The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Talenti and Valdicava

Posted on | November 24, 2015 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoWith the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking of wines to pour at dinners and parties. I love Sangiovese Grosso; it’s one of my favorite indigenous Italian. In the right hands this wonderful grape makes spectacular wines, specifically Brunello di Montacino and Rosso di Montalcino.

The DOCG for Brunello di Montaccino require that the wine age for a minimum of 3 ½ years in oak of any type or size. Traditionally Brunello aged in large Slovenian oak, not small French oak barriques (a barrique holds 225 liters or 300 bottles and it’s the most common used barrel in winemaking). Traditionalists use large Slovenian oak casks because they believe Sangiovese Grosso doesn’t need all the characteristics that the smaller barrique imparts. Others argue that barrique aging can be beneficial, balancing out what the grape is lacking naturally. Although Brunello can be age in either large or small casks, the typical aromatics of the region stay the same: sour cherry, herbs, aged balsamic, and earth; with some age, the wine also shows fig, sweet tobacco, espresso, and leather. I’ve chosen two of my recent favorite Sangiovese Grosso bottlings for you today.

Valdicava 2012 Rosso di Montalcino $44.99

Unlike Brunello, sibling wine Rosso di Montacino only requires to spend six months aging in oak and one year total aging before release. However, the Valdicava estate makes what can only be a baby Brunello because the wine ages for12 to 15 months in cask before bottling. This 2012 is dense and extracted with a very pretty nose that’s full of plum, red and blue fruits, spice, cigar and hints of leather. The palate is warm in inviting with tannins that slowly latch on, allowing for a nice lingering finish. Drink now and for the next couple of years.

Talenti 2008 Brunello di Montalcino $59.99

This estate was started in the 1980s by Pierluigi Talenti; now led by his grandson Ricardo Talenti, what Talenti so particular is that the estate crafts traditional Brunello that still allows for earlier approachability. Talenti’s Brunello offer intensity and freshness combined with a nice mineral backbone and well-balanced tannins. This 2008 is full of blackberry, cherry, plum, chocolate and a bit of spicy tobacco on the nose. The palate is fresh with silky tannins and an ethereal finish. Drink now to 2022.



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