Give Rosso di Montalcino a chance!
Brunello di Montalcino is a beloved wine, it takes 5 years to be released and can be really long-lived. But there’s another wine coming from the same hill, the same vineyards and the same grape variety (i.e. Sangiovese): this wine is Rosso di Montalcino DOC.
Rosso di Montalcino comes from exactly the same territory as the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and is made by the same grape: 100% Sangiovese. The exceptional thing is that vineyards allowed to make Brunello di Montalcino can be used to produce Rosso di Montalcino. Even the transition from Brunello to Rosso is allowed for the wine already being processed in the cellar. This means that raw material is pretty the same for the 2 wines.
It’s not a second choice, as you might think, as the grapes used are of first quality.
Rosso di Montalcino differs from its elder brother as it has no obligation to mature in wood and can be put on the market 12 months after the harvest. In most cases Rosso di Montalcino ages for a short time in wood and is bottled after 12-15 months from the harvest, to be a medium body wine, immediately enjoyable.
Rosso di Montalcino is therefore a smart choice for the producer, who can use the cash flow to finance the high production costs of Brunello. But it is a smart choice for the consumer too, who can enjoy a quality wine from Montalcino at a lower price, that is lively, immediate, easy to drink and versatile in food pairing.
Many labels of Rosso di Montalcino from 2017 harvest have just been released and, even though coming from a hot and dry summer, most of them are really interesting and worth more than a chance. Some producers prefer to age their Rosso a bit longer and are still delivering previous vintages.
My tasting notes
Pietroso – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [very good]
Youthful nose with violet and sour cherry. Extremely tasteful, with discrete tannins, a lot of fruit and freshness.
Salvioni – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [outstanding]
Very pronounced nose with flowers, forest floor, balsamic herbs, spices with a sense of freshness. Full body, remarkable tannins and extremely long finish.
Poggio Antico – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [very good]
Ripe cherry, blueberry, spicy notes. Very well balanced with integrated tannins.
Le Potazzine – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [very good]
Very juicy with red currant, red cherry, strawberry. Subtle and crisp.
Le Ripi – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2015 [very good]
Pale garnet red. Petals, dried berries, spices. Very nervous on the palate with concentrated firm tannins.
Sanlorenzo – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2016 [outstanding]
Prounounced blueberry, blackberry with hints of flowers and mint. Full body with well positioned tannins and very long finish.
Baricci – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [outstanding]
Original nose with flowers, meat and peach. Very refreshing and savoury on the palate, with fine tannins and citrus fruit in the long finish.
Castello Tricerchi – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [very good]
Plummy and balsamic nose. Hot and well rounded on the palate with fruity finish.
Fattoi – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [outstanding]
Earthy nose, with meat, dried flowers and raspberry jelly. Flavorful, savory and very long on the finish that reminds of orange juice.
La Gerla – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [very good]
Fully developed on the nose with petals, chocolate and coffee. Well balanced with high alcohol and tasteful red cherry finish.
Castello Romitorio – Rosso di Montalcino Doc [good]
Very fruity and youthful, well balanced with a simple structure.
Corte dei Venti – Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2017 [very good]
Pronounced nose with floral and fruity aromas, some green grass and graphite. Savory taste, dynamic with perfectly integrated tannins and a long black cherry finish.