Very impressive Rosso! And very limited!
A few weeks ago we were in SF for a very special trade tasting at A16 with 15 of the most significant and prestigious women winemakers from Italy who were on a tour of five major US cities. We had arrived late from another tasting, and only had 45 minutes to sample the best of the best. One of them, the ever charming Laura Vacca Brunelli (who by the way has one of the finest “must go there” restaurants in Siena! http://osterialelogge.it/en/osteria-le-logge ) was showing a number of her top Brunello (LOL! No, not named after her!) di Montalcino going back to the 2009 vintage. However, the show stopper was Laura’s 2017 Le Chiuse di Sotto Rosso di Montalcino!!! Seriously, a gorgeously fruit endowed, very aromatic and complex wine with a supple and lush mouthfeel and finely knit tannin…..I thought I was drinking a serious Brunello except the wine was so fresh and alluring. I immediately went to the importer to order (usually I am not so quick!) and he informed me the wine was already sold out! Drats!! I was so disappointed……apparently most every Italian Somm in SF had already beaten me to it!
Just a quick note about Laura’s wines…..all organic and sustainable farming practices!! Everything is accomplished manually by hand, including the fertilization of each individual vine. Laura’s husband Gianni died back in 2008, and she took the reins without missing a beat! This 100% Sangiovese Grosso is planted to one hectare of 60-70 year old vines. The grapes are harvest by hand the first week of October. They are then crushed and transferred to tank by gravity. They endure 15 day maceration / fermentation period (29C) with frequent punch-down of the cap during the first week to promote extraction. The wine is then racked 2/3 times until March, when it is transferred to oak. It is then aged 3-4 months in Allier and Slavonian botte. 5% of free-run juice is removed to encourage concentration.
ANYWAY! About 3 days after the tasting, my importer phoned to say Laura knew I was disappointed and was arranging for 3 extra cases to be included in the pending shipment which arrives TODAY! $37.95 a bottle and worth every cent! Kerin O’Keefe, noted authority and author on Brunello di Montalcino and Barolo/Barbaresco, is now the Wine Enthusiast’s Italian wine critic, replacing Monica Larner who went on to the Wine Advocate, – has just rated this Rosso at 92 points…..now that’s a rarity to see a Rosso achieve that kind of accolade!
“Violet , wild berry, tilled earth and botanical herb aromas shape the nose on this enticingly fragrant, linear red. The juicy savory palate doles out succulent Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry and star anise alongside polished tannins.- 92 points, Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe (April 28th, 2019)