At the end of this week, we will receive shipments from Biondi Santi, Il Palazzone and our own Fratelli D’Anna all containing 2010 Brunello Di Montalcino. These are some of the most exciting wines I have tried from Tuscany.
Orders will be dispatched early next week and most of our best restaurants and wine merchants have ordered these wines. Super excited!
Normally I give myself an afternoon in Tuscany to try as many wines as I can from not only the producers I import but also from those that I love to drink. And for the 2010 vintage for Montalcino, I couldn’t pull myself away from Tuscany and spent time the next morning trying even more 2010 Brunello. These wines are amazing. So complete and complex it is staggering.
After so much controversy in the past in Montalcino, it is fantastic to see a string of strong vintages to bring this town back and centre in the eyes of the wine loving public. I tried as many of my favourite wines as possible and it included wineries like Gorelli, Fuligni, Costanti, Il Poggione and La Fortuna.
Of course I got to visit the producers I represent like Biondi Santi, Il Palazzone (we also import Soldera and have our own label but obviously these wines were not at Vinitaly) and the good news is that in the next couple of weeks we will have a second allocation of the 2010 Il Palazzone plus the first allocations of Biondi Santi and Fratelli D’Anna.
Pretty exciting time for the wine loving public in Oz who are going to be hit between the eyes with some of the best Brunello they have ever tasted with the 2010 vintage Brunello.
Well it is crazy to think that we have been in Italy for 48 hours and already seem like we have done so much. Today was the first day of Vinitaly and it was great to catch up with the wineries that we love to represent in Australia.
One of the many highlights from today was trying the 2010 Brunello from Biondi Santi. The first shipment of this wine (which has been fully allocated) will arrive in Australia in a couple of the weeks and it was great to try this wine. It is one of the most complete Biondi Santi Brunello’s I have ever tried at such a young age. The winery has sold it’s entire production of BdM in a month of it being in the market and I am glad that we secured a second large allocation of this wine for June shipment to Australia via Mondo Imports.
Another highlight was trying the 2012 Cru’s and standard 2013 Etna Rosso from Passopsiciaro. I feel like the very essence of Mondo Imports is illustrated through these wines. Indigenous wines that show the territory they are grown in (Etna) and each vintage showcases the difference of the season. We should also announce in the next month or so another one of Italy’s best wineries will be joining our portfolio. We tried the wines again today and they are standouts. More in this soon!
After a big day, a sprtiz in Piazza Erbe is on the cards then a glass of vino at Bottega Vini.
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.
Last week, my regular wine group (we have been meeting roughly once a month for over ten years) got together at one of our favorite venues, Scopri for a dinner focused on Tuscan Sangiovese.
We looked at all styles (Brunello, Chianti Classico Riserva, Vino Nobile and Supertuscan). Whilst most of the wines I had drunk before, it again highlighted to me just how good this grape variety is and importantly how much times it needs to open up.
A perfect example was the Biondi Santi Brunello do Montalcino 2006z this wine was opened 8 hours before dinner and even after it was poured, it was only in the last glass or so did it really start to shine. In the last hour, it opened up to show complexity, structure and tannin. I would have loved to keep a glass to drink the next day.
So it shows that great wines need time. I love watching a wine evolve. However if your are drinking top line Italian varietals, they need any hours, if not a day to really open up if you decide to drink them before they enter their drinking windows.
The late Franco Biondi Santi always opened the bottle the night before with one glass always taken out to let the wine breathe. After drinking his 2006, I could not agree more with this great man.
This week has been crazy. Great but crazy with the Grandi Marchi in town for the first time in history.
During this time we held tastings and master classes in both Sydney and Melbourne showing the wines of Biondi Santi (and the other great families of Italian wine) who we represent in Australia via Mondo Imports.
Whilst all the wines looked fantastic (think 09 Rosso and 07 Brunello), it was the 97 Riserva when really blew myself (and those in the room away). I was lucky enough to try this wine in both master classes and also enjoy a bottle during dinner in Sydney.
When I asked Tancredi (grandson of Franco) about this wine, he told me that the family think it will have no trouble to still be alive after 100 years.
Pretty amazing and judging on its colour and complexity, who am I to argue?
A trip to Montalcino earlier this year really got me excited again for Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino; and it was the wines of Biondi Santi, Fuligni, Soldera and Il Palazzone that I really fell in love with.
After the trip we made the decision to add Il Palazzone to the @mondoimports portfolio and over the last six months I have been drinking Brunello and Rosso from these producers.
Last night we drank a bottle of Biondi Santi Rosso di Montalcino 2008 and boy was it good: complex, savoury and many layers of fruit perfectly matched with fine tannins. This wine will age for many years.
Next month I will be hosting a dinner at Scopri looking at fifteen different 2004 Brunello di Montalcino producers and it should be a blast with the best of the best represented.
Well after close to thirty hours of flying, it was great to finally touch down in Milano. By the time I cleared customs and reached my hotel it was close to 2pm. A quick walk to the Duomo di Milano which was as spectacluar as ever and then some shopping for my multi coloured jeans at Zara (nine pairs later) capped off a great afternoon in one of my favourite cities in Italy.
For dinner I strolled 500 meters down the road to an amazing Osteria. Osteria Brunello capped off a great first day. http://www.osteriabrunello.it/index.html
There was so much to choose from one the menu and everything looked fantastic. I ended up going for Porcini Risotto and Cotaletta all a Milanese which was amazing.
To wash all this down, I choose a Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino which was great value at $90 euro’s on the wine list.
All up a great meal in a fantastic restaurant in one of my favourite cities in the world.
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia