Our tasting impressions
Lovely, damp forest aromas blanket demure fruit on the nose. One sip though, and there is no question about the purity and beauty of the red fruit. The texture is really silky, so its mouth-filling quality surprises. The tannins hold off until the finish but then clamp down aggressively to remind us that in Brunello years, 10 years ain't nuthin! A fabulous Brunello that you can fast-track with a lengthy and vigorous decant. Cue the ecstatic emoji that Maurizio and Silvia still had some for us.
About this wine
100% Sangiovese from vines ranging in age from 25-43 years (with some younger vines also) in the area known as Canalicchio di Sotto at 300 meters facing northeast. The vines are low-density and trained in bilateral cordons. The soil is a mix of clay and volcanic rock. This property previously belonged to the famous estate of Biondi Santi.
Silvia's winemaking is very traditional. Grapes, harvested in late September, are de-stemmed. Fermentation with select yeasts in large stainless steel tanks takes 2 weeks with the cap punched down. Malolactic fermentation occurs while still in the tanks.
The wine is then transferred to Botti (225-liter Slavonian oak barrels) at the start of the new year. The barrels are neutral with medium toast. Aging is for two and a half years in barrel and in bottle until 5 years after the vintage. About 9,000 bottles are produced each year.
About the grape
Sangiovese is the most planted grape in Italy and is the dominant grape throughout the central part of the country. There are many variants and even different names like Prugnolo Gentile, Brunello, Sangioveto and Morellino.
The grapes are dark and thick-skinned, slow-ripening, acidic and tannic. Like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is heavily influenced by its terroir and similarly can be quite transparent in its differences from place to place.
About the vintage
2013 was a classic and exceptional vintage for Brunello. A departure from the now typically hot and dry growing seasons, this year was cool and rainfall was plentiful. Maurizio had to be vigilant to prevent problems. In general, the wines are fresh, elegant and will age very well.
On your table
Eggplant parmigiana with an intense, long-cooked tomato sauce would be interesting or maybe a pasta with lamb bolognese.
Azienda Canalicchio di Sotto di Lambardi is a small but historical estate. The Lambardi family produced their first Brunello in 1973, but vines have existed on the property since 1835. The family was instrumental in founding the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium.
The tiny production (just 9,000 bottles each of Brunello and Rosso, respectively) is a team effort. Owner Maurizio Lambardi manages the 6.5 hectares of vineyards, which are ideally situated on the northeastern slope. Most of the vines were planted between 1980 and 1997. They harvest later than most, allowing the grapes to reach optimal maturity and ripeness.
Talented Silvia Cennini has been the winemaker for 15 years and has helped to usher in a golden era for these very traditional wines. The potential and pedigree always was there, but recently, she has achieved a consistency of quality while allowing the nuances of each vintage to be expressed.
These are the essence of Brunellio!