Wine Monopole

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto 1996

Excellent wine with years to come…

Few weekends ago, we blind-tasted this wine and asked a few friends to guess its identity. First guess: Bordeaux… a mature, elegant, right-bank with great finesse and texture. Nope.

As the wine opens up further, it also presented some meatiness, charcoal and savory spice on the palate. Second guess: Bordeaux-blend super Tuscan. Nope.

Finally, somebody got it correct and guessed Brunello. However, we couldn’t believe how lively the bottle is with its coming from almost 20 years ago.

Brunello = Sangiovese

Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 120 km south of Florence in the Tuscany. For centuries, Brunello was a name given locally to what was believed to be an individual grape variety grown in Montalcino. In 1879, it was proven that “Brunello” and Sangiovese were indeed the same grape varietal. Over time, the name “Brunello” evolved into the designation of the wine produced with 100% Sangiovese in Montalcino.

Casanova di Neri – young star of Montalcino

While Casanova di Neri was only founded 1971, it has quickly risen to become one of the top Brunello, if not top Italian wine. This family-run cellar owes its success to a solid track record of powerful, luxuriant Brunellos and to the exclusive crus, Tenuta Nuova and Cerretalto (the crown-jewel of the estate).

In 2006, Wine Spectator declared its Tenuta Nuova 2010 as “The Best Wine in the World”. The Tenuta Nuova 2010 was given a perfect 100-point by Robert Parker. The wine pretty much reflects Giacomo Neri’s personality: powerful, but never hard, coherent and skilled, and above all very pleasant.

Its top of the line comes from Cerretalto, a single vineyard carrying the estate’s best grapes. Cerretalto is only produced in the years when the grapes are off the best quality. The wine is kept in the winery for six years before releasing to the market it can last many more years in your cellar.

1996 is a rare vintage to be found anywhere in the public market. Give this wine a try and you will have a different perspective of Brunello!

Written by Wine Monopole — September 14, 2015

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