The 2009 vintage according to the producers? “It is excellent,” explains Bindocci, president of the Consorzio. For Elisabetta Borgogni (Madonna Nera), “an increase in production.” “Congrats to the producers,” says Nussbaum (San Polino) because “2009,” for Biasi (San Polo) “shows that we are a town of winemakers.” For Talenti, it is “good” and “quality” for Marco Cortonesi (La Mannella). “Excellent,” for Campinoti (Le Ragnaie) and “ready” for Salvioni and Caprili. For Moretti (Querce Bettina), “difficult” but “interesting” says Ratto (Pian delle Vigne) and for Vannoni (Crocedimezzo) “satisfying”. “In line with expectations” for Belingardi (Villa Poggio Salvi). “Lovely” for Violante Gardini (Donatella Cinelli Colombini). For Cantini and Fanelli of Camigliano, “great”. “Elegant” concludes Giovanna Neri (Col di Lamo).
Impressions on Riserva 2008 by Foreign and Italian Critics
The 2009 Vintage According to Foreign and Italian Critics at Benvenuto Brunello
The Prince of Wales, a notorious admirer of Tuscany and its wines given that prestigious vintages of Brunello have often been served at official dinners by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, could not miss Montalcino on his numerous visits to the region. Charles visited the first time in the 80s in the company of the Frescobaldi Marquises, Bona and Vittorio. He has since returned, but on the first day of his stay in Montalcino, the Prince stopped in at the Antica Fiaschetteria, historic Art Nouveau locale which, with its period furniture, has been an obligatory stop for visitors for decades, followed by an enjoyable walk along the main streets of the town. Reports from the time state that he naturally did not miss out on tasting typical local dishes nor the essential Brunello
Think local, act global: this is the wording on the celebratory tile of the 2013 vintage, signed by Eataly’s patron Oscar Farinetti and presented this morning in the entrancing new venue of Saint Agostino’s Church.
“I am very flattered that the Consortium thought of me to design the 2013 tile, I don’t deserve it – said Oscar Farinetti. However, I accepted for the fun of tackling such a creative task. I think Brunello is an excellence with a strong local identity, the product of a great autochthonous grape variety, distributed, enjoyed and admired worldwide. These are the products our country needs to rise again! So I thought of a winy tendril that links a local thought to a global action. Marketing gurus argue that we should “think global and act local”, but we should do exactly the opposite, especially in Italy. We should “think local and act global” because everywhere in Italy, it is sufficient to go into depth to discover expanses of history, culture, excellence and beauty. “Thinking local and acting global” is the most wonderful of strategies for wine and it is exactly what Brunello producers have achieved, making their product known to the world. The tile therefore suggests a positive message that celebrates a “small” but strategic Italian wine segment that has gained universal renown and acknowledgement. May this be of good omen for those who will know how to follow the lead”.
The collaboration with the famous Piedmontese brand, renowned for its shops and restaurants located worldwide, from New York to Istanbul and from Chicago to Tokyo, does not end with the celebratory tile added to the “Brunello calendar” posted on the external wall of the Montalcino Town Hall. On occasion of the 2014 edition of Benvenuto Brunello, the group has given life to an initiative in which Brunello takes the lead role at the Eataly restaurants in Italy: for an entire week, from 21st to 28th February, Brunello di Montalcino will be served by the glass at the Eataly restaurants in Florence, Rome, Turin, Pinerolo, Bari, Genoa and Bologna. Eataly was founded in 2004 in Alba, by initiative of Oscar Farinetti, with the intention of creating a space entirely dedicated to food, catering and eating didactics.
Wine-filled glasses in the Montalcino Museum Cloister: a sublime, enchanting and seductive setting worthy of a feast for a king. It is right here, among the wooden statues, frescoes and Sienese School paintings, where the traditional gala dinner will take place this evening. The guest of honour, without a doubt, is the latest to arrive in Montalcino, Brunello 2009, which journalists and producers alike will celebrate in feast.
