The area of vineyards has been developed in the amphitheatre of the south facing hills of Castelnuovo dell'Abate, at 350-430m asl, a part of which are to be found quite near the wonderful Roman Basilica of Sant'Antimo, and the rest in the hill side slopes from Castelnuovo dell'Abate toward Orcia. The soil is limy with stratified formation of "galestro" (marls). The climate is extremely particular and at one and the same time favours robust and elegant wines because of the strong exposure to the sun during the day thanks to the configuration of the hills where the vineyards are located, with a good thermal drop at night due to the fresh winds coming from nearby Mount Amiata.
Selected clones of Brunello have been replanted while at the same time accurate experimentation with climate and soil has also led to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrak, and Alicante (a Spanish vine which arrived in the Italian region of Maremma in 1500 during the rule of the Orbetello Garrison House) vine varieties being planted, for the production of a Sant'Antimo selection. During recent years
they have developed an active and intensive plan to expand the vineyards, moving from 8 hectares in the Nineties to over 50 hectares, partially Sant'Antimo D.O.C., Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C., and the rest Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
Fanti Brunello di Montalcino 2001, # 23 in Wine Spectators 2006 top 100 list COLOR: Dark, very intense red rubin with violet shades; light garnet-red tonalities that can just be noticed on the glass border.
FRAGRANCE: Wide, elegant, delicate, lingering, earthy with mineral hints integrated with the fruity flavour and a sweet spiciness.
TASTE: The first impact is sweet with sensations on mouth entry full of structure. Close-knit tannic weight but sweet and silky. Very well balanced tannins with wine sweetness. Full-flavoured and full-bodied, rich in end-palate fruity and spicy sensations.
Rated 96 Wine Spectator
Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino is a red wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, Italy. Brunello is a local name for Sangiovese in Italian, and is one of the best-known wines of Italy. Well-made Brunellos are capable of aging.
Brunello must be made from 100% Brunello clones of the sangiovese. It is released no sooner than the fifth year after harvest (i.e. 2001 Brunello is released in early 2006). Brunello currently must be aged in wood for 2 years and at least 4 months in a bottle before release. Traditionally, the wines are aged 3 years or so in "botte," large oak casks that impart little oak flavor but allow for the controlled softening of the wine.
In Montalcino there are examples of obviously ‘modern’ wines that are very
competently made, a pleasure to drink and will appeal to those whose palate
and brains are uncluttered by any notion of great traditional archetype.
Among these, Siro Pacenti is a fine example. Nowadays, the wines only have to spend two years in wood, which has resulted in fruitier Brunellos. Some traditionalists are unhappy about this, especially if new French oak is involved. They argue that Brunellos that taste of new oak and are as deeply coloured as Bordeaux are a betrayal of the region's traditions. The response of one ultra modernist, Giancarlo Pacenti of Siro Pacenti, is a verbal middle finger: 'Does Brunello have to be orange to be any good? It's possible to have too much wood in old barrels too.'