New York Benvenuto Brunello Tasting 2017


Vines of Brunello in Montalcino
I’ll be tasting the new release Brunello’s today at the New York Benvenuto Brunello Tasting of the 2012 Vintage Brunello di Montalcino’s and 2011 Riserva ‘s … Having my morning coffee now and will be heading up to Gotham Hall on Broadway just north of Macy’s where the Brunello Tasting is held each year in one of New York’s most beautiful venues.
Benenuto Brunello which is known in the industry simply as The Brunello Tasting is one of the two most important wine tastings of the year as concerns Italian Wine People. It’s second only to Tre Bicchiere which is held in February. These two tastings are supremely important to me as in the Brunello Tasting I get to taste all the great Brunello’s of the latest released vintage for the first time at their release date. The event is held by Consorvzio del Vino Brunello DI Montalcino of Mantalcino Italy.
The things I love most about these tasting is of course drinking all the wonderful Italian Wines like Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello, Brunello Reserva, Moscadello, and Sant Antimo wines at the Brunello tasting and with the Tre Bicchieri Tasting they are all the great wines from every important wine region in the whole of Italy, including ; all the great Whites of Friuli and Campania Alto Adige and all over Italay, Barolo and Barbaresco, Taurasi, Amarone, Chianti, Super Tuscans and more .. But as much as I love drinking great Brunello and all the wonderful wines of Italy my favorite thing at these tasting is seeing all my fellow friends and Italian Wine People of New York and especially to see some of my many great friends who make Italian Wine and own estates all over Italy, people like ; the great Sebastiano Rosa of Punica and formely the Winemaker of Sassicaia, as well as Giovanni Folnari, Vitorio Fiore, Marelisa Allegrini, The Marchese Ferdando Frescobaldi, Nadi Zenato, Gianni Venica, and Cavelieri Luigi Cappellini just to name a few.
Yes I do love it, and now I will leave you my good friends, for guess what? “It time to go drink Brunello” !!! Che vediamo presto!  
Note : Going to the Brunello tasting now. Will take pictures and come back and write a little on the experience; tasting Brunello, seeing and chatting with friends and what not.



The 2012 Vintage Brunello’s are now being released at this event, along with the 2011 vintage Brunello Riservas .. This vintage (2012) is quite nice and of high quaility with great examples from Fattoria Barbi, Col d’Orcia, Collosorbo, Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Castello Romitorio, Carparzo and others .. Yes 2012 is a very good vintage for Brunello but the Star of the show for me was the 2011 vintage of which there were a good number of. Even more so than the really fine 2o11 Brunello Riservas I particularly loved some of the 2011 Brunello Normale (non Riserva). The Barbi Brunello 2011 is quite outstanding , drinking wonderfully and in perfect balance, which for me, if a wine is in balance this means that all the major aspects are in place. The Single Vineyard Brunello “Vigna Fiore” from Barbi was a winner as well .. 
As usual the Brunello’s from Conte Francesco Ciinzano of Col d’Orcia were exceptional and one of the best of the show .. The Brunello 2012 was very nice, the Count’s famed Brunello Riserva Poggio Vento 2010 was a show stopper and among the Top 3 in the entire event. As usual the Count had a older vintage offering in a Col d’Orcia Brunello 1987 which was in great shape and drinking beautifully. It was quite a treat. 
So overall the Brunello Tasting was awesome as usual. Well why wouldn’t it be, you’re drinking one of the World’s Great Wines, Brunello Di Montalcino, as well as Rosso Di Montalcino, Sant’ Antimo, and Muscadello di Montalcino, as well as a few Super Tuscans mixed in here and there. Yes it was a great day for Italian Wine in New York and now on to the Tre Bicchiere for the biggest most important Italian Wine Event of the season. Basta !
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Conte Francesco Marune Cinzano with Author Daniel Bellino Zwicke
at BENVENUTO BRUNELLO, Brunello Tasting at Gotham Hall, NEW YORK
The Count with one of His Famed BRUNELLO ‘S
Brunello Poggio Salvi
Poggio Salvi Brunello “Pommona” 2011
Single Vineyard Reserve Brunello
Marelisa Allegrini with Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
San Polo


Brunello di Montalcino is a robust Italian red wine grape produced in vineyards in and around the town of Montalcino, about 120 km south of Florence in Tuscany.
The word Brunello is derived from the Italian masculine form Bruno, which means “brown.” 
1. The origins of Brunello di Montalcino can be traced back as far as the 14th century. A red wine praised by the nobles of Tuscany as the “best wine in Tuscany,” Brunello is considered the youngest of Italy’s prestigious wines.
2. Brunello is made from 100% Sangiovese Grapes, also know as Brunello .
3. Originally, in Montalcino, it was believed that Brunello was a single individual grape grown just in that region. Extensive study was done in 1879 by the Province of Siena’s Amphelographic Commission and concluded that it was in fact a particular clone of the Sangiovese grape.
In 1888, Ferruccio Biondi-Santi bottled and formally named the first Brunello di Montalcino. Biondi-Santi is also credited with isolating the superior Sangiovese clone found only in the Montalcino wine region.
4. By WW II, Brunello developed a reputation for being one of Italy’s rarest and most expensive wines. More producers wanted in on the action.
By 1960 there were 11 producers following Biondi-Santi’s success. Brunello evolved into a designation of wines made with 100% Sangiovese grapes. In 1968, Brunello di Montalcino is awarded DOC status.


5. By 1980, there are 53 Brunello di Montalcino producers and the wine was awarded the higher level DOCG status.

Today, there are 200 producers of Brunello di Montalcino in Italy and it remains one of Italy’s best known and most expensive wines.
Climate has the most influence on the deep characteristics of Brunello di Montalcino. Montalcino sits south of Florence and enjoys warmer, drier growing seasons than that of the other popular Tuscan Sangiovese region Chianti. It is the driest of all Tuscan DOCG zones.
Cool, south-west maritime breezes also help ventilate late afternoon warmth and bring cooler nights. Sunshine on the northern and southern facing slopes are used to full advantage creating earlier or later ripening as desired.
The particular isolated superior Sangiovese clone unique to Montalcino region imparts distinct characteristics in Brunello di Montalcino. Aromas include blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, leather, chocolate and violets. Perhaps fleshier in taste than Chianti.
Brunello di Montalcino producers divide their production into two categories: normale or riserva. By DOCG law, Brunello di Montalcino must be aged longer than the majority of Italian wines.
Normale requires 4 years, two of which must be in oak. Five years of aging are required for riserva Brunello di Montalcino, 2.5 years of which must be in oak.
The kinds of oak varies. Traditionalists will use the large old Slovanian oak casks that don’t impart significant character to the wine.
Modern producers will use smaller French barriques that give more structure and vanilla, but require some management of overwhelming characteristics of oak and vanilla by the winemaker.
Fun fact: 1 out of 3 bottles of wine sold in the United States is Brunello di Montalcino, mostly in restaurants.
Brunello di Montalcino food pairing with grilled meats and game.
My Favorite BRUNELLO
Fattoria di Barbi
Me & Conti Francesco Cinzano
at DeGrezia, New York
Francesco Tasted Me on All His Current Vintage Wines
Including Rosso di Montalcino
Me & My Buddy
with Author ITALIAN NEW YORK WINE GUY Daniel Bellino Zwicke
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

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