2018 Rosso di Montalcino, Biondi-Santi, Tuscany, Italy
One of the world's most famous wine producers and an Italian cult classic, the 2018 Rosso di Montalcino from Biondi-Santi is an absolute show stopper of a wine that must be decanted for 6 hours+ if enjoying today but can also be cellared for maximum enjoyment in the future.
Full of the typical Sangiovese cherries and red fruit, this Rosso di Montalcino is a little reticent at first but with an afternoon in the decanter will reward the patient with complexity, balance, length and delicious purity of fruit. It will be interesting to see how the cooler 2018 vintage matures over the years.
Elegant, graceful and fine, the Biondi-Santi 2018 Rosso di Montalcino offers a delicate approach to the senses and it spreads over the palate with polished and silky intensity. The acidity is elevated in this vintage. A handful of historic producers in Montalcino are bringing the Rosso category up to the next level, and the venerable house of Biondi-Santi is one of them. This was a somewhat unusual vintage with prolonged cool spells alternating with moments of intense heat. However, this wine shows even ripening and is quite vibrant and tangy in terms of its acidity. In spectacular Sangiovese style, the wine ends with lingering tones of wild cherry, sweet earth, potting soil and perfumed violet. 94 Points Wine Advocate
Tasted from a freshly opened bottle without decanting or aeration: Just mid ruby. A tad dusty and closed on the nose just hinting at redcurrant. Minerally tingle and brooding perfumed cherry, but balsamic more than fruity. Becomes more complex yet still remaining a little aloof. I don't think anyone tasting this could accuse Biondi-Santi of a radical change. Very tight and closed on the palate with subdued red fruit that right now is determined by plenty of acidity. Finely sculpted, marzipan-like tannins that take the lead on the finish. Very tight, compact and embryonic.
Day 2: Classy, perfumed cherry and raspberry nose with a sweet balsamic note. Still a little austere and with plenty of acidity on the palate yet transparent and fluid and with the tannins having softened out and integrated.
Day 3: The nose has opened up further and no signs of oxidation whatsoever. Subtle marasca-cherry nose with a cool-climate edge. Understated and balanced, fresh and the tannins now super-fine. (WS) 17++ Points Walter Speller
FOOD PAIRING INSPIRATION
This Rosso di Montalcino will pair nicely with a range of tangy cheeses like Pecorino or Parmesan, creamy risottos and classically well with steak, game and hearty meat stews. We at CoolerSomm HQ enjoy this wine with Osso Buco and it's our top tip as a pairing to try.
VINTAGE AND WINEMAKING
2018 was quite a cool year as a whole, characterised by plentiful rainfall throughout the growing season. The summer temperatures Italy experienced were reminiscent of those enjoyed a few decades ago producing a more classical style of Rosso di Montalcino than recent years. Just before harvesting the grapes from the high-altitude vineyards a week of healthy wind from the north contributed to drying vines and grapes, preparing them for picking. Harvest started on September 16th and lasted for 8 days with a careful selection of the best bunches.
The Rosso di Montalcino from Biondi-Santi comes from slightly younger Brunello vines and is aged for 12 months in large Slavonian oak barrels.
Biondi-Santi is a label of cult status and the estate is known as the founder of Brunello. The prestige of the Greppo estate dates back to the 19th century, with the great wine culture of the family that owned this estate, whose terroir has an extraordinary knack for Sangiovese. Clemente began making wine using 100% Sangiovese and passed his wine knowledge to his nephew Ferruccio Biondi Santi, who, in 1888 produced the first bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, the rest, as they say, is history.
This 150 hectare property has 26 hectares of vineyard split over three sites. The oldest of these plots is Il Greppo, laying at 500 metres above sea level; this is where the winery and house are situated. They also have vines down the hill to the east of Montalcino and to the north, close to Montosoli.
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SERVICE AND STORAGE TIPS
This wine should be decanted for at least 6 hours if opened young. The wine will improve over the following decade and should be cellared at 12°C.
This wine should be served between 16-18°C.
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2018 Rosso di Montalcino, Biondi-Santi, Tuscany, Italy
|Wine Classification||Rosso di Montalcino DOC
|Vintage Quality||Outstanding - Parker|
|Maturity||Drinking Now - Will Improve
|Bottle Type||Bordeaux 75cl
|Food Pairing||Creamy Risotto, Steak, Osso Buco
|Awards||94 Points - Wine Advocate
|17++ Walter Speller|
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