Made-in-Italy symbols prevail the world over also thanks to their image, and there is one territory, Montalcino, whose image and visibility of its Brunello brand counts for 700 million euros. An estimate, requested by Montalcinonews, from the Market Research Office of the Monza Chamber of Commerce in Brianza states just that. Only sixteen years ago, the Bocconi University of Milan valued the “brand” at 500 billion Lire. From the safeguarding of traditions to the foreign capital secured in Montalcino, from the protection of the landscape to technological investments, the last thirty years have been a development opportunity for the entire territory and the premise for the creation of reputable mechanisms which competitively go head to head with the market also thanks to the unflappable link that exists between Brunello and its territory made up of history, culture, countryside, innovation and respect for its roots.
Brunello in addition to its countryside and location bestow a priceless distinction on Montalcino; a coveted territory and place that is subject to investments by multinational companies and “moneybags” from all over the world. This is the Montalcino of today and always. In a strategic position that rises up between Monte Amiata and the Maremma, it is an important and sought-after crossroads which, for centuries, saw Montalcino as a battleground for domination over the territory where a steady stream of peoples, ethnicities and different cultures passed through. It was over the centuries from the year 1200 to 1600 that saw no less than five sieges and other battles which gave Montalcino its open and cosmopolitan semblance that continues to this day through Brunello and its worldwide prestige.
Brunello is “ageless”, it is the wine of a lifetime: a “mature” red when turning 18 on the threshold of adulthood, to pop open at graduation after five long years of studies at university and of ageing in the cellar, a “certainty” like when you turn 35, “reassuring” at 50 because it ages and improves over time, an uncommitted “sin” to indulge in when reminiscing on life at 80 years of age, an “exception” in the wine world that remains unflappable when it reaches the same age as those who extraordinarily turn 100. This is Brunello, as seen by MontalcinoNews, among the few wines in the world which is always there: the companion of a lifetime for wine lovers thanks to that great capacity to travel the passage of time, making it unique.
That one’s favorite wine can mark the rites of passage in a lifetime is the dream of every wine lover. And the charm and uniqueness of Brunello di Montalcino lie mostly in its ageing phases – at least two years in wood barrels and at least four months of bottle ageing, which become six for Riserva – when the wine matures slowly absorbing even more aromas and fragrances from the contact with the wood of the barrels where it rests.
In the world of wine it is a symbol of balance and maturity. Ready to be corked perhaps at 18 years of age (best to abstain beforehand…), the most-awaited threshold that is special and dreamed of to celebrate, as one should, with a wine that completely reflects the age of majority. But the toast to a university degree is also special: so longed for after years of study, five in theory, just as many as Brunello needs to lie in wait and age in before being put on the market (the first of January of the fifth year after the harvest). And while the new graduates step into the adventure in the world of work, the celebrated red marks its entry onto the world market.
At 35 years of age, there is the search for certainty, and Brunello, in its field, is precisely that. Loved and known the world over, produced only in Montalcino, the ideal terroir which lends itself to steadfast quality from the emblematic Tuscan vine, known for its characteristics of longevity; traces of all of these qualities are left in the glass. And so why not play it safe with great vintages such as ’97 or ’99, 2001, 2004, or 2006, just to name a few of the most recent ones among the most important given that they are still quite young? It is even how 50 feels when things are seen from a different perspective, and a glass of Brunello in hand “reassures” with its ability to improve with age and become more refined with the passing of time.
But the famous red is also the perfect companion to look back on life at 80, a time to reflect and regret the sins not committed but that one can still indulge in turning a blind eye on certain vices: one above all, you drink less, but choose better. And if one gets to 100? In this exceptional case, a wine of the same age is the best choice. And with Brunello it can certainly be found: a piece of history where time seems to have stopped, unflappable over centuries. And, in the end, the rule is as follows: let us not worry about our age, instead let us drink to it (well and in moderation…).