Tag Archives: Montalcino

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.

Some great reviews and comments for our little Rosso…

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.



Fratelli D’Anna Rosso Di Montalcino 2013:… It is here (just not sure how long for!!)

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.

A great day in 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.





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.