of the top 12 wines of the century. According to Biondi Santi, the 1997 Riserva, to be released in January 2003, will be equal to or better than the 1955 and should have a cellar life of more than 100 years.
Written by Kerin O’Keefe2 December 2002