Biondi-Santi

Tuscany, tuscany Italy

This fabled estate sold a majority of its shares to Christopher Descours, the owner of Charles Heidsieck, Piper-Heidsieck, Rare Champagne and Château la Verrerie, in December 2016. While the 6th and 7th generations of the Biondi-Santi family, Jacopo and his son Tancredi, remain actively involved in the running of the estate, the investment being undertaken by Christopher Descours will ensure the property modernises in an intelligent manner.

The 150 hectare property, which abuts Costanti's estate, has 26 hectares of vineyard split over three sites. Il Greppo, at 500 metres above sea level, is where the winery and house is situated and where the oldest plot, planted in 1936, is to be found. They also have vines down the hill to the east of Montalcino and to the north, close to Montosoli.

The oldest vineyards, those over 25 years of age, are the source of grapes for the Riserva, the 10 to 25-year-old vineyards are used for the Brunello 'Annata' and those younger than 10 years are used for the Rosso.

While the Brunello 'Annata' is fermented in concrete tanks, the Riserva is made in oak 'tini' (large conical wooden vats). Both wines are aged for 36 months in large Slavonian oak casks prior to bottling. The Brunello 'Annata' 2012 is, according to Jacopo Biondi-Santi, “an interesting Brunello, slightly more austere compared to the 2013, characterised by elegance and tertiary scents”. It is spicy and earthy on the nose with great intensity on the palate. The tannins are assertive but supple and the acid marked on the finish, giving the fruit a lift that gives way to great length on the finish. The Brunello ‘Annata' 2013, released in 2019, is showing a more prominent fruit and floral profile. The silky texture on the palate, with very well integrated tannins, is characteristic of the 2013 vintage.

The Brunello Riserva 2011 is a bit more evolved on the nose with a touch of earthiness and leather. On the palate, it is concentrated and rich with good tannins and a broader frame than the 'Annata'. It is classically fashioned with good length. The Brunello Riserva 2006 shows even more tertiary complexity than the 2011. It is impressively structured with lively acidity typical of Biondi-Santi. The fruit is remarkably fresh and is supported by balsamic and subtle floral notes, culminating in an elegant, lingering finish.

The Rosso di Montalcino 2015, is pure and elegant. With only 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels, this medium-bodied wine, from an outstanding vintage, has an impressive tannic structure and a well-balanced, fragrant acidity.

The wines are already among the very best in Montalcino, but with the backing of Christopher Descours we're convinced that, after what we've seen at Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck, they will get even better over the next few years.

 

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