This is a wine that comes from a phenomenal winery with a reputation as one of the top Brunello estates year in and year out. The wine is made with slow, gentle extraction to ensure rich flavours, soft tannins and a completely hearth-throbbing colour that is a work of art in itself.
The wine is aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for a long time with very little movement, allowing for almost no filtration on bottling. Made from Sangiovese grapes grown in five plots on two different sites - one on the north-east of Montalcino (Le Chiuse di Sotto) and the other (Podernovone) in the San Antimo district in the south-east of the village.
It is age-worthy, structured but more delicate than expected from a warm vintage, because they decided to pick a few days earlier in order to avoid overripeness. The flavours of black cherries ("amarena" in Italian) wild strawberries, floral
notes, wild heather and subtle herbs lead to a concentrated and savoury palate that offers a delicious balance of fine-grained tannins, supporting acidity, a velvet body and a long, flavour-filled finish. The winery say that you can drink it from now to 2040.
Gianni Brunelli was born to the Chiuse di Sotto estate owned by his father and then moved to Sienna, where he met Laura and, penniless, began an adventure that allowed his charm and passion for people to lead him to running an osteria and eventually back to his father's estate in the early 1980s. As the winery grew, so did his reputation and the purchase of vineyards in Podernovone ten years later was a natural and unaffected progression; the wines remained characterful, charming, authentic and brilliant. The progress was constant and the warmth to clients, visitors to the osteria was palpable. The couple's journey, professionally and personally, in a permanent rhythmic step. He and Laura often compared themselves to a kite and string - taking it in turns to be one part and then the other. She is an amazing woman and now runs the winery as, heartbreakingly, Gianni died in 2008. We met her in 2011 and though still sad, she was full of her love for what they had achieved together. One of their delightfully approachable and typically Tuscan-flavoured, non-Montalcino wines is fittingly called Amor Costante, constant love.
Style: Svelte, Smooth, Silky, Profound, Perfumed, Medium Full, Meditation, Iconic, Full, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Broad, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Steak, Roasts, Red Meats, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner