Our tasting impressions
This late-release Rosso's bright red fruit is a delight. There is a lovely sweet/tart dichotomy that makes it more provocative. I also like that there is an earthiness to the young fruit. The tannins are palpable (this likely could use another 6-12 months), but I'd be happy drinking this now as a cellar-defender for the Brunelli - and in its own right as well.
About this wine
100% Sangiovese from vines 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.
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). The barrels are neutral with medium toast. DOC regulations do not require barrels aging for this wine, but Silvia ages it for up to one year. So, it is released later than most other Rossi. 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
The 2019 vintage offered quite an array of climate conditions. Despite some extremes (heat, chill, rain, hail), the progression of grape development and maturation were fairly even. Overall, a very good vintage producing balanced wines.
On your table
While this would be terrific with a Margherita pizza, right now, it might be even better with a sausage and pepper hero.
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!