Our tasting impressions
Silvia has provided us with a great wine from this remarkable vintage (no surprise). A deep and savory nose is a prelude to sweet, rich and vibrant fruit. The tannins are considerable but smooth and elegant. At the moment, it is curiously accessible. Despite its considerable youthful charms, the expectations for the future are what matters for any serious Brunello. Let's just say...there's no doubt this particular one will be really special.
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
A stellar vintage that was not as excessively warm as other recent years. Rain always seemed to arrive at the right times. Mother Nature offered everything just as a winemaker would ask for it. Well-made wines have formidable structure, great acidity and will age fabulously.
On your table
Given the sweetness of the fruit right now, anything Cinghiale (wild boar) or perhaps a rich game bird like partridge or even duck would be nice.
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!