This complex red shows a duality between its rose, strawberry and currant aromas and its savory notes of earth, tobacco and mineral. The muscular structure is more allied to the latter, but this remains fresh, resonant and long.
Lisini is a 50-acre estate in Montalcino. It was founded in the 18th century by the Lisini family, and it is still owned and operated by the Lisinis. The estate makes Brunello di Montalcino and Ross di Montalcino. About 90,000 bottles are produced annually. Of special note is the Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia, which comes from a 3.7-acre, southeast-facing vineyard of carefully selected vines. Gambero Rosso has frequently awarded its highest rating of 3 glasses to Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia.
Brunello di Montalcino is regarded as one of Italy’s best appellations. Located in south central Tuscany below Chianti, the wines of Brunello di Montalcino DOCG are made of a Sangiovese clone called “brunello,” which means “little dark one,” a reference to the brown tones in the skin of the grape. Unlike some Tuscan appellations that allow other grapes to be blended with Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino is entirely Sangiovese. Montalcino itself is a picturesque, hill-top town not especially well known for wine production until the mid-19th century, when a local vineyard owner isolated the brunello clone and planted it. Other growers followed suit. Nevertheless it wasn’t until 1970s that wine enthusiasts started paying attention to Brunello di Montalcino, which by then was becoming an outstanding wine. Today there are 120 estates in the DOCG, up from about 25 estates in 1975. Brunellos in general are bigger, darker, more tannic and more powerful wines than Chiantis or most other Sangioveses. By law they must be aged for four years, and two of those years must be in wooden barrels.