Along with Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino is certainly one of the most loved, famous and appreciated wines in the world. Synonymous with exclusivity and pleasure, Brunello di Montalcino – sometimes referred to as just Brunello, further demonstrating its uniqueness – is a red wine with a Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, produced from Sangiovese grapes grown in the municipality of Montalcino, Tuscany. This territory is uniquely blessed and suited for the cultivation of high-quality wines.
Brunello di Montalcino: history of the wine
In ancient times in Montalcino the grape variety from which red wine was obtained was called “brunello”. It was only much later that it was identified Sangiovese and not a different variety. The history of Brunello di Montalcino is linked to that of the Biondi Santi family. In the mid-nineteenth century, the pharmacist Clemente Santi began experimenting with the production of pure red win. His grandson Ferruccio spearheaded the development of wine, to the point that in 1932 the Ministry of Agriculture declared that wine Brunello was „a recent creation of Dr. Ferruccio Biondi Santi di Montalcino.“
Other producers also dedicated themselves to the production of this wine and, after many fairs, exhibitions and national and international awards, in 1966 Brunello di Montalcino was recognized as DOC wine and subsequently DOCG wine with a specification that regulates its production.
Brunello di Montalcino: characteristics of the wine
The production area of this famous Italian red wine is still that of the historical border of the municipality of Montalcino. Generally, Brunello has an intense ruby red colour tending to garnet with aging. Dry, warm, slightly tannic, robust and harmonious flavour are the unmistakable characteristics of this wine, which is put on the market 5 years after the year of harvest (6 years, for the Riserva).
Brunello di Montalcino is a masterpiece of Italian enology and for this reason Cantine Leonardo da Vinci has included it in two collections: Da Vinci I Capolavori, a line of labels that summarizes the excellence of Italian wine production in combination with pictorial works by Leonardo da Vinci; and the Leonardo da Vinci Vitruviano collection, whose wines represent the maximum expression of the harmony of taste and aromas, just as the Vitruvian Man exemplifies the perfect anatomical proportion of the human body.
In the case of the Da Vinci I Capolavori line, Brunello di Montalcino is paired with the masterpiece San Giovanni Battista, the saint holding his finger aloft. It reveals the elegant and classic soul of Tuscan wines, as evidenced by the numerous awards received: The Best of Show Brunello Gold Medal Mundus Vini 2019, the Bronze Medal International Wine Challenge 2019 and the Bronze Medal Decanter World Wine Awards 2019.
The Brunello di Montalcino from the Leonardo da Vinci Vitruviano collection is as refined as the San Giovanni Battista. The strength of alcohol is supported by soft tannins and good acidity. Enveloping and persistent in the glass.
Brunello di Montalcino: wine and food pairings
The combinations of Brunello and food favor the cuisine of red meats, game and aged cheeses. Brunello is always best paired with very structured dishes, possibly also accompanied by truffles or mushrooms or particularly rich sauces. It’s worth remembering that, due to its structure and complexity, Brunello is also a meditation wine. For an optimal service, crystal glasses with a wide and rounded shape are chosen, with a serving temperature of about 18/20 °C. In the case of very aged bottles, the use of a decanter is ideal.