Spring has officially sprung, and flowers are beginning to bloom everywhere you look in NYC. Which means, it is now a perfect time to open a Rosso di Montalcino!
You are probably already familiar with Brunello di Montalcino - one of Italy's most revered and prestigious wines. Brunello di Montalcino wines are generally intense, and age-worthy, with some spice and vanilla notes in addition to the beautiful ripe fruits. They require extended aging and may not be released until five years after the harvest, and aging must include two years in oak. Which adds cost, as a result, these wines are generally not cheap. If you're looking for a more affordable alternative to Brunello di Montalcino, that's also fresher in style and more ready to drink right away, then Rosso di Montalcino would be an excellent option.
Rosso di Montalcino comes from the same area of origin as Brunello di Montalcino, sharing the same Mediterranean climate and also based on 100% Sangiovese. The grapes typically come from younger Sangiovese vines. The idea is to create a fresher style of wine that needed considerably less aging time, lighter, and less extracted. It requires only one year of aging before Rosso di Montalcino can be released, which also gives producers something to sell as they await the Brunello. In the past, people used to call it Brunello's "little brother", but Rosso by no means is "inferior" wine. It may not have Brunello's potential to achieve complexity and evolve over time, but it is equally delicious, and pleasurable and makes a perfect everyday wine.
This Carpineto Rosso di Montalcino 2019 is full of freshness - beautiful ruby color in the glass, with notes of cherry, blueberry, cedar, and layered with spices. Bright acidity, warm tannins, superb structure! It is such a vibrant, versatile wine that it can go with lots of different dishes - salad, risotto, pizza, ramen, roasted chicken, etc. What would you pair it with?