Brunello di Montalcino is a red wine made from Sangiovese grapes grown on the slopes around Montalcino, a classic hilltop village in Tuscany. Brunello along with Barolo and Amarone are the “kings of Italian wines” and accordingly command a lofty purchase price. Brunello will typically sell north of $50 and reflects aging of four years before release. The release date for Brunello di Montalcino is always January of the 5th year after harvest and I attended the Consortium of the Brunello of Montalcino Wine event in January for the introduction of Brunello 2010 vintage. The 2010 Brunellos are spectacular and may rival the classic Brunello vintages of 1999 and 2004 but none can be had for $30.
Earlier this year I served this Brunello wine at a tasting event and it was so popular that we did not return with any bottles. I had the opportunity to revisit this wine at dinner recently and it was a reminder that the Castelnovo Brunello 2008 is a great value.
CASTELNOVO Brunello di Montalcino 2008
Tuscany, Italy $30. Dark in color with a rich brilliant red hue on the rim. Juicy and spicy with herbaceous notes of oregano and balsamic that lead into flavors of cherry and leather. The tannin is high but tannins have softened with time. Drink now after short decanting or hold.