Palazzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Perhaps it was a coincidence or maybe it was a twist of faith that, in 1983, Cosimo Loia purchased the Palazzo estate, which carried the same family surname as his wife Antonietta Palazzo.
After spending over 25 years in UK ( Between England and Scotland), Cosimo and Antonietta’s desire was to return to their homeland, so on one of their trips they stopped by Montalcino and fell in love at first sight with this area. They decided to pursue their dream and appreciation for country living and settled in Montalcino with their children.
A picturesque farm, located on the southeastern slope of Montalcino, covers 12 hectares (30 acres) at an altitude of 320 meters (1050 ft) above sea level. The soils of Eocene origin and stony and arid and particularly suitable for growing Sangiovese. Palazzo's vineyards cover 4 hectares and are located next to top producers like Cerbaiona and Salvioni. 3 more hectares are dedicated to olive trees. The vineyards enjoy perfect sun exposure and are well protected from the sea breezes. A strict selection during the growing season allows the grapes to ripen well before being individually handpicked.
Palazzo is considered a boutique winery producing 20,000 bottles annually. Keeping things small allows Palazzo to continue under the strict management of the family and ensure that the wines retains the highest quality. Over the past years, the winery has experienced some major structural changes: the 17th century farmhouse was completely renovated to suit modern farming needs, and the arrival of consulting enologist Fabrizio Ciufoli raised the level of quality. Production has also benefited from using mostly traditional large Slavonian oak casks. This formula has infused new life to the estate, which is now managed by Cosimo's children Elia and Angelo.
Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.
The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.
Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.