Tasting notes: Typically a blend of young Brunello (Sangiovese) grapes with a small portion of Bordeaux grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the 2019 IrRosso departs from this rubric and is a pure 100% Sangiovese bottling. Brambleberry, walnut and bark with some black truffle, following through to a medium to full body with firm, solid tannins and a medium finish. A beautiful example of Sangiovese from a top Montalcino producer in a very good vintage.
Producer: Sitting next to the infinity pool at Casanova di Neri’s new on-property chateaux and gazing up at the silhouette of the hill town of Montalcino less than 3 miles away, it’s pretty easy to start dreaming about becoming a Brunello producer yourself. Giovanni Neri had that dream 50 years ago, although he didn’t have the infinity pool at the time. Neri wanted to establish a new winery here in one of the most hallowed venues in the Italian wine world, the commune of Montalcino, home of what many consider the best Sangiovese-based wines anywhere—indeed, among the very best Italian wines of any description.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Even back then, vineyard land in the production zone for Brunello di Montalcino was very expensive and hard to find. But in 1971, Giovanni Neri was able to purchase a plot east of the town—the Cerretalto vineyard—that was less desirable because the area was considered too cool for proper ripening. Understanding the limitations of the location, Neri took a new approach in the viticultural practices, accepting a lower yield in order to achieve top-quality grapes. In 1978 Casanova di Neri produced its first Brunello. Over time, climate change has worked in Neri’s favor, as the Cerretalto vineyard with its natural amphitheater overlooking the Asso River now has no problem reaching optimum ripeness.
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