Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2017

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Alcohol: 13.5%

Grape(s): Sangiovese

Localization: Tuscany, Italy

Tasting Notes: Ruby red wine color, tending toward garnet with age, this wine offers complex, penetrating aromas of wild berry fruit. On the palate, it is dry, firm, harmonious and delicate.

93 Points - James Suckling: Plenty of sweet cherries and plums with some chocolate on both the nose and palate. It’s medium-to full-bodied with medium to full tannins that are plush and succulent. Fresh citrus to the fruit at the end. Remains cool and layered.

93 points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: This is the so-called "green label" Brunello with proprietor Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini's signature on the front of the bottle. Her classic 2017 Brunello di Montalcino is sharp and tonic with wild raspberry, cassis, lilac, earth and garden herb. There is a sweet note of sour cherry on the mid-weight finish. This is an ample 160,000-bottle production made in a traditional approach with two years in casks made with both Slavonian and French oak.

Food Pairing: Great with roasts, grilled and spit-roasted meats, game, braised meats and aged cheeses.

The Domain: The origins of the place named Caparzo are still unknown. According to some people, the name is derived, as shown by ancient maps, from Ca’ Pazzo; according to others, the term should derive from the Latin Caput Arsum, indicating "a place touched by sun”. The history of Caparzo dates back to the end of the 1960s at the dawning of Brunello di Montalcino, when a group of friends, fond of Tuscany and of wine, purchased an old ruin with vineyards at Montalcino. The farm estate was renovated, modernized, and new vineyards were planted. In a short time, Caparzo made itself known in the Brunello market. In 1998, 30 years after the first rows of vines were planted, the farm estate came to a turning point when Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini purchased Caparzo. With the help of her son, Igino, and daughter, Alessandra, she immediately carried out her objective: combining tradition with innovation to create a high-quality wine that is the expression of an excellent territory.

Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.

The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.

Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.