Well to say that I am chuffed that our Fratelli D’Anna Rosso Di Montalcino 2013 has been well received by wine critics and wine lovers is s little bit of an understatement. I always knew this wine was good, and to see this translate in so much positive comments really puts a smile on my face!
Look forward to the next installment of our Fratelli label sometime next year.
Well after a couple of years in the making (and a few more in my minds), wine from Montalcino under my own label has finally landed in Australia.
Whilst I am super excited to have it here, the bad news is that it will probably only be available to purchase for a few weeks before the sold out sticker is put up.
More than 1400 bottles of the 1800 bottles made have been sold in the few days it has been available. Good in one way and bad in another in that I would have loved to see it around for a few months.
For the last few years I have been making annual trips to the town of Montalcino to talk to wineries with similar philosophies to not only import and represent these wineries in Australia (think Il Palazzone and Biondi Santi) but to also work on a special little project focusing on wines under our Fratelli D’Anna label. when you visit the cellars of a winery, there are always barrels that stand out and having a label like Fratelli D’Anna, it will give us the opportunity to purchase these barrels to showcase on their own (rather than being blended back with other barrels).
The wines under Fratelli D’Anna represent what I like and expect out of a grape variety and region. It was an idea that came about by reading Kermit Lynch’s Adventures of the Wine Route who on visiting vineyards and wineries that he imported (or liked) made offers to buy selected barrels to be finished off to his specifications. When I think of this, it takes the notion of importing wine from a region you love, one step further. In this instance it is the ultimate expression of what I look for in Sangiovese and Montalcino.
I have another project in the pipeline under our own label and for those able to buy a bottle of this, it should start to pop up at independent retail in the next few weeks around Australia.
Well it was a great feeling to come back from Italy and France on Friday to see that the new Boccaccio Wine Store at 1038 Burke Road, Balwyn, Victoria 3103 was open for business. Two years in the making, the store has turned out even better than what I imagined and every morning when I walk in, I have to pinch myself to think that this is our new space.
If you live in Melbourne, pop down and check out this fantastic new space. Also don’t forget that I will be leading free structured tastings every Sunday from 11-1pm starting with the wines of Mount Etna on the 9th of November.
Whilst it has been great to be away, it has also been hard to not be onsite watching the final pieces of our new wine store being built. I have been getting virtual updates most days which has been great and when I return at the end of the week, I assume we will almost be ready to close our old site and trade out of our new space.
When you consider that the retail side of our business, Boccaccio Cellars has been running for 51 years and since 1984, it has operated out of the space we will soon leave, then it shows what a big change and step forward for this business to be able to present some of the greatest ITalian wines in the world, in a space that does these wines justice.
For those that live near Boccaccio, we will kick off our regular tasting/masterclasses on Sunday the 9th of November from 11-1pm looking at some of the best producers from Mount Etna. Note all tastings on Sunday are free and open to the public.
The full schedule of Sunday tastings for November are as follows:
NOVEMBER FREE TASTING SCHEDULE – EVERY SUNDAY FROM 11AM-1PM AT THE NEW BOCCACCIO CELLARS 1046-1050 BURKE ROAD, BALWYN, VICTORIA 3103 (40 METRES DOWN THE ROAD FROM OUR EXISTING STORE)
SUNDAY 9TH OF NOVEMBER 11AM-1PM: THE MYSTERY AND BEAUTY OF MOUNT ETNA, ITALY
A DETAILED LOOK AT THE BEST PRODUCERS FROM THIS REGION. FEATURING PASSOPISCIARO, BENANTI, PIETRADOLCE & GIROLAMO RUSSO
SUNDAY 16TH OF NOVEMBER 11AM-1PM: NEW RELEASE MOUNT MARY WINES WITH MOUNT MARY WINEMAKER SAM MIDDLETON.
2012 WAS A VINTAGE THAT SAW THE STARS ALIGN AT MOUNT MARY, THE MOST ICONIC WINERY IN THE YARRA VALLEY. ENJOY CHATTING TO SAM AND WORKING YOUR WAY THROUGH THIS SET OF GREAT RELEASES.
SUNDAY 23RD OF NOVEMBER 11AM-1PM: 2014 VINTAGE RIESLINGS – A LOOK AT THE BEST.
WE HAVE HEARD GREAT THINGS ABOUT 2014 RIESLING. LET’S LINE THEM UP AND SEE WHAT THE VINTAGE HAS TO OFFER
SUNDAY 30TH OF NOVEMBER 11AM-1PM: YARRA VALLEY YOUNG GUNS – FEATURING THE NEW RELEASES FROM TIMO MAYER, THE WANDERER, GEMBROOK HILL AND HODDLES CREEK ESTATE.
TIMO MAYER, ANDREW MARKS AND FRANCO D’ANNA REPRESENT A SNAPSHOT INTO THE ‘FUTURE’ OF THE YARRA VALLEY. COME AND MEET THE MAKERS AND TRY THEIR LATEST SET OF WINES INCLUDING THE 2013 HODDLES CREEK ESTATE 1ER PINOT NOIR, CHARDONNAY AND PINTO BLANC WHICH ARE RELEASED 1ST OF DECEMBER.
Welcome to Australia Gianfranco Soldera!! From December, Soldera will be available in Australia via my family’s company Mondo Imports. It has been a five year mission to have these great wines available to those in Australia and was the main reason for this trip to Montalcino.
It is weird to think that at 10pm last night we had only just spent 24 hours in Italy.
After arriving late into Rome we left early to drive to Montalcino. It doesn’t matter how many times you come to Montalcino, it is still alway so breathtaking. Each curve in the road presents another fantastic view of the valley below.
We arrived in Montalcino at lunchtime and after a quick plate of pasta we headed to Pieve Santa Restituta, the Gaja’s family winery in Montalcino. This historic estate has been transformed into a modern masterpiece with a barrel room and winery that blends in with the environment.
After a tour we sat down and tried all the 2010 Brunello plus a sneak preview of the 2013. Whilst the 2013 was still quite young, the 2010 across the board presented well and there will be three Brunello from this estate worth buying in 2010. Just a word of advice, like 2010 Barolo: buy as much 2010 Brunello as you can afford. What a magical year.
After finishing at Gaja, we then headed to our favorite estate in Montalcino, Il Palazzone. I have written so much on Laura and Marco from Il Palazzone that it is a given for those that read this blog, know how much I love them and their wines.
A visit to their estate is always a great way to preview upcoming releases and I already know the vintages I am going to buy going forward. One wine that I have gone large on is their 2010 Brunello which will be shipped around March/April next year. I have bought bottles, magnums and doubles magnums of this majestic wine.
For me it is easily the best wine Il Palazzone has made and one of the best Brunello I have tried in a long time. My advice is that as soon as you see this in Oz next year, buy as demand will far outlay supply.
One more (big) appointment today in Montalcino before heading to Florence this afternoon.
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia