As the 2013 Brunellos are finally being released on to the market there is a lot of talk about where it sits amongst the recent great vintages of Brunello. It is no secret since the magical vintage of 2010 it hasn’t been plain sailing for the region with heat spikes in both 2011 and 2012 (as well as frost damage). Drinkers have had to choose carefully with only the most skilful producers being able to off-set difficult growing conditions. Thankfully the weather conditions were more uniform through 2013 and according to Luca Marrone (head winemaker at Poggio Di Sotto) this meant a very even and long growing season preserving freshness in the wine and avoiding heat spikes producing more balanced alcohol levels.
Producers are seeking out new ways of contrasting the varied climatic conditions brought about by the very different micro-climates within the Montalcino region. Whilst many winemakers are using the variable microclimates to blend different characteristics together others are promoting single vineyard sites which they feel offer distinct terroir characteristics to their Brunellos (see Giodo and Romitorio) who both source their Brunello from particular single sites. Huge investments into clonal research of the Sangiovese Grosso has also enabled greater consistency in the region overall (see Poggio di Sotto) deemed necessary when dealing with the finicky inconsistent Sangiovese varietal.
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