Customer Reviews for

Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and Appreciating One of Italy's Greatest Wines

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  • Posted April 27, 2012

    Sangiovese, the most widely planted grape variety in Italy, yiel

    Sangiovese, the most widely planted grape variety in Italy, yields superlative results in Montalcino. It's of course really good in the rest of Tuscany, especially in Chianti, but it is rarely 100% Sangiovese as it is cut with other grape varieties. In the rest of Italy it's just ok. And the rest of the world? Ask Piero Antinori who had grand plans for Sangiovese in California and invested a lot of money and a few decades of work, before virtually giving up. Why is that?
    The entire production area for Brunello di Montalcino is centered around the single
    commune of Montalcino, 25 miles south of Siena and 25 miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Even though it is a single commune Montalcino is a huge territory: 60,000 acres, half of which are still covered by woodland. It resembles a square delimited by the Orcia, Asso, and Ombrone rivers with altitudes ranging from 300 to 2,200 feet. Nearby Monte Amiata protects the slopes from hail and violent storms. Compared to Chianti Classico, Montalcino enjoys a more Mediterranean climate, where Sangiovese benefits from hotter temperatures and drier weather. It is no coincidence that of all
    Tuscany’s denominations, only Brunello is required to be 100% Sangiovese: THIS IS WHERE IT REALLY EXCELS BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE CONDITIONS OF THE TERRITORY.
    Kerin O'Keefe explains in detail that Montalcino was formed in different geological eras.
    Younger soils dominate in the southern lowlands, while further uphill the terrain is mainly clay enriched with calcareous fossil material. In the higher altitudes there are also big temperature variations between night and day, a factor essential for developing the wine’s perfume.
    The author is in favor of putting subzones on the labels as this would greatly help consumers understand the stark differences among Brunellos from Montalcino’s greatly varied subzones. She proposes at least 8 subzones: Montalcino, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Camigliano, Tavernelle, Bosco, Torrenieri, Sant'Angelo in Colle and Sant'Angelo Scalo.
    Well done Mrs. O'Keefe!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    ideal book to carry on your Nook if you go to Montalcino

    I planned to use this as a reference book for my trip to Tuscany next May, but once I started the book I finished it in two days as it makes for a nice read. I learned so much about Brunello and Montalcino and I am looking forward to try those wines that were praised here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    for Tuscan wine lovers

    I got this book as a gift to my husband as I wanted to go on a trip to Tuscany for years and after a few pages he said yes! We now know the book by heart and we can't wait for May to come when we will go to Montalcino.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    Definitely worth it for a Brunello lover and fans of Italian wines

    A great take on sub-zones and a handful of producers within the region. Kerin injects some personal positioning, as there's no doubt after reading 20 pages that she has a strong preference for traditionally crafted Brunellos. My favorite part of this book was the insight from some of her interviews regarding soil composition, prime elevation sights, and historical background on the region.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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