2017 Terre Nere Rosso di Montalcino
2017 Terre Nere Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Not too rustic yet not too modern, this Rosso represents a solid “tweener” style of Baby Brunello. Notes of cranberry and walnuts with aromas of restrained red fruit and silky tannins.
Rosso di Montalcino is found in the same defined area as its bigger brother, the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Both are situated in the heart of Tuscany, in central Italy. This DOC was created in 1984 in order to make the most of the fruit from younger vines of new plantings. The idea was to create a fresher style of wine that needed considerably less ageing time (one year with only six months in oak) than its sibling. This would enable producers of Brunello to make money while waiting for their DOCG wine to age, as well as declassify any Brunello that had been ageing for two to three years but had not quite reached the required standards. A similar enterprise was undertaken in Montepulciano, with the Rosso di Montepulciano DOC helping out producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.
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.
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.