The Brunelli 2011 are now on the market!

In this article you will find what each of the six estates of Montalcino part of our portfolio told us about their Brunello 2011.

Some info
2011 was rated a four star vintage (annata ottima – excellent vintage)
The vintages are evaluated by a commission of 20 very experienced professionals, operating in Montalcino, at the beginning of January of the year following the harvest (of the vintage that is evaluated).

The production Rules of Brunello di Montalcino (source: Consorzio Vino Brunello Montalcino)
Brunello di Montalcino
was recognized as a DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) wine with the Italian Presidential Decree (Decreto Presidente Repubblica) dated 1/7/1980, and various modifications ensued subsequently. The rules established by the regulation in force according to the Decree of 19/5/1998 are as follows:
- Production area: the municipality of Montalcino (province of Siena)
- Variety: 100% Sangiovese (also called “Brunello” in Montalcino)
- Maximum grape yield: 8 tons per hectare
- Ratio of grape yield to wine: 68%
- Minimum aging in wood: 2 years in oak. Minimum finishing in the bottle: 4 months (6 months for the Riserva)
- Colour: intense ruby red tending towards garnet as it ages
- Nose: characteristic intense perfume
- Taste: dry, warm, lightly tannic, robust and harmonious
- Minimum alcohol content: 12.5% Vol.
- Minimum total acidity: 5 grams/litre
- Minimum net dry extract: 24 grams/litre
- Bottling: can only be carried out in the production area
- Release on the market: 5 years after the year of the harvest (6 years for the Riserva)
- Packaging: Brunello di Montalcino can only be sold if it is in Bordelaise shaped bottles

The climate in Montalcino in 2011
During the winter it was cold, but not excessively. There was snow. At the beginning of spring it was warm. Then the climate was quite cool till the beginning of August. It rained in June and in July. From mid August the temperature got suddenly very high. The vegetative cycle of the vines was normal, it was not early (the high temperature of August slowed down the vines).

The Brunelli 2011 of our portfolio

Podere Brizio – Brunello DOCG 2011
The following description of the wine and of the vintage was drawn up by Giovanni Alberio, oenologist of Podere Brizio.
This Brunello di Montalcino 2011 is intense and elegant. It is vinified in a traditional way. After two weeks of spontaneous and natural fermentation, the wine was racked into large French oak casks of a capacity of 54 hectolitres where it matured for 40 months. The wine was then finished in the bottle for 8 months minimum. The nose is rich, intense, with black ripe fruit notes. In the mouth it is well balanced, with an excellent acidity that gives vitality and freshness to a very elegant and complex wine. Spicy notes, such as black pepper, are evident in the aftertaste. Excellent and supple tannins define the body of this Brunello.
It is perfect with cheese, meat and game.
The production was 13,000 bottles

The 2011 vintage
Four stars were awarded to this vintage and this rating was confirmed during the maturation and ageing of the wine.  The springtime was fresh and humid and the ripening of the grapes was slightly late. Thanks to an increase in temperature and thanks to the warm weather in September and in October, the grapes reached a perfect phenologic ripening, after careful work was carried out in the vineyards.

Gianni Brunelli – Le Chiuse di Sotto – Brunello DOCG 2011
This Brunello is made from the vineyards standing in the two properties of the estate, Canalicchio and Podernovone. The vineyards of Canalicchio have a north-east exposure, the altitude is 200 meters above sea level and the vines were planted in 1989. The vineyards of Podernovone stand at 350 meters above sea level with a south-west exposure and the vines were planted in 1997.

The following is what Laura Brunelli, owner of the estate, wrote to us:
We think that the 2011 vintage could be defined as “special”. It was excellent considering the health of the vines and the integrity of the fruit. It was slightly difficult at the end of the vegetative cycle due to the wide day/night temperature range during “veraison” (the phase during which the berries change colour) and due to the constant increase of the temperature before the harvest. During this vintage a correct management of the canopy and of the soil was extremely important. The alcohol strength was quite high, so that we had to be very careful during the vinification of the wine in order to avoid an arrest in the fermentation. Moreover, it was very important to manage the oxygenation in an optimal way by controlling the absorbable nitrogen in order to enhance and to preserve the fruit (in the wine). The maceration with the skins after the alcoholic fermentation was not very long (8-10 days maximum). We believe that our Brunello 2011 can be considered “very good”. The nose is very good, it is complex and rich, the aroma is well supported by interesting and flavourful mineral notes. The structure of the tannins is not excessively rich, but this makes the wine ready when it opens up on the palate.
The wine matured in large oak casks, following our usual practice, for 26-28 months maximum. We produced 13,000 bottles and we did not produce a Brunello Riserva.
Laura Brunelli, who also manages “Osteria Le Logge”, one of the best restaurants in Siena, suggests to match this wine with a leg of lamb, with a succulent beefsteak, with beef cooked at a low temperature, game such as wild boar or hare, but also with roast duck or with pork.

