Tag Archives: Il Palazzone

Get ready for 2010 BdM….

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!


The thing that impressed me most about the wines I tried at Vinitaly?


Vintage 2010 Brunello.


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.

2010 Il Palazzone has arrived in Oz but….

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.


2010 Brunello di Montalcino: One of the great vintages…


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.

The vineyards of Il Palazzone
The vineyards of Il Palazzone

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.

Arrived in Roma: and straight to Armando al Pantheon

Well after the usual 30 hours of flying we arrived at our hotel in Roma at 10pm. By 10.30pm we were sitting at my favorite restaurant, Armando al Pantheon enjoying half a bottle of Vino Nobile and a plate of Spaghetti All’Amatriciana. The perfect way to end a long day traveling to Italy.

As always it is great to see the Pantheon.

Tomorrow we are off early, firstly to visit Angelo Gaja’s Montalcino winery , Pieve Santa Restituta and then to Il Palazzone for a tasting of the upcoming vintages and dinner.




Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino 2008: still blowing my (and many other’s) mind…


For the last two years, I have stayed in the town of Montalcino and caught up with Laura and Marco from Il Palazzone. The first year was to just look at the estate and try the wines. The second year was AS their Australian importer.


Unfortunately both visits I have only had time to spend one night in Montalcino and hopefully in the years to come, I will have more time to take in the beauty of such an amazing town.

On the hunt for wild asparagus with Stefano and Marco
On the hunt for wild asparagus with Stefano and Marco

Whilst we did a lot of things on our day with Laura and Marco (with one of the highlights being picking wild asparagus) the one thing that bowled us all over was the quality of the 2008 Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino. Wow what a wine. We were not surprised that the wine had sold out so quickly and we asked to be considered if any more became available.

Well lucky for us, stock put aside for a tender was not taken and we managed to score some for Australia. since this wine has been in Oz, I have had many bottles and each time it has left me just as impressed.

And it seems this wine impresses all those that taste it. Gary Walsh from The Wine Front has just rated it 95 points and said the following words about it:

‘Cherry, almonds, hazelnut, coffee, perhaps a little licorice. Pretty wine, but deceptively firm and purposeful. It’s medium bodied, fresh and clear fruited with cherry and nut flavours and plenty of graphite mineral character that rolls onto its very long sinewy tannin finish. Slightly smoky aftertaste. Beautiful wine. Drink 2015-2028’

It is a good sign when the journalist involved buys the wine he just reviewed, and six bottles are on the way up to Gary as we speak. Many Brunello lovers will already have this wine in their cellar. For those that don’t, there is a little bit more in our warehouses with the last shipment due sometime in November.

2008 Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino to debut in Australia in July….


One wine that bowled me over in Montalcino in April was the 2008 Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino. Up against Soldera and Salvoni 2006 Brunello this wine was no slouch and if anything was my prefered wine of the night.

Traditional, structured and age worthy: it had me in a spin. After trying it Laura gave us the bad news that there was only 82 bottles available and it had already sold out. Well a month after arriving back, Laura gave us the great news that a European tender for the 2008 had not come through and we grabbed everything we could. Affordable but so complex Brunello available in July via @mondoimports

A fantastic visit to Il Palazzone in Montalcino….


Last year I visited Montalcino for the first time. Whilst I have been to Chianti close to a dozen times, I had up until that point, never visited Montalcino. This seems crazy now but whilst I have admired Chianti, it was not until I had a 1979 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino that made me realize that I was missing out on something special.

So on my visit last year, I visited the cellars of Fuligni (which is imported by my good friends over at Trembath and Taylor) and also stopped by a small estate called Il Palazzone. My intention was to just try the wines, meet Laura and Marco and have a bite to eat. Well, after returning to Australia I knew that I could not let an estate like Il Palazzone go and made the decision to import the wines.

Well it is close to a year since we first starting importing the wines via Mondo Imports. We started with the classic 2006 Bruneloo di Montalcino and it has been so well received in Australia. As a wine that is seven years old. it is just starting to enter it’s drinking window but with 10-20 years left in the tank. We are very lucky to start with such a great wine from the 2006 vintage.


This year, it was nice to return as the import of Il Palazzone into Australia and have a more in depth look at the operations and speak to Laura and Marco about the philosophy behind Il Palazzone.

Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino is made from three distinct vineyards sites:

The estate has three separate vineyard in quite different areas of Montalcino. The microclimate and extraordinary variety of terroirs means that we are able, on blending the three vineyard harvests, to have three complementary aspects of Montalcino in our Brunello.

The Due Porte vineyard, our youngest vineyard, is 530 metres above sea level. The three small plots are north west facing. Documents indicate that vineyards have been planted in this area since the 13th century; a clear indication of the suitability of the area for quality wine production. In fact, in spite of the altitude and the exposition, the grapes from the Due Porte are high in fruit and sugars and benefit from the excellent ventilation and day/night thermal excursion. The galestro or good clay gives good drainage.

The Vigna del Capa, located down below the hamlet of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, is quite different. Over 200 meters lower in altitude and south facing, the vineyards here are over thirty years old. The harvest is distinguished by lovely saline and aromatic components, thanks to the presence of marine fossils in the soil. The third vineyard, also over 30 years old, is also close to Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in an area with iron, magnesium and manganese in the soil. The grapes from this vineyard have an incredible mineral component. Il Palazzone

It was fascinating visiting each vineyard site and hear Marco (via Laura!) tell us the differences between each site and how it contributes to the overall make up of Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino. Tasting the wine is one thing: seeing why it tastes as it does is priceless and this is one of the key reasons why visiting each estate makes so much sense.


We also visited the new cellar and barrel room. In the years to come, this will play a big part in the continued improvement at Il Palazzone and whilst it is a massive investment, control is everything. To be able to control every aspect from the vineyard into barrel with the best equipment available will make a big difference in the overall quality of the wines.


We tried the 2009, 2010 and 2011 pre-releases and whilst all slightly different, you can see the upward trend in quality as the years progress. Marco is a big believer in nature and not messing about unless you have to and it shows in these wines. They are distinctively Sangiovese Grosso  and speak of Montalicino with a purity of fruit and complexity that has given Montalcino the reputation for producing such amazing wines.


Speaking of amazing wines, the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino absolutely blew us away. Already sold out at the winery, we have begged and pleaded for some for Australia and fingers crossed this happens. In a line up over dinner that included Soldera and Salvioni, the 2008 Il Palazzone Brunello held it’s own and two weeks after returning to Australia, through my mind I can still taste this wine. It is ethereal and powerful in the same breath and has the length, tannins and complexity to never die. This wine showed to me the direction in which Il Palazzone are heading and I am so glad that I am able to join in on the ride.

A visit in March and now Il Palazzone available from Mondo Imports in June….

Il Palazzone, Montalcino (Italy)

Il Palazzone, or “The Big Palace” is a small estate that has been producing wine for over ten years. While the estate is roughly 20 acres, the land authorized for the production of Brunello di Montalcino is a mere 10 acres. Obviously, a property of these dimensions creates a tightly controlled environment which is determined by its owner. A New Yorker and a wine lover, not necessarily in that order, the proud owner takes an enormous interest in the vineyard despite the time constrains imposed by his day job as a business man. He is personally present at harvest time and all other key moments of the wines development. No care is spared in the entire vinification process, which end result is approximately 20,000 bottles each year.

Located on the western side of Montalcino, the estate is quite high in terms of altitude – roughly 480 meters above sea level. This altitude ensures excellent ventilation which is salutary for grapes, as it reduces mold production to a bare minimum. The constant action of the wind combined with the characteristics of the soil on the western side of Montalcino reinforce the character of the elegant wines produced by the estate. The vines themselves are over twenty years old and have therefore grown long root systems making them more resilient during periods of drought. These deep roots are able to reach minerals and components that are not present in the top soils and enrich the taste and aromas of the wines. Il Palazzone follows all the EEC regulations regarding only organic intervention in the vineyard.

In March this year, I visited the estate of Il Palazzone https://ilvinodatavola.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/montalcino-a-town-of-utter-beauty/ and met the charming Laura and Marco who run the estate of Il Palazzone in Montalcino, Italy.

When I returned I knew in my head that the opportunity (or urge) to import these fantastic wines to Australia would get the better of me and this week I placed our first small order which should arrive sometime in June.

Il Palazzone in winter.

If you are looking for big, upfront and ballsy Brunello look away. These wines are all about complexity, texture and elegance. We have started with the 2006 Brunello di Montalcino before moving to import back vintages and then the 2007 from September.

I could not be happier to offer these fantastic wines in Australia and I think they will be very well received when they arrive.