San Polo Brunello di Montalcino
One of the 12 best wines in the world according to ‘Wine Spectator’
Style San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2018
Characteristics San Polo Brunello di Montalcino
Every year, Wine Spectator, the well-known wine magazine, produces its own list of the best wines of the year. And in 1999, Brunello di Montalcino (a typical red wine from Tuscany, Italy), was among the 12 must-haves that were not to be missed that year.
At the rate of one wine per month, the publication didn’t talk about any particular brand; but while we’re here, it’s not their style to approach these famed red wines (the Italian crème de la crème) for the first time, with just anything. So there is no better place to start than San Polo Brunello di Montalcino.
San Polo Brunello di Montalcino belongs to a very specific family of wines that are unique in the world: the wines of Montalcino. These are red wines made exclusively in the town of the same name in Tuscany (40 km south of Siena), exclusively from the Sangiovese grape (known in the area as Brunello), under its own denomination of origin (DOCG Brunello di Montalcino). It can be aged for up to 30 years and in general these wines have a very long aging capacity, which improves significantly over the years.
Today there are numerous wineries in the area that produce this wine. In the case of San Polo Brunello di Montalcino, production happens exclusively in San Polo, the winery owned by Allegrini, one of the most important families in the Italian winemaking world. This company, a reference point today (especially in the production of Amarone), began as a small property in Valpolicella (a region in northeastern Italy) that took off in 1983 after the death of Giovanni, the family patriarch. Since then, the business has been passed on to his three sons: Walter (who is in charge of the vineyard), Marillisa (focussing on marketing and sales) and Franco (who runs the winery). Quickly, Walter’s untimely death meant that most of the burden fell on Marilisa and Franco, who also took the lead on viticulture.
Gradually, as time went by, the Allegrini name rose to the top and, after mastering making Amarone, they decided to go one step further and venture into new areas. This desire to excel led them to Montalcino, where they acquired San Polo. This 16 hectare property is located at the highest altitudes of the village on loose and stony soils, facing south-west and 40 km from the sea. This location makes an airy and dry microclimate possible, with a significant temperature difference between day and night. As for cultivation, the work is entirely manual and respectful of the vine.
Only the best grapes are selected to produce San Polo Brunello di Montalcino. The standards and norms required by the DOCG Brunello di Montalcino are very demanding. After crushing and destemming, the grape pulp is transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. In this process, which lasts a few weeks, they have to ensure the yeasts have enough oxygen to be able to work and convert glucose into ethanol and CO2. For this purpose, there is frequent pumping over. Once this process has finished, the moment of truth arrives: aging, a fundamental and essential part of these wines. After devatting and pressing, the wine is transferred to oak barrels where it spends two and a half years (six months more than the minimum 24 months required by the DOCG). Finally, after bottling, always in Bordeaux bottles, San Polo Brunello di Montalcino is refined for 4 months in the bottle, making it an essential wine that all wine lovers should try.
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Ratings San Polo Brunello di Montalcino
Tasting notes San Polo Brunello di Montalcino
San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2017 is a concentrated red wine. Clean, bright red colour with garnet reflections. The nose expresses aromas typical of the variety, like violet and small red fruits that combine with hints of wood, vanilla, jam and coffee. The palate is warm and dense, with well-defined tannins. Long finish.