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Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
The Biondi-Santi flagship wine, the Brunello di Montalcino embodies the spirit of Tenuta Greppo and the signature style of our winemakers, forged over 150 years of history with its balanced combination of fresh elegance, depth and aristocratic personality.
Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022–2035.
-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
It is a rare phenomenon that a wine can trace its origins to a single man. Brunello di Montalcino, however, owes its existence to Ferruccio Biondi-Santi and its fame to his family. Now on the seventh generation of winemakers, the Biondi-Santi family continues to produce wines renowned for their elegance and extraordinary longevity. Located in the heart of Montalcino, the Tenuta Greppo estate spreads over 25 hectares of vines on soils rich in heavy stones and marl – perfect for the cultivation of Sangiovese Grosso. Defenders of a rich enological heritage, the family continues to employ traditional vinicultural methods started well over a century ago to highlight the wine’s unique characteristics, or tipicita.
Franco expanded Il Greppo from 4 acres to 25, but continued to be a staunch believer in traditional viniculture. Today, Franco’s son, Jacopo, and his son, Tancredi, represent the sixth and seventh generations carrying on the family legacy.
Starting in the mid-1800s, Clemente Santi, a renowned writer and scientist, recognized the quality of the vineyards and viticulture at Il Greppo. Long before it became standard practice, Clemente chose to focus on red wines suitable for aging, creating racking and barrel-aging practices far more advanced than his peers’. Clemente’s innovative winemaking earned him considerable recognition, including an award for his “select red wine (Brunello) 1865” at the 1867 Universal Exposition in Paris.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Ferruccio Biondi continued to experiment in the vineyards. In fact, Ferruccio took such pride in the work his grandfather did, he united the two family names and became Ferruccio Biondi-Santi. Ferruccio worked diligently to combat the challenges posed by oidium and phylloxera. He used the work he had already begun on massal selection and identifying mother vines to his advantage, grafting only the best clones on American rootstock and replanting his vineyard with the offspring of the mother clones – propagating what would eventually become the Brunello Biondi-Santi, or BBS 11, clone. Ferruccio also made the bold decision to bottle a 100 percent Sangiovese wine, focusing, like Clemente did before him, on ageworthiness rather than quick profits. With this, the birth of modern-day Brunello di Montalcino began.
After Ferruccio’s death in 1917, his son Tancredi Biondi-Santi continued the line of succession and carried on the family tradition with meticulous care. He looked to the past to secure the future, laying away older vintages in the cellar. He even made the crucial call to secretly wall-up part of his cellar prior to World War II, concealing the oldest Riservas from the Front. In doing so, Biondi-Santi was eventually able to show the world how long-lived and complex Brunello could be. In 1966, Brunello di Montalcino became a DOC and the Italian government turned to Tancredi to assist in writing the regulations.
Tancredi brought the winery to new heights, but it was his son Franco who helped show the world what they could do. Franco traveled far and wide, promoting the wines and showing the power of the old Riservas. The reputation of the wines was only boosted in 1980 when Brunello di Montalcino became the first DOCG in Italy.
Located just two miles from the town of Montalcino, Il Greppo sits on a 47-hectare parcel of land. The oldest vines on the property are over 80 years old, dating back to 1930. In 1988, Franco Biondi-Santi started an enormous undertaking in the vineyard, eventually increasing plantings from 4 to 25 hectares. He planted the vines on steep terraces, using the natural contour of the hills to create an amphitheater, setting Il Greppo’s cellar at center stage. The soils, rich in a stony marl known locally as galestro, are ideal for the cultivation of Sangiovese Grosso. Dry, warmer weather typically leads to a September harvest. Noted diurnal shifts ensure the characteristic aromas and acid levels that lead to the expressive, long-aging Brunellos typical of the estate.
Thanks to the meticulous cultivation and clonal selection of the different generations, the Brunello Biondi-Santi, or BBS11, became an officially recognized and registered clone – the first to be named after a single producer.
A ruby red garnet color, ripe fruit aromas, dried fruits, hints of licorice and scents of vanilla. Robust and harmonious in the mouth, a rich texture. The wine is only produced in the best vintages.
