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Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino 2013

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"This is the year dottore Franco Biondi Santi would pass away, leaving the Brunello appellation orphaned because he was its most beloved and respected paternal figure. A wine shaped very much in his memory, the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is a stunning edition, with a tight inner core of wild fruit and natural acidity surrounded by elegant tones of blue flower, wild cherry, cured tobacco, balsam herb and camphor ash. This vintage displays a beautiful garnet color that shines in the glass followed by mid-weight concentration and an especially fresh and vibrant finish that lasts for many long minutes. This wine should be held in the cellar for at least ten more years. Drink: 2022-2045. 96+ points

The big news at the celebrated Il Greppo property, the venerable home of the Biondi-Santi brand, is the arrival of General Manager Giampiero Bertolini (ex-Frescobaldi). He replaces outgoing CEO Olivier Adnot, who was put at the helm of the estate when it was purchased by France's luxury goods firm Européenne de Participations Industrielles (EPI), which also owns the Charles and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne houses as well as Château La Verrerie. I wrote about these changes last year, and you can read my article here: Under Bertolini's management, the plan is to invest 30 percent of all profits back into the winery and vineyards. Winemaking at Il Greppo will not change, but there is a push to further improve quality. For now, work is being done to map out specific vineyard parcels. More flexibility (and space) is being created in order to ferment those parcels separately. Fermentation and aging at Il Greppo otherwise remain virtually unchanged. Giampiero Bertolini has a new team in place and works alongside Tancredi Biondi Santi (Franco's grandson). The current releases from Biondi-Santi are the 2015 Rosso di Montalcino (that I had previously reviewed last year) and the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino. The estate also has two older vintages on release as well. These are the beautiful 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (to compensate for the fact that a Riserva was not produced in the 2011 vintage) and the extraordinary 1995 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. I had the enormous pleasure to review those older vintages here with a few other cellar treasures for context."

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (07/19)