La Serena, Brunello di Montalcino, 2015

La Serena, Brunello di Montalcino, 2015

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2015

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Italy

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Sangiovese 100%

Brunello di Montalcino, La Serena is a visibly limpid, brilliant wine, with a bright garnet colour. It has an intense perfume, persistent, ample and ethereal. One can recognise scents of undergrowth, aromatic wood, berries, light vanilla and jam. To the taste the wine has an elegant harmonious body, vigorous and racy, it is dry with a lengthy aromatic persistence.

Because of its characteristics, Brunello can be aged for a long time, improving as the years go by, from a minimum of 10 years to around 30 years, but it can be kept for even longer if stored professionally.

The elegance and the harmonious body of this wine allow for accompaniments of well structured and composite dishes such as red meats, game – both feather and fur, possibly accompanied by mushrooms and truffles. It also goes perfectly together with international cuisine dishes with a base of meats and sauces.

About La Serena

La Serena is a Tuscan estate set on the eastern edge of the Montalcino winemaking region. The estate devotes the entirety of its 9 hectares (22 acres) of vineyard to the Sangiovese grape variety, from which it produces a select range of red wines: Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.

The La Serena estate has belonged to the Mantengoli family since 1933, but it wasn't until 1988 that it released its first bottles of Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino wine, under the management of Andrea and Marcello Mantengoli. Today, the responsibility of the estate falls to Andrea, his wife Elisabetta and their son Giorgio who oversee a total production of 30,000 bottles per year.

The vineyards are farmed organically and sit atop a combination of clay and limestone soils. Harvest is carried out by hand and the wine later aged in oak casks for at least two years. Vinification takes place in the eco-friendly cellar designed by Marcello Mantengoli. The building is insulated with cork panels and is also fitted with a geothermal system that can carefully regulate the temperature of the cellar.

La Serena sources the grapes for its Rosso di Montalcino from young vines planted in lower, more humid parcels. The Sangiovese vines cultivated on the estate's more elevated, poorer soils go towards the production of the La Serena Brunello di Montalcino wine. The Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is produced from only the highest quality grapes harvested from some of the estate's most established Sangiovese vines.

Grape variety
Sangiovese

Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jupiter". Though it is the grape of most of central Italy from Romagna down to Tuscany, Campania and Sicily, outside Italy it is most famous as the only component of Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino and the main component of the blends Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano, although it can also be used to make varietal wines such as Sangiovese di Romagna and the modern "Super Tuscan" wines like Tignanello.

Sangiovese was already well known by the 16th century. Recent DNA profiling by José Vouillamoz of the Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige suggests that Sangiovese's ancestors are Ciliegiolo and Calabrese Montenuovo. The former is well known as an ancient variety in Tuscany, the latter is an almost-extinct relic from the Calabria, the toe of Italy. At least fourteen Sangiovese clones exist, of which Brunello is one of the best regarded. An attempt to classify the clones into Sangiovese grosso (including Brunello) and Sangiovese piccolo families has gained little evidential support.

Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavours of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky, even tarry, flavours when aged in barrels. While not as aromatic as other red wine varieties such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, Sangiovese often has a flavour profile of sour red cherries with earthy aromas and tea leaf notes. Wines made from Sangiovese usually have medium-plus tannins and high acidity.

The high acidity and light body characteristics of the Sangiovese grape can present a problem for winemaking. The grape also lacks some of the colour-creating phenolic compounds known as acylated anthocyanins. Modern winemakers have devised many techniques trying to find ways to add body and texture to Sangiovese - ranging from using grapes that come from extremely low yielding vines, to adjusting the temperature and length of fermentation and employing extensive oak treatment. One historical technique is the blending of other grape varieties with Sangiovese, in order to complement its attractive qualities and fill in the gaps of some of its weaker points. The Sangiovese-based wines of Chianti have a long tradition of liberally employed blending partners—such as Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Mammolo, Colorino and even the white wine grapes like Trebbiano and Malvasia. Since the late 20th century, Bordeaux grapes, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, have been a favoured blending partner though in many Italian DOC/DOCG regions there is often a maximum limit on the amount of other varietals that can be blended with Sangiovese; in Chianti the limit for Cabernet is 15%.

Other techniques used to improve the quality of Sangiovese include extending the maceration period from 7–12 days to 3–4 weeks to give the must more time to leach vital phenols out of the grape skins. Transferring the wine during fermentation into new oak barrels for malolactic fermentation gives greater polymerisation of the tannins and contributes to a softer, rounder mouthfeel. Additionally, Sangiovese has shown itself to be a "sponge" for soaking up sweet vanilla and other oak compounds from the barrel. For aging the wine, some modern producers will utilize new French oak barrels but there is a tradition of using large, used oak botti barrels that hold five to six hectolitres of wine. Some traditional producers still use the old chestnut barrels in their cellars.

Alternative Names: Nielluccio, Sangioveto, Sangiovese Grosso, Sangiovese Piccolo, Brunello, Prugnolo Gentile, Morellino

About Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is one of Italy's most famous and prestigious wines. In Tuscany, its homeland, it perhaps ranks alongside Chianti Classico. On global markets it seems to command even greater attention.

The wine is typically garnet in colour with aromas of red and black fruit with underlying vanilla and spice, and perhaps a hint of earthiness. The wines are usually full bodied with alcohol levels around 14 or 15 percent abv. Good tannic structure and bright acidity provides balance.

All Brunello di Montalcino wine is made exclusively from Sangiovese Grosso grapes grown on the slopes around Montalcino – a classic Tuscan hilltop village 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Siena. Sangiovese Grosso is the large-berried form of Sangiovese. Its name here translates roughly as 'little dark one'. The use of this synonym and its inclusion in the name of the wine was part of a clear strategy to differentiate the wine from Chianti.

The first recordings of red wines from Montalcino date back to the early 14th Century. However the all-Sangiovese Brunello di Montalcino style we know today did not emerge until the 1870s, just after the creation of a single Italian state. Its evolution was due in no small part to the efforts of Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, whose name lives on in one of Montalcino's finest estates.

Traditional Brunello di Montalcino winemaking methods involve long aging in large vats, typically made from Slavonian oak. This results in particularly complex wines, although some consider this style too tannic and dry. Modernists began to pursue a 'fruitier' style in the 1980s, when they began to shorten the barrel maturation time and use smaller 225 litre French oak barriques.

DOCG regulations require Brunello vineyards to be planted on hills with good sun exposure, at altitudes not surpassing 600 meters (1968ft). This limit is intended to ensure the grapes reach optimal ripeness and flavour before being harvested. Any higher than 600m and the mesoclimate becomes cooler to the point of unreliability.

According to the disciplinare di produzione (the legal document laying out the wine's production laws) for Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello must be made from 100 percent Sangiovese and aged for at least four years (five for riserva wines). Two of these years must be spent in oak, and the wine must be bottled at least four months prior to commercial release.

The "junior" version of Brunello is the Rosso di Montalcino appellation. Fruit from young vines in Brunello vineyards might be used, or perhaps vineyard plots which catch less sun. These wines are designed to be more approachable when young and aging requirements are greatly lowered.

Some producers in Montalcino make small amounts red and white wine under the IGT Toscana designation. The reds usually feature Bordeaux grape varieties from a few well established plots.

Regular price $968.00

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