The grapes are coming from a vineyard planted at 400 meters above sea level. The soil is mainly marl and limestone.
The density of vines per hectare is 5,000 plants, which is equivalent to 2,000 vines per acre.
The pruning technique used is cordon
The grapes used are 100% Sangiovese grosso
Alcoholic fermentation was done in tank, while the Malo-Lactic fermentation was carried in oak barrels.
Wine was then aged for one year in big French oak barrels and 3 years in Slavonian oak barrels.
"With only 1,000 bottles produced, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a precious wine that might prove difficult to locate. This is a dark and syrupy expression with black fruit aromas of blackberry preserves and prune. You definitely taste the warmth and sunshine in this hot-vintage Sangiovese. The bouquet is intense and rich, but the wine is not as long-lived in terms of mouthfeel. This is a wine of immediate power and volume. - Monica Larner"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 points
"Medium dark red. High-pitched red berry and floral aromas, plus a hint of underbrush and smoked beef adding weight. Shows good depth and spicy red fruit character in the mouth, featuring a creamy texture and flourishes of cinnamon and mocha. The finish showcases lingering red fruit and savory elements. Much deeper and more interesting than Poggio Nardone’s disappointing 2013 Brunello. - Ian D'Agata"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (April 2018), 91 points
"Deep cherry flavors darken into tones of tobacco and damp leaves as this robust Brunello is exposed to air. Layers of black spice and grilled meat add dimension, the flavors warmed by ample alcohol.”
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (April 2019), 91 pts
Pinone Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is made from 100% Sangiovese.
Deep ruby-red with garnet hues. Intense fresh aromas of cherries and raspberry. Full, round and silky with aromas of blackberry and plum. Full-bodied and elegant with fine tannins and spicy oak notes in the finish.
Average age of the vines is 20 years.
Wine went through malolactic fermetation.
It was slightly filtered before bottling.
Pasta with meat sauce, red meats and game.
"This shows wonderful precision and focus on the nose with dried flowers, crushed stones and dark-berry character. Full body, firm and chewy tannins and a long and intense finish. Some pine needles and dried spices on the finish. Needs time to soften. Try in 2021."
- James Suckling (April 2018), 94 pts
"Pinino dates back to 1874, when it was established by Tito Costani beneath the Montosoli hill. Today it is co-owned by an Austrian couple and a Spanish couple, working with consulting oenologist Paolo Vagaggini. Touches of flint and incense counter more overt notes of balsamic herbs and dark cherry. Silky, layered tannins build on the palate to become surprisingly powerful. This will need a couple of years before approaching. Drinking Window 2020 - 2032."
- Decanter (February 2018), 91 pts
Aromas recall scorched earth, underbrush, stewed prune and coconut. Oak spices, vanilla and coffee dominate the warm palate. It lacks fruit richness and can’t stand up to the assertive tannins or the heat of evident alcohol.
"The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is the nicest wine presented by Tenuta Vitanza this year. This expression definitely shows its oaky side but that new oak style (French tonneaux primarily) is characteristic of this estate located in the Torrenieri subzone that makes some of the darkest and most extracted expressions of Brunello regardless. Dark fruit, prune, plum, cherry, spice, cedar, cardamon and grilled herb all compete for your attention. The ensemble is bold, opulent and rich in a way that most other Brunello wines are not. There is a note of sourness on the tannins. Every once in a while you need a supersized Brunello to pair with that T-bone steak you crave. — Monica Larner"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 217, February 2015), 90 pts
Tenute Silvio Nardi Poggio Doria is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Ruby red color with garnet highlights. Ample and highly complex flavors at the nose develop then to mineral notes of graphite, fruity tones of red berries and spicy aromas of clove and vanilla. Long and balanced at the palate, smooth and persistent notes bring to the elegant end characterized by present and velvety tannins
An impeccably balanced wine, and a perfect partner to a big Tuscan steak (air-dried for extra softness), the Tenute Silvio Nardi 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneto Poggio Doria offers rich dark fruit intensity, good concentration and vivid aromas. It shows extra power and depth with plum, blackberry and a woody red fruit tone that recalls pomegranate or cassis. Even the appearance of this wine is a tone or two darker, albeit with that pretty Sangiovese shine and gloss that radiates from inside the glass. This Brunello delivers.
