Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, located about 70 miles south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region, that today is one of Italy's best-known and most expensive wines. 

Made 100% from Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino is the most widely planted grape in the Montalcino region. The particular clones of Sangiovese are unique to the Montalcino region and have developed an adaptation to the area's specific terroir. The altitude and climate of the Montalcino region has provided an area where Sangiovese ripens more fully and consistently than anywhere else in Tuscany. These factors contribute to the body, color, extract and tannins commonly associated with Brunello di Montalcino. In contrast to Chianti, the other famous Sangiovese-based wine of Tuscany, Brunello di Montalcinos have a more fleshy texture with common aromas and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, chocolate, leather and violets. 

Brunello di Montalcino is often compared with the Pinot Noirs of French Burgundy with its smooth tannins and ripe, fruit-driven character. The high acidity of the wine allows it to pair well with food, especially grilled meat and game. The best versions of Brunello di Montalcino have luscious, bold, rich black and red fruit flavors. Decanting and aging is good for Brunello, when it is given a chance to express its complex aromas and velvety tannins. 

Brunellos di Montalcino are big wines in search of dishes with big flavors, such as wild game, red meat, flavorful cheeses and mushrooms. Brunellos do not pair well with most seafood, lighter meats unless full-flavored preparation and cream sauces. 

Cheeses that go well with Brunello di Montalcino include Asiago, Brie, Camembert, Dry Jack, Fontina, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Piave, Provolone, Ricotta, and such sheep-milk cheeses as Pecorino Romano and Pecorino Toscana.