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Average critic rating : 88.0 points
Biondi-Santi's 1998 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, rich and deep in its expression, offers a tight core of dark fruit enshrouded by a wall of tannins in a potent, concentrated style, with notable length although the tannins are quite dry on the end and convey an overall impression of austerity. This wine did not materially change over the several days I left the bottle open. Anticipate maturity 2013+. Aug 2006, www.vinous.com
Biondi Santi: The Importance
Biondi Santi is synonymous with Brunello di Montalcino. As one of the world’s most revered producers, the iconic estate sits comfortably at the pinnacle of Italian wine and is largely credited as being the estate that put Brunello di Montalcino on the map.
In fact, it is safe to say that Brunello di Montalcino would not exist at all were it not for Biondi Santi, whose previous owner Ferruccio made history by identifying and isolating the Sangiovese Grosso clone of Sangiovese and vinifying it to produce what is now one of Italy’s most famous wines.
Antonio Galloni put it best when he wrote “Biondi Santi remains a beacon for all that is traditional in Montalcino”.
Biondi Santi’s Brunello is unashamedly traditional. Layered, complex and elegant above all, it sits comfortably alongside the best wines made anywhere on the planet. They are a standard bearer for the very finest of Italian wine.
Biondi Santi: The Insight
As might be expected from the forefather of Brunello, Biondi Santi’s offerings are elegant, classically-styled wines that perfectly exhibit the power of Sangiovese.
Three wines are made at Biondi Santi: the flagship Brunello, sometimes known as “Annata”, and the Brunello Riserva. Grapes are picked entirely by hand and the straight Brunello spends at least 36 months in Slavonian oak barrels to mature. The Riserva is produced from vineyards of over 25 years of age and is made only in the very best years.
Biondi Santi also make three other wines. There are two types of Rosso di Montalcino; the Fascia Rossa is made from vines of over 10 years of age and is usually produced in years when tough conditions render the juice unsuitable for the Brunello di Montalcino. It goes without saying that 2010 was a superb year for Biondi Santi, but 2008 and 2006 are also of a very high standard, while older vintages such as the 1964 and 1975 are simply sublime, demonstrating just why the ageing potential of Biondi Santi is so revered. A second Rosso di Montalcino is also made from the younger Sangiovese vineyards. Finally, the Rosato di Toscana is the most recent addition to the Biondi Santi line up. A pink ruby coloured wine, it is a structured, complex Rosé that vies for Italy’s very best.
Biondi Santi: The Background
Situated in the very heart of Montalcino, Biondi Santi’s Il Greppo vineyard dates back to the 18th century, when Clemente Santi took the radical decision to start making wines with 100% Sangiovese. This decision laid the foundations for the wine we now know as Brunello di Montalcino: a top quality, full-bodied wine designed to age for decades. Ferrucio Biondi Santi, the nephew of Clemente, bottled the first ever vintage of Brunello di Montalcino in 1888 – a century before it was accepted practise in other parts of Tuscany. The rest is winemaking history. The Greppo vineyard has now expanded to twenty five hectares, and the traditional agronomy and cellaring practises pioneered years ago are still used. Biondi Santi has a large and high profile following, counting the British royalty among its many notable fans. At FINE+RARE we are delighted to enjoy an excellent relationship with the estate, having hosted Tancredi Biondi Santi in our offices and visited Il Greppo ourselves on a number of occasions. You can read more about Biondi Santi on our blog.
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