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Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011

Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011

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"Dark red. Musky nuances give way to brighter red fruit, licorice and herbal aromas. Rich and dense, with flavors of red cherry and minerals lifted by hints of orange peel and bergamot, not to mention noteworthy but harmonious acidity. Finishes long with youthfully chewy tannins and lingering hints of violet. This strikes me as a slightly readier to drink version of Brunello Riserva from Biondi-Santi, but as always, it improves greatly with aeration so decant at least six hours ahead for maximum enjoyment. Drinking window: 2025-2042. 94+ points

Beginning in 2017, Biondi-Santi has entered a partnership with EPI, a French group (owners of Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck, among others) in order to have better market penetration and greater financial support. Jacopo Biondi-Santi is quick to point out however that nothing much has changed (save for the decision not to bottle the estate’s excellent Rosato this year and the next, which is a shame). He has started putting his Brunello through malo right after the alcoholic fermentation is completed and directly in stainless steel, which in his view leads to slightly more accessible wines when young (prior to this change, the estate’s wines went through malo very slowly, often the following spring). He has also invested in a new press that allows for gentler pressing of the grapes and softer extraction, such that Sangiovese’s potentially bitter tannin pips aren’t forcefully leached out. Undoubtedly, the Biondi-Santi wines of recent vintages seem to boast a little more early appeal than in the past."

Ian D'Agata, Vinous (03/17)