-Robert Parker 96 Points
The purity of blue fruit, flowers and subtle wet earth are very impressive on the nose. Full body, firm and very silky tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Shows strength and longevity. Better after 2021.
-James Suckling 95 Points
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Color: brilliant red with burgundy reflects; Bouquet: penetrating with memories of wild black fruits, black cherry and noble wood; Taste: warm, dry and persistent
Coming from a parcel with 10-15 year old vines planted in sandy clay and marl soils.
Harvest is 100% destemmed with a soft pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature of 28-30°C, pumping over for the first week of maceration followed by skin-contact maceration for 20-25 days with rack and return technique (delestage).
Malolactic fermentation completed.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.
"Aromas of plum and cherry with some cedar and walnut that follow through to a full body with a dense, structured palate and powerful tannins. Very long and persistent. Muscular. Best ever. Drink after 2024."
- James Suckling (December 2020), 95 pts
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Intense ruby red with brilliant burgundy reflects in color. Reminiscent of wild black fruits, vanilla and spices on the nose and dry, warm, slightly austere but velvety in the palate.
This wine comes from the oldest vineyard of Collemattoni: Fontelontano. Less than half hectare. It's one of the few Single Vineyard Brunello di Montalcino riserva.
Coming from a parcel with 15-18 year old vines planted in sandy clay and marl soils.
Harvest is 100% destemmed with a soft pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature of 28-30°C, pumping over for the first week of maceration following by skin-contact maceration for 20-25 days with rack and return technique (delestage).
Malolactic fermentation completed. The delestage and the pumping over are then spaced out along the process.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.
"Dried berry and cherry with flower and walnut undertones. Some stones and dry earth. Full-bodied with a chewy, intense palate, showing wonderful structure and depth. A serious 2015 Brunello. Drink after 2023."
- James Suckling (December 2020), 96 pts
Michael David Winery Gluttony Old Vine Zinfandel is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
This region produces some of California’s biggest and burliest Zinfandels that pull no punches, all too fitting characteristics for this wine. The grapes for this wine come from a 5 acre, 90 year old dry farmed Zinfandel hilltop vineyard off Ridge Road in Amador County, near Sutter Creek. Farmer Jon Murrill oversees the vineyard and does much of the farming himself.
TASTING NOTES This burly Zin is worth the indulgence. Deep purple in color, our 2017 Gluttony Zinfandel opens with tempting notes of pomegranate, ripe berry and hickory on the nose. Bold and booming flavors of plum, boysenberry and spice stand out while the extended barrel aging and mild tannins lend to a lush, lingering finish.
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Previously known as Grand Reve, Force Majeure has skyrocketed to the top of the pyramid in Washington State, in no small part due to their talented winemaker, Todd Alexander, who moved from Bryant Family in Napa to Washington State to focus on this estate. While the focus is on their Red Mountain Vineyard, they make a bevy of world-class wines from throughout the Columbia Valley. Anyone doubting the quality coming from Washington State these days owes it to themselves to try these wines.
Lots of blue fruits, cassis, violets, lead pencil, and tobacco notes emerge from the glass of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Estate, a magical, incredible Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, as well as a perfect wine. It's deep purple/ruby-colored, full-bodied, deep, and opulent on the palate, with terrific elegance as well as a rich, complex earthiness that develops with time in the glass. However, it's not a classic Rocks wine, and the exotic funkiness is largely concealed behind classic Cabernet typicity. It reminds me of the 2009 Château Haut-Bailly with its rare mix of richness and power, and while it was brought up in almost all new French oak, you wouldn't know it by tasting it. Everything is perfectly balanced, it has silky tannins, a great mid-palate, and one heck of an impressive finish. It's a candidate for the wine of the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Don't miss it.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points