2016 Le Chiuse Brunello Di Montalcino
2016 Le Chiuse Brunello Di Montalcino This gorgeous 2016 wine opens with fragrant aromas of violet, wild berry, new leather, tilled earth and spice. Showing the estate’s hallmark elegance, structure and precision, the focused, full-bodied palate delivers cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and tobacco before finishing on a note of black tea. Taut, refined tannins and bright acidity keep it vibrant and balanced.
Sangiovese (or Nielluccio in Corsica), a dark-berried vine, is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. Virtually synonymous with the red wines of Tuscany, and all the romanticism that goes with the territory, Sangiovese is the core constituent in some of the great names in Italian wine. Italy’s love affair with Sangiovese – and indeed the world’s – is generations old, though recent grapevine research suggests the variety is not as ancient as once thought.
At the dawn of the 21st Century, Sangiovese equated to roughly one in every 10 vines on the Italian peninsula. The quality of Sangiovese wine can be notoriously variable. But, in the 1980s, drastically improved winemaking techniques saw a significant shift toward more quality-oriented releases. Sangiovese has numerous clones and is consequently known by many synonyms in its native Italy.
Good-quality Sangiovese is prized for its high acid, firm tannins and balanced nature. Savory flavors of dark cherries and black stonefruit are characteristic, and may be backed by secondary notes of tomato leaf and dried herbs. The use of oak has become more popular and this coaxes richer flavors from the grapes, tending toward plum and wild raspberry.
In Tuscany, Sangiovese is the sole grape variety permitted in the prestigious Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and provides the backbone to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the popular wines of Chianti. One of Sangiovese’s more modern incarnations is in the so-called “Super Tuscans”, which are made under the Toscana IGT category. These wines allow winemakers more freedom to blend indigenous Italian grapes (principally Sangiovese) with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot (see Cabernet – Merlot – Sangiovese for more information).
Outside Tuscany, Sangiovese is widely planted in Lazio, Umbria, Marche and of course Corsica. In Corsica, the variety is known as Nielluccio and has a distinctive maquis characteristic, which distinguishes it somewhat from other Sangiovese.