The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Col d’Orcia and Gianni Brunelli

Posted on | February 18, 2015 | Written by Will Di Nunzio | No Comments

Will_B_8.6.14_72dpiWith all the hype about 2010 Brunello—a vintage that I highly recommend—we wine-lovers tend to forget some of the beautiful vintages that come between great years. One of these overlooked vintages is 2009, and I’ll tell you why. While big vintages like 2006 and 2010 need some years to be enjoyed (not to mention waiting for them to arrive), 2009 presents a wine that normally needs 10-15 years before you can enjoy it. Warm, beautiful, rich and luscious, the wines of 2009 will surprise you; I am personally a fan of them. Today I’m happy to suggest two examples of affordable Brunello that you can enjoy right now.

Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2009 $39.99

This beautifully balanced Brunello hails from the south of the Montalcino winemaking region near Castello di Banfi, an area known for making softer and smoother wines. Like Poggio di Sotto, the owner Francesco Marone Cinzano (of the famous Cinzano Vermouth) of Col d’Orcia employed the University of Milan to study the soil so he could plant the perfect Sangiovese Grosso clone for the terroir – a tremendous amount of work for a Brunello under $40. Quality is what is important here and the Col D’Orcia delivers.

Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino 2009 $59.99

Gianni Brunelli is likely one of the most crowd pleasing Brunelli there is. Every vintage is an absolute pleasure to drink. An interesting thing about Brunelli’s wine is that it is not geographic specific; like Pacenti, this estate has vineyards in the north and south, and Brunelli blends the best of Brunello’s differing vineyards to give you a sort of traditional Barolo mix with a modern twist. The 2009 has loads of reds fruit; big and opulent, this wine rewards those who like their Brunello a bit bigger.

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