...shows nice balance and elegance...lots of fresh cherry and wild rose, with ferrous earthy, licorice and grilled herb...distinguished by a sweet cherry note (plus a hefty 15% alcohol) that accompanies the wine from start to finish.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona has been in existence for more than a century, yet it is considered one of the rising stars of modern Italian winemaking. With 425 acres of vineyards in and around Castelnuovo dell’Abate, which is in southwest Montalcino, Tuscany, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona is run by Paolo Bianchini. Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading wine journal, has written that the estate “continues to be one of the most representative of the entire area, successfully combining a distinctive winery style with the constant improvement of its wines.” Robert M. Parker Jr. has noted that “no estate has managed to bridge the gap between classic and contemporary styles as gracefully as Ciacci…” The estate makes Brunello, and a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot, and a Syrah.
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.