Tenuta Le Potazzine – Brunello DOCG 2011
Giuseppe Gorelli, owner of the estate together with his wife Gigliola, tells us: “2011 is a great and very important vintage! The wines have a beautiful complexity and fruit, lovely tannins and a lovely nose. They have the deepness of a great vintage and at the same time they are elegant due to their fine aroma and fine tannins. In this area we have no problems when the climate is particularly hot (as in the summer of 2011) due to the altitude, the composition of the soil, the exposure and especially due to the fact that there are fresh water springs 10-12 meters underground below our vineyards. Therefore, the vines do not suffer the heat and they have a good water supply. The grapes were so beautiful in 2011 that we produced a Brunello Riserva. Bear in mind that we did not produce a Riserva in 2010…”
The harvest was carried out from the 6th till the 10th of October 2011. The fermentation was old fashioned with wild yeasts and without temperature control. The wine was racked off after one month from the harvest: 4 weeks of alcoholic fermentation and maceration with the skins. The malo-lactic fermentation immediately followed the alcoholic fermentation and it was carried out without selected bacteria and without additives. The wine matured for 40 months in Slavonian oak casks (of a capacity of 30-50 hectolitres) and it was bottled on the 14th of June 2015 without filtration. Finishing in the bottle for 8 months.
Drink this wine with classical food matches, such as game or red meat, but, due to its elegance, it is also perfect with simpler dishes such as homemade pasta with meat sauce or with cheese. 
The production was of 14,000 bottles. The production is lower (the production of the Brunello 2010 was of 17,000 bottles) as a Brunello Riserva 2011 was also produced. 2006 was the last released vintage of Brunello Riserva of the estate.

Podere Scopetone - Brunello DOCG 2011
This is the third vintage of Brunello produced exclusively by the new owners, Loredana Tanganelli and Antonio Brandi.
The maceration with the skins and the alcoholic fermentation (20 days) were carried out in a traditional way in stainless steel vats, with daily punchings down of the cap. The wine then matured for 24 months in French oak casks of a capacity of 33 hectolitres.
The colour is a deep and bright ruby red, made precious by purple and garnet reflections.
The nose is elegant and rich with evident ripe prune and fresh underbrush berries together with nuances of sweet spices, liquorice and toasted tobacco. An exceptional balance stands out on the palate. The wine is fresh and supple at the beginning, then it evolves, supported by compact and ripe tannins, into an intriguing and pleasantly sapid and persistent finish. Ripe fruit notes come back in the aftertaste. This is an elegant and generous wine, which can give a lot of satisfaction for a long time.
Match this wine with game, braised and roast red meat, with seasoned cheese.
The production was 4,300 bottles.

Azienda Agricola San Filippo
Roberto Giannelli owner of the estate: “…the 2011 vintage was a good vintage. After the 15th of August the temperature got very high for ten days, after which the temperature went back to normal. Luckily the leaves around the clusters were not removed before the warm spell so that the grapes were well protected. There were no consequences for the quality of the wines.”

Brunello DOCG 2011 Le Lucére
This Brunello is made from the Lucére vineyard, of an extension of 2.75 hectares and located in the northern eastern area of Montalcino. The vines are 25 years old. The exposure is east and the soil is made up of Galestro (marl). The harvest in 2011 took place during the first two weeks of October (harvest is always late at San Filippo). The maceration with the skins and the alcoholic fermentation lasted for 10 days (including the first 48 hours of cold maceration with the skins) with temperature control. The wine then matured for one year in French oak barriques and then for further 14-16 months in large Slavonian oak casks (of a capacity of 20-30 hectolitres). The toasting of the wood is very light.
The production was of 6,000 bottles.

Brunello DOCG 2011 S. Filippo
This Brunello is made from the grapes grown in four different vineyards. The age of the vines varies from 10 to 35 years. The exposure is north east except for one vineyard where the exposure is south. The composition of the soils is mainly “Galestro” (marl). The harvest period was the same as for Le Lucére. The vinification is the same as for the Brunello Le Lucére, but Brunello S. Filippo matures exclusively in large Slavonian oak casks (20-30 hectolitres) for 26 months.
The production was of 10,000 bottles.
The main characteristics of both these 2011 Brunelli are that they are extremely drinkable and ready, they are supple.
Due to their elegance, these are very versatile wines so that it is easy to match them with a variety of food and dishes.

Azienda Agricola Uccelliera
Brunello DOCG 2011
Andrea Cortonesi, owner of the estate, tells us:  “2011 is an important vintage at the same quality level of 2001. The wines are extraordinary with a slightly higher alcohol strength (in comparison to the previous vintages), they have great elegance and flavour as one has already experienced with the Rosso di Montalcino 2011. In 2011 the management of the vineyards was particularly important: each single vine was carefully monitored.
The structure of the wines is elegant and harmonic. The 2011 Brunello is pleasant to drink. The cold maceration with the skins (with dry ice) carried out before the alcoholic fermentation was particularly important in order to maintain the fruit…..”
After cold maceration with the skins during the first 9-10 days of vinification, the alcoholic fermentation and the maceration with the skins lasted for 25-30 days depending on the vat. Only indigenous yeast was responsible for the fermentation (Andrea does not use selected yeast starting from the 2004 vintage). The malo-lactic fermentation took place in steel. The wine matured in Slavonian large oak casks of a capacity of 40 Hectolitres and in French oak barrels of a capacity of 225 litres (the percentage of new wood was very small) for 36 months. The wine was then blended at the beginning of 2015 in steel and bottled in July 2015.
The Brunello Riserva 2011 was not produced.
The production was of 22,500 bottles.

Brunello DOCG 2011 “Voliero”
In 2006 Andrea started a new project, together with other producers of the area friends of his, with the aim of enhancing the different aspects of the extraordinary “terroir” of Montalcino, and a Rosso and a Brunello are bottled under the brand-name of “Voliero”. The vineyards stand at an altitude of 250-450 meters above sea level with various exposures and the vines are between 10 and 20 years old.
“This is a very refined wine,” Andrea tells us. “it is a wine that has a characteristic of freshness. Due to the altitude of the vineyards, red fruit notes are evident on the nose and in the mouth together with a great elegance….”
Fermentation (with wild yeast) and maceration with the skins in steel with a very careful control of the temperature for 20/25 days. The wine matured in large Slavonian and French oak casks (20-40 Hl) for 30 months.
The production was of 6,500 bottles.