Grape(s): 100% Sangiovese
Localization: Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Tasting Notes: This vintage of Madonna del Piano is incredible. It has a bright but not blinding ruby color and a broad and clear aroma that is not at all puckering with its beautiful cherry scents that play on fresh notes of spice, uncut herbs, red flowers, and a homage to blond tobacco and a touch of underbrush. The mouthfeel is typical for the area with very fine tannins and a super-fine elegance while at the same time it is distinct and austere. The finish is exhilarating.
100 points - James Suckling: "A wine with superb finesse and depth. So subtle and understated yet powerful and long. The tannin intensity is amazing. It just builds like a massive wave. Superb. Give this time in the bottle. The length is endless."
Food pairing: Beef, venison
The Domain: Valdicava is a wine estate located in a valley of the same name in Montosoli in the north of Montalcino, Tuscany. The estate focuses solely on the production of Sangiovese, generally creating two expressions each year; a Rosso di Montalcino and a Brunello di Montalcino – and, in the very best years, the single-vineyard Madonna Del Piano. The grapes for this flagship wine come from some of the oldest vines on the property, which were planted in 1970.
The vineyards cover approximately 28 hectares (70 acres) of the Valdicava estate. This is split into nine different vineyards scattered around the site, which is one of the coldest in the Brunello zone. The grapes from the vineyards Filai Lunghu, Lago, Cipressi and Nova are used for the Rosso di Montalcino, while those from the Poggio, Pievecchina, Pratea and Sferracavallo are reserved for the Brunello di Montalcino. Large Slavonian oak barrels are used for neutral aging.
Brunello Valdicava was first produced under Martini Bramante, who brought the property in 1953 and began bottling wine in 1968. Today, the winemaker and owner is Vincenzo Abbruzzese, who is well known for improving the quality of Valdicava's wines. The 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Madonna Del Piano was awarded a perfect 100 points from Wine Spectator, while the 2010 release received 99 points from American wine critic, James Suckling.