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Brunello di Montalcino is possibly one of, if not the, most famous Italian wine, and it is named after a small Tuscan village located on a hill right in the heart of Tuscany called Montalcino, where the grapes from which it is made, are grown.
The Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best expressions of the Sangiovese grapes, here it is called sangiovese grosso, found everywhere in Tuscany and beyond, however, the microclimate of the Montalcino area allows the grape to ripen more fully and consistently than anywhere else in Tuscany, producing a red wine known for its ability to stand ageing for decades.
The Brunello di Montalcino was one of the first Italian wines to be granted the DOCG status in 1980, the higher status in the Italian wine classification, and is made exclusively using 100% Sangiovese grapes grown in the area, no other grape is allowed. An attempt to modify the “disclipinare”, regulation, has been made to allow other grapes to be included to soften the wine and make it more “international”, more likeable, but it was rejected by the Consortium.
The Brunello di Montalcino is aged for at least 2 years in barrel and 4 months in the bottle and 2 years and 6 months for a total of 5 years before being released for sale. In exceptional vintages, decreed by the Consortium, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva can be produced. The riserva is aged for an extra year.