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Capri Ristorante, McLean, VA


Abbazia Di S. Antimo - Montalcino

Abbazia Di S. Antimo


  1. Presenters
  2. Participants
  3. The wines
  4. The menu
  5. Information on the wines
  6. Member’s wines ratings
  7. Technical Note


Mario Aguilar and Jairo Sanchez

TYPE :  Blind


Members: Mario Aguilar, Orlando Reos, Alfonso Sánchez, Jairo Sánchez, Miguel Segovia.
Guest: Jorge Requena


  1. 2014 Broglia La Meirana Cortese Gavi di Gavi DOCG
  2. 2010 Tenuta di Sesta Riserva Brunello di Montalcino
  3. 2010 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino
  4. 2010 Tenuta la Fuga Brunello di Montalcino
  5. 2007 Rosso Di Montalcino (Surprise Wine)


  1. Grilled vegetables with olive oil
  2. Pappardelle with pork and porcini ragú
  3. Beef medallions with red wine and mushroom sauce
  4. Dessert/ coffee


(All information obtained and condensed from several Internet articles.)

2014 Broglia La Meirana Cortese Gavi di Gavi DOCG 

broglia-la-meiranaThe Winery.

Now a third generation family business, Broglia safeguards its oldest vineyards, which date back to the 1950s, thanks to the unique calcareous marl soil that allows the vines to have an ­extended lifespan. However, in the winery, which was renovated in 2000, the best of modern ­winemaking techniques are used to continue and elevate the tradition of Gavi. Their efforts have been rewarded with recognition as one of the top Gavi producers on the international stage, receiving industries titles such as Tre Bicchieri, as well as, a place as some of the most exclusive tables, such as the Vatican and G8 summits.

The village of Gavi, is the principal village of eleven Communes, as with the other most important wine classifications in Piedmont, Gavi gives its name to the wines within its classification. La Meirana is located in the heart of this territory and represents the most ancient name attached to it. The initial reason for the cultivation white grape vines in Piedmont it is due therefore to the close bond that the Gavi area has always had with Genova and its aristocracy.

In order for the Genovese aristocrats to be able to combine a wine with their Mediterranean cuisine, characterised mainly by fish and white meats, they replaced the black grape variety known as ‘ nibiò’ (the local name for Dolcetto), with the Cortese vine. In Particular, the area of Gavi is connected to the traditions of the Piedmontese wine-growing. Thanks to the high acidity level of its grapes, the Cortese vine, has been the prime producer and has been used for many years in the production of the most important ‘blanc- de- blanc’ wines of the region.

The Wine: This is the top wine from this region with respect to number of awards won: the International Wine & Spirit Competition awarded the 2012 Silver and the Decanter World Wine Awards awarded the 2011 vintage Silver. This is the ninth most searched for among this region’s wines (by Wine-Searcher users). There has been a lowering of demand in the past year.  The Broglia Meirana is a pleasant white wine of pale yellow color with green highlights. The nose looks fresh, fruity, with delicate notes of white flowers. The taste is dry, balanced, almond. Ideal in combination with appetizers, dishes of fish and white meats.

Read more about the Broglia Winery here: http://www.broglia.it/?lang=en

Experts Ratings: JS 91

Member Ratings: 89

Price:  $23

2010 Tenuta di Sesta Riserva Brunello di Montalcino

tenuta-di-sestaThe Winery. The Tenuta di Sesta Estate is located in the southern part of the municipality of Montalcino between Sant’Angelo in Colle and Castelnuovo dell’Abate, near the well-known Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo, on a downward slope from 400 to 200 metres above sea level. This land is considered to be among the most suitable for the production of Brunello di Montalcino. The vineyards are sheltered from the cold northern winds and benefit from the warm stream of air from the Maremma thanks to the nearby Monte Amiata favouring a mild microclimate. This enchanting location allows Sesta to harvest before other areas.

All of the cultivated land on the estate dates back to the Eocene period and is poor, of little depth, and affords a rich rocky texture with limestone (marl and alberese), sub-alkaline pH, generally medium texiture tending to clayey. An efficient drainage system has been installed to guarantee high quality wines.

The training system used in all vineyards is spurred cordon: each plant brings four or five “spurs” to the cordon on which the buds originate as do the shoots for the year’s production. Although this training system allows for some mechanized agricultural procedures, most of the work is carried out manually throughout the year in order to tend to the unique qualities of each vine.

