It first smells like raw meat and earth and then quickly turns to flowers and tar and finally superripe fruit. Fascinating. Full-bodied and powerful, with supersilky tannins and a dense, yet refined finish.
Campogiovanni is a 50-acre estate in the Montalcino region of Tuscany, Italy. It is a subsidiary of Agricola San Felice, a Chianti-based wine and olive oil enterprise. Campogiovanni makes Brunello, including a Brunello di Montalcino Il Quercione Riserva, which is a limited production cuvee produced only in exceptional vintages. Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading wine journal, has complimented the estate’s wines for being “rich, (with) well-ripened fruit (which is) a pleasure on the nose and taut with energy in the mouth.”
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.