Casanova di Neri, Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto 2010

Casanova di Neri

2010
Brunello di Montalcino

Casanova di Neri was founded in 1971. It is now one of Montalcino’s, and indeed Italy’s, most admired producers. The family-owned and run estate is led by Giacomo Neri. The estate was catapulted into the limelight in 2006 when Wine Spectator named their Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2001 the World’s #1 Wine calling it “one of the best examples of the recent winemaking renaissance in Tuscany”.

Casanova di Neri has only 63 hectares of vines, divided into seven vineyards, of which Cerretalto is one.

Casanova di Neri is famous for its range of opulent and powerful Brunellos. But it is especially prized for its two exclusive and small production special cuvées: Tenuta Nuova and Cerretalto. Both these wines are 100% Sangiovese Grosso and hence are Brunello di Montalcino (and not ‘Super Tuscans). Both wines are aged in oak for 36 months (and then in bottle for a further 12 for Tenuta Nuova, and 24 for Cerretalto).

Variety
Sangiovese
Reviews

Robert Parker 99 Points, Wine Spectator 95 Points

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£350

Ratings

99 Points Robert Parker

95 Points Wine Spectator

Tuscany

Tuscany

One of Italy’s most preferred by wine connoisseurs, the region of Tuscany is probably only rivalled for its prestige by Piedmont, in the north. Tuscany contains a number of very fine DOC and DOCG appellations within its geographical borders, and is also home to the Super Tuscans. By far the most relevant Tuscan appellation is Chianti Classico, where some incredible wines that compete at the highest level are produced. Many of these amazing Chiantis will age for over twenty years. Chianti shares Tuscany with Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, both of which produce wines of great quality. Brunello is a local variety of the Sangiovese grape. The warm temperatures coming off the coast, combined with the cool breezes from the hills, create a multitude of microclimates.

DOCG and DOC

IGT: Toscana; Colli della Toscana Centrale; Vermentino di Toscana

DOC: Barco Reale di Carmignano; Bolgheri; Chianti; Elba; Maremma Toscana; Rosso di Montalcino; Val d’Arno di Sopra DOC;Vin Santo del Chianti; Vin Santo del Carmignano

DOCG:Brunello di Montalcino; Chianti Classico; Chianti Classico Riserva; Carmignano; Morellino di Scansano; Vernaccia di San Gimignano; Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Tuscany accounts for over thirty DOC and half a dozen of DOCG wines. In addition to the great, well-known and appreciated reds, the local production includes a few distinguishable whites, the most notable among them being, without doubt, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Other delicious whites include the Bianco d'Elba, Bianco di Bolgheri, Vermentino and Bianco di Pitigliano.

Grape varieties

One of the most well known is Sangiovese the mainstay in all but one of Tuscany's seven red-wine DOCGs. In Montalcino it goes by the name Brunello, hence the name Brunello di Montalcino; in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano it is locally known as Prugnolo Gentile. Chianti, famed the world over, also features Sangiovese, as well as permitting the addition of small amounts of Canaiolo and Colorino, and international gems Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. As well as being famed for its reds, Tuscany produces some distinguished whites, one of which has achieved DOCG status: Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is one of Italy's most famous and prestigious wines. In Tuscany, its homeland, it perhaps ranks alongside Chianti Classico. All Brunello di Montalcino wine is made exclusively from Sangiovese Grosso grape (a clone of Sangiovese) grown on the slopes around Montalcino – a village 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Siena.

DOCG regulations require Brunello vineyards to be planted on hills with good sun exposure, at altitudes not surpassing 600 meters (1968ft). This limit is intended to ensure the grapes reach optimal ripeness and flavor before being harvested. Any higher than 600m and the mesoclimate becomes cooler to the point of unreliability. Fortunately the climate in Montalcino is one of the warmest and driest in Tuscany. Achieving full ripeness is consequently a rarely encountered problem for Brunello's vignerons. In good years the Sangiovese Grosso grapes ripen up to a week earlier than those in nearby Chianti and Montepulciano.

According to the disciplinare di produzione (the legal document laying out the wine's production laws) for Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello must be made from 100 percent Sangiovese and aged for at least four years (five for riserva wines). Two of these years must be spent in oak, and the wine must be bottled at least four months prior to commercial release.

The wine is typically garnet in color with aromas of red and black fruit with underlying vanilla and spice, and perhaps a hint of earthiness. The wines are usually full bodied with alcohol levels around 14 or 15 percent abv. Good tannic structure and bright acidity provides balance.