Le Ragnaie Brunello Di Montalcino, Toscana, Italy


Italian laws can be quite inflexible when it comes to naming rights for its wines. Montalcino has been producing its Brunello Di Montalcino for eons by aging the wine for at least two and a half years in wooden barrels. In nineteen-eighty-four wine makers in Montalcino won the right to market their wines that were barrelled for only 6 months under the new name of Rosso Di Montalcino and retain the prestigious Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. Le Ragnaie is one of the smaller vineyards in the hilly Montalcino commune producing both the Brunello and Rosso monikers – both reviewed in this blog. They occupy the highest elevation in the commune, growing grapes on a tiny 8.5 hectare plot.

The Rosso Di Montalcino DOC 2007 is a copper tinged Red that still tasted young in the fall of ’09. The taste of green pepper came through the earthy organic splashes of the 100% Sangiovese. The wine’s youth and strength seemed guarded and shy, much like listening to Coldplay (pick any CD – they all follow the same formula!) This wine may have a lulling effect on you until you realize that you are caught up in a beautiful melody and almost tapping your toes to “Yellow.” Enjoy how this wine ebbs and flows between intimate and brash.

When moving to the more aged Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG 2004 the Rosso bows to the mastery of its bigger brother. This wine has a Lou Reed like character, that is puts artistry and raw-nerve emotions ahead of slick production. Much like the Velvet Underground had the courage to let their voices and artistry resonate through the their studios, this wine is about allowing great grapes ferment in oak barrels and find their own flavour. Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground never “Made it” to the top of the charts, but certainly influenced a great number of those who did. Don’t expect to see this small release wine to show up on the wine list at major-chain family restaurant like East Side Mario’s, but look for it in the cellars of restaurants that offer their clients wines that distinguish themselves.

Let me know what wine you would match with this music.

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