May 20, 2024

Biondi-Santi Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 

Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino

Who makes it? 

Biondi-Santi says it all really. When it comes to Brunello di Montalcino, Biondi-Santi really are the original. The story goes that Clemente Santi and his nephew Ferrucio Biondi Santi understood the quality potential of their grapes. That is their particular clone of Sangiovese grapes from the Tuscan region of Montalcino. They recognised that their quality required a different approach to getting the best out of that particular grape. And that the work was all worthwhile. 

That was in 1888 and the estate has been making Brunello di Montalcino since.  

This winery passed from its family origins recently. Since about 2020, it is now owned by the Epi Group under the leadership of Christophe Descours. Epi also owns such wine brands as Champagne Charles Heidseick, Champagne Piper-Heidseick amongst others and Portugal’s Sogrape. They also has a share of Liberty wine distributors in the UK.  

How do they make it? 

It is said that this level of Brunello di Montalcino is made using the traditions of the early versions. That is, fermented in cement vats with indigenous yeasts and then aged in large format Slavonian oak. However, this wine also had portions aged in stainless steel and other size oak barrels as well. 

Slavonian oak barrels are made from oak from Eastern Croatia. You will find quite a few prestigious Italian regions will use Slavonian oak to make their large format barrels. For example, producers in Barolo and Amarone.  It has been long sought after for this size barrel for its consistent quality and tight grain. It allows wines to rest and integrate without the barrel dominating the character.  

What does it taste like? 

The Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino is a plush red wine and has concentrated aromas of cherry, raspberry fruit with fresh mint and a spicy creamy oak in support. It is fuller bodied with lush shapely tannins and a fresh acid backbone pulling it all together. The length sees chocolate join that minty fruit. And the tannins extend the length but are finely grained even in its youth. 

This is fine to go upon release. However, I would also suggest that this really is a good wine to hold onto for at least a decade.  

What to drink it with? 

This is undoubtedly a fine red wine. If you choose to enjoy it young, it will be better with food. If you want to make it a special event, then choose something that will make the meal memorable. For instance, a slow cooked beef bourgignon. Or kangaroo with chestnuts wrapped in puff pastry and served with a port reduced jus.  

Otherwise, you might just choose to enjoy this wine with the best company. Even if it is just yourself! Because that it allowed as well.  

Cheese 

Drink this wine with a semi-hard or hard cheese. Cheddar, Manchego or some crumbled parmesan. A wine as big as this could also work with stilton. You could even do a blue cheese on a Pain d’epices with a dob of chutney.  

Quickie review « This is one of those wines that you can buy and enjoy over a decade or so. If you can wait, it is well worth it. But it is well worth enjoying whenever you get the chance. » 

Country of Origin:  Brunello di Montalcino, Italy 
Tasting Date: January 2024 
Price:   £250 | US265++ |  €216 
Drink: now – 15+ years  
Needs food: no 
Source: tasting 

Visit biondisanti  for more.

 

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