After arriving in our warehouse yesterday from Italy, the 2010 @ilpalazzone stocks are already 2/3 gone and we have already polished off two bottles amongst ourselves! What a wine. Described by Antonio Galloni as a ‘very beautiful wine.’ I doubt the first shipment of this wine will last more than a week.
Luckily we have secured a second allocation which should arrive mid year. What a wine and illustrates why I have been talking up 2010 Brunello for the last few years.
It is crazy to think that in a month, I will be in Italy. Already everything is planned (almost down to the hour) with the usual trip to Vinitaly plus a week in Barolo/Barbaresco and also a week down south (Calabria and Sicily). I will be taking my 78 year old uncle Zio Bruno with me for the most of the trip which will be great. The last time I travelled with him he was 65 and we struggled to keep up with him. For a man of 78, he is super fit and still is as sharp as ever.
Whilst it will be all work, we will take the morning off (when we drive from Le Moire to catch the ferry in Reggio) to make a slight detour to visit Ferrazzano. The home town of my uncle and my father. Whilst I visited my mother’s hometown with my wife and kids a couple of years ago, it has been over thirty years since I visited Ferrazzano.
My father was born in the small vallage Ferruzzano (pictured above) which belongs the Province of Reggio Calabria It is 110 km southwest of Catanzaro and about 40 km east of Reggio Calabria. It is by no means a large village. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of just 863 people.
When i visited last, I was too young to remember all the details and today just have images of the road up to the town. This time, whilst we will only spend an hour or so there, it will memorable and I will savour the fact that I visited the town with my Uncle, who like my father, has played a big role in shaping my life and that of the rest of my family.
What sort of Italian-Australian doesn’t like concrete! Today the trading floor slab of the new Boccaccio Continental Supermarket was poured. This will be polished and when stage 2 of the redevelopment is opened in April, it will form part of the new entry, checkouts, Italian deli and prosciutto glass Coolroom. Should be pretty cool!
Your going to gear a lot of hype about 2010 vintage for Brunello.
Sometimes vintages get hyped and it means nothing. Vintage 2007 was such a vintage and I bought zero bottles from the producers I represent in Australia. Instead I bought more 2006 and then 2008 (not a lauded vintage like 2007) which is something that I stick to. If I don’t like a vintage, even if it makes my job much easier (everyone loves reviews), then no matter how much the vintage is loved, then I won’t buy the wines from that vintage.
However, sometimes the moons align and I absolutely love a vintage that is hyped. 2010 is exactly the case and I have been trying these wines out of barrel and then bottle for the last four years. They have always looked great. They have always look balanced. And this is the reason why I visit Montalcino (and Barolo/Barbaresco) almost every year. You need to try the wines as they evolve from barrel to bottle to get an understanding of the vintage and the wine.
If I had to compare the vintage with another vintage, it would be 2004. However, I think the 2010 have better structure than the 2004 and should live for a very long time. What I love about the wines is that the have the perfect level of ripeness for Montalcino and acidity and tannin to burn. It reminds of maybe what great vintages were like twenty, thirty or forty years ago and long before global warming.
As much as I love 2010 Barolo, I love 2010 Brunello. Whilst I represent Biondi Santi, Soldera and Il Palazzone I would be buying all of the great producers: Fuligni, Costanti, Salvoni, Poggio di Sotto, etc. If you looking for a guide to follow on these wines, just wait. Whilst there are critics rushing to get out scores and reviews (and they are good), Galloni would be the person that I would be following. His reviews on the wines should be out in the next few weeks and if you have a wine merchant you relay on for Italian wine, then they should be all over this.
The 2010 Brunello’s from the wineries that I represent (plus my own under Fratelli D’Anna) should start to land in the next few weeks and I am going to have a tough time spreading them out around Australia. Not a bad problem to have though it it gives me lot’s of joy to see the wines of Montalcino from such a celebrated vintage, find a home with people that appreciate them.
Well I hope everyone had a relaxing January, spending time with family with a glass of something nice in your hand. I had two fantastic weeks off and arrived back at work today with a container from Italy. Talk about stepping straight back into it.
Considering how crazy December was (records were broken across all our businesses) we have been busy restocking with today roughly our 10th container for the year. Luckily in this container was more Umberto Luigi Domenico Prosecco. I think half of Australia have been crying for the first 15 days of January whilst we have been waiting on stocks of this wine.
This week will also see the arrival of the first shipment of Gianfranco Soldera wines in Australia via Mondo Imports. We drank a bottle of the 2006 last night and it blew us away. A bottle of 2004 in early December also showed so beautifully that left all of us at the table flabbergasted. No words needed to describe the quality.
This week we have the 2008 Soldera arriving, a wine that I think will be considered one of the ‘great Soldera’s’. I drank two bottles of this wine with Gianfranco in Italy and it is already so complete.
See below for Antonio Galloni’s review of the wine:
The 2008 Toscana Sangiovese lifts from the glass with striking perfume. Soft and silky on the palate, the 2008 presents an exquisite range of Pinot-inflected fruit backed up by super-silky, impeccably polished tannins. The 2008 spent 18 months in cask and finished its aging in steel, so it is quite different from virtually every other wine made at Case Basse, but it is drop-dead gorgeous just the same. Gentle hints of spice linger on the sensual, ravishing finish. This is an extraordinary wine from Gianfranco Soldera. Drink 2018-2038 96 points Antonio Galloni, Vinous
In other news:
A 97 point review from Gary Walsh at The Wine Front for Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 2013 has seen this wine sell out at a wholesale level within 2 weeks of being released. You should be able to find stocks at good independents around Oz for the next few weeks before they sell out as well.
Well for the last few years I have been making annual trips to Montalcino. The most recent in October to sign up Gianfranco Soldera for Australia and visit our good friends at Il Palazzone.
The wines of Soldera (starting with the 08 Soldera) should land in Australia around the end of January and be available at a wholesale level via our company Mondo Imports. It will have limited distribution due to it’s scarcity (these are the vintages that were affected by the break in at the winery a couple of years ago) but you should be able to secure a bottle at most of the prominent Australian independent wine merchants.
Another project that has been in the pipeline has been a 2010 Brunello di Montalcino under our Fratelli D’Anna label. The more I work on this label, the more I am thinking that the Fratelli wines will solely be based on Tuscany and in particular Montalcino. After parcels of fruit that we discover will most likely be under a different label and there is so much more I want to do with this concept.
So in short, our 2010 Fratelli D’Anna Brunello di Montalcino will leave Italy at the start of February and will be available in Australia at the end of March. We have only made 600 bottles and a few doz of those bottles need to go in my cellar for my daughters birth year. I can’t wait to get this wine in Oz and it is another exciting chapter under the Fratelli label.
Above is a draft of our label, note that on this draft they have left out the G will be rectified in the final cut but you will get the gist of what we are trying to do with the label design.
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia