Winery: Le Chiuse

The Story:

If you know Brunello you probably know Biondi Santi; Montalcino can trace its existence back to Ferrucio Biondi-Santi. After Ferrucio's death in 1917, his son Tancredi continued the line of succession and carried on the family tradition of producing outstanding wine.

So how does this relate to Le Chiuse? Well, Tancredi had a son and daughter, Franco and Fiorella, and he split the lands between his two children. Fiorella didn't want to be involved in the day-to-day, so she rented her properties to her brother Franco. Franco continued to use the property to make the wines of Biondi-Santi. Then Fiorella’s daughter, Simonetta, decided she wanted to make wine. It seems Simonetta Valiani inherited from her grandfather a love of the land and a passion for making wine. In 1992 she produced her own Brunello and called the winery Le Chiuse.

The winery is now run and managed by Fiorella’s grandson, Lorenzo, who we spent a lovely afternoon learning and tasting the wines. Lorenzo is making his own mark in history by introducing a sparkling rosé to their lineup. The region is not known for sparkling wine; in fact, there are only a handful of producers. But since Lorenzo's wife loves champagne, he studied and began producing sparkling wine four years ago. I found the story so romantic; I had to sneak one into our purchases of their Brunello's.

The Facts:

25 acres in vines

Production of ~30,000 bottles

Wines: Rosso, Brunello, Reserve and Rosé sparkler

500 cases imported to US market by Fredrick Wildman & Sons

The Tasting:

2014 Sparkling Rosé

The traditional method, five hours of maturation only to add color, two years on lees, and no added sugar. Aromas of strawberry and violets. Gentle bubbles, dry, fresh, and good acidity.

2017 Rosso - 20 euro

This warm vintage year made the aromas very expressive.

Nose: wild cherry, pepper, juniper, and rosemary.

Taste: a medium-bodied wine, with strawberry flavors, an easy, everyday drinker.

2014 Brunello - 50 euro

Due to the challenging cold and rainy year, they only made half their production and hand-selected every grape cluster.

Nose: violets, no typical spices

Taste: Elegant, smooth tannins, and fresh acidity

This vintage is approachable now.

2013 Brunello - 65 euro

Harvested in late October, a twenty-five-day difference from 2017!

Color: Very deep red with hints of brown

Nose: Spicy nose with some minerality

Taste: Dark fruit, plum. Acidic but balanced, with a long finish. Evolved in the glass. This wine is more typical of your ageable Brunello's.

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