The plant density is about 5,000 plants per hectare, ideal for this terrain, to obtain a balanced development of the canopy and roots of the vines as well as of a production of top quality grapes.

Read More about Tenuta di Sesta at: http://www.tenutadisesta.it/en/73/about-us

The Wine: Aromas of cinnamon, dark berries and cedar with oyster shells and seaweed. Full body and round and supple tannins that fill your mouth. So much fruit and richness. Great finish. Best ever from here.

Experts Ratings: JS 98; WS 94: WE 92

Member Ratings: 93

Price: $60

2012 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello BanfiThe Winery:  In 1978, Banfi became a winemaker by acquiring a former feudal domain in the area of Montalcino. It is located in San’Angelo Scalo, a sleepy, whistle-stop, spaghetti-western type town, about three miles from Montalcino’s 14th century fortress. The estate has 7,100 acres, about 11 square miles. However, only 2,400 acres are currently planted to the vine.

The climate is typically Mediterranean, eminently suited to the growth of the vine and the olive tree, both plants being gifted with enough strength to withstand prolonged droughts, such as those that occur in the summer and warrant irrigation in July. The plants send their roots deep into the ground where they find the moisture needed for survival.

The soil, excessively rocky, poor, and unyielding, offers no promise of generous crops. It is rich, however, with nutrients vital to the health and complexity of the fruit concentrated there when the area was under water four million years ago. Evidence of this are the fossilized sea shells that blanket the vineyards. The main components of the soil are limestone, sandstone and layers of clay. When combined with humidity, this clay forms a hard shield that impedes the burrowing of the vine’s root so it has to be removed, not an easy task. Huge rocks and boulders with which the soil is constellated have also to be painstakingly removed.

The days are hot, but the nights are breezy and cool, so the fruit does not “cook” but reaches a gradual, complete maturation

Read more here: http://www.banfiwines.com/

The Wine:Tasting notes: Fabulous aromas of dried rose petal, orange peel, oyster shell and hints of dark fruits. Full body, very fine tannins with a mineral, berry and orange-peel and Tuscan-dust undertone. A structured, salty, savory finish. Better in 2017. (21-Jan-2015) James Suckling

Clear garnet with bricking. Fairly subdued nose with mild spice, garrigue, elegant exotic wood and stone fruits in the background. Silky, rich and tense presence on the palate. Great finesse, clear-cut, pure, albeit shy aromas. Closely-integrated, fine tannins. (08-Jun-2015) Gilbert & Gaillard

Expert Ratings: JS 95; WE 89

Member Ratings: 91

Price: $59

2010 Tenuta la Fuga Brunello di Montalcino

tenuta la fuga.jpgThe Wine: Tasting notes: A pretty red with a plum, dark berry and cherry character, as well as hints of chocolate. Full body, soft tannins and a fresh finish. It builds momentum on the palate. Drink or hold. (21-Jan-2015) James Suckling

Mid ruby with broad orange rim. Sappy, earthy cherry nose that is already quite open and forthcoming and with a hint of bell pepper. Supple fruit on the palate too, but the tannins are a little tough on the finish for the moment. Proper Brunello, if not the most complex and a little warm on the finish. (WS) (17-Jan-2015) Jancis Robinson

Expert Ratings: JS 93: WE 92 

Member Ratings: 90

Price: $53

2007 Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso de Montalcino (Surprise Wine)

rossoThe Winery: The vines grow in two of the zones with the highest vine growing and wine making vocations in Montalcino: Canalicchio di Sopra and Le Gode di Montosoli. The different exposure and the geological differences of the soils produce different Sangiovese grapes where balance and power compensate one another in the wine cellar through the patient work which always seeks the best blend of tradition.

The Wine:  Moderately saturated ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of red cherry and rose petal, with enticing hints of truffled underbrush and leather. Nicely delineated and sweet, with a strong raspberry flavor complicated by minerals, tobacco and balsamic vinegar-dipped strawberries. Finishes lush and long, with a lingering note of licorice. This very satisfying wine improves with air, so decant this at least an hour ahead. (Vinifera Imports, Ronkonkoma, NY).

Experts Ratings:

Member Ratings: 89

Price: $28


Best Rated: 2010 Tenuta di Sesta Riserva Brunello di Montalcino

Best Value for Money (Red):  2007 Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso de Montalcino 

See detailed evaluation here: VN _50 Wine evaluation


TECHNICAL NOTE (prepared by Jairo Sanchez)

(This information has been obtained from various internet sources, mainly Wikipedia and web pages dedicated to Australian wines as well as from the book the Wine Bible)

Brunello di Montalcino is one Italy’s most  prestigious DOCG. In Tuscany, its wines, it share the top spot with only the highly-prized Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti.

All Brunello di Montalcino wine is made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes grown on the slopes around Montalcino – a classic Tuscan hilltop village 30km south of Siena. The word Brunello translates roughly as ‘little dark one’, and is the local vernacular name for Sangiovese Grosso, the large-berried form of Sangiovese which grows in the area.

The first recordings of red wines from Montalcino date back to the early 14th century, but the all-Sangiovese Brunello di Montalcino style we know today did not emerge until the 1870s, Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, whose name lives on in one of Montalcino’s finest Brunello-producing estates. Biondi-Santi returned home from the Garibaldi campaigns to manage the Fattoria del Greppo estate belonging to his grandfather Clemente Santi.  He developed some novel winemaking techniques which would revolutionize wine styles not only in Montalcino but in much of Tuscany.

Biondi-Santi’s unique approach to enology took Brunello from Montalcino to another level, as he vinified his Sangiovese grapes separately from the other varieties. In Tuscany at that time it was common practice to co-ferment all the grapes together – not just different clones and varieties, but red and white grapes too. Thus Biondi-Santi’s pure, high-quality Sangiovese was something of a novelty. His wines were also noticed to be livelier and fruitier than most other wines. What makes the freshness of these wines all the more remarkable was that these wines were aged in wooden barrels, sometimes for more than a decade.

This wine gained a reputation as one of Italy’s finest by the end of World War II.  The only commercial producer of Brunello was the Biondi-Santi firm, who had only declared four vintages by that time: 1888, 1891, 1925 and 1945.  By the 1960s, there were at least 11 Brunello producers. At this time Brunello really began to make a name for itself, and was formalized as Italy’s first DOCG in July 1980, alongside Piedmont’s Barolo. Today there are almost 200 winemakers producing this high-quality red, most of whom are small farmers and family estates.

Traditional Brunello di Montalcino winemaking methods involve aging the wine for a long time in large oak vats, which results in particularly complex wines, although some consider this style too tannic and dry. Modernists began to shorten the barrel-maturation time and use smaller 225L French oak barrels.

Naturally, microclimates vary between the different vineyard sites depending on their exposure. Grapes grown on the northern slopes tend to ripen more slowly, resulting in racier styles of wine. On the southern and western slopes, however, the grapes are exposed to more intense sunlight and cool maritime breezes, resulting in more complex and powerful wine styles.  

According to the legal document laying out the wine’s production laws for Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello must be made from 100% Sangiovese and aged for at least four years (five for riserva wines). Two of these years must be spent in oak, and the wine must be bottled at least four months prior to commercial release. The elegant, age-worthy wine which results from these strict laws is known for its brilliant garnet hue and its bouquet of berries with underlying vanilla and spice. A hint of earthiness brings balance to the finest examples.

Sangiovese Wine

Sangiovese (or Nielluccio in Corsica), a dark-berried vine, is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. At the dawn of the 21st Century, Sangiovese equated to roughly one in every 10 vines on the Italian peninsula. The quality of Sangiovese wine can be notoriously variable but, in the 1980s, drastically improved winemaking techniques saw a significant shift toward more quality-oriented releases.

Sangiovese Grapes

Good-quality Sangiovese is prized for its high acid, firm tannins and balanced nature. Savory flavors of dark cherries and black stonefruit are characteristic, and may be backed by secondary notes of tomato leaf and dried herbs. The use of oak has become more popular and this coaxes richer flavors from the grapes, tending toward plum and wild raspberry.

In Tuscany, Sangiovese is the sole grape variety permitted in the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and provides the backbone to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the popular wines of Chianti. One of Sangiovese’s more modern incarnations is in the so-called “Super Tuscans”, which are made under the Toscana IGT category. These wines allow winemakers more freedom to blend indigenous Italian grapes (principally Sangiovese) with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot (see Cabernet – Merlot  – Sangiovese for more information).

 All clones of Sangiovese are relatively slow ripening, which results in an extended growing season and richer, stronger and longer-lived wines than those made from early-ripening varieties. When the vines are encouraged to produce higher yields, the wine’s naturally high acidity is accentuated and its characteristic color noticeably diluted. Further difficulties are experienced because of the grape’s thin skin, which makes it susceptible to rot in damp conditions.

Synonyms include: Nielluccio, Sangioveto, Sangiovese