Yesterday, one of our favorite sommeliers and wine writers, Andrea Gori, published his notes on the 2011 vintage in Montalcino, which was presented this month at “Benvenuto Brunello” tastings in Montalcino and last month in the U.S.
Here’s our blogmaster’s translation of his post for Intravino, Italy’s most popular wine blog.
For many, the eternal problem of the 2011 vintage in Montalcino will be the fact that it followed the great 2010 vintage. And this isn’t true only with regard to the expectations for these wines.
The quality of the wines was affected significantly by the weather conditions of the vintage. Only those who were able to rise up to the challenges of the unexpected summer heat came out on top.
The alcohol levels are off the charts and cases of wines with 15 and more per cent are not rare. Luckily, the average acidity is higher than that which emerged in the equally hot 2009 vintage. Ultimately, the tannin will have the last word.
Only those who were able to manage their vineyards well and protect the bunches from overexposure were rewarded with polyphenolic ripeness. Their wines are well balanced and show vibrant fruit that’s not cooked.
Others were forced to carefully select their grapes in the vineyards when they picked and this meant sacrificing volume.
More than the position of the vineyard on different slopes and with different exposures (even though you can taste the quality difference in wines made from northern-facing slopes), it was growers’ ability to react intelligently and aggressively to the emergency situation that made the difference. They were able to save the vintage and obtain excellent results.
Fattoria dei Barbi 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Fiore
Licorice nose with root vegetables and dark wild berries. Closed in the mouth, this wine still need time to evolve. Well structured with fine tannin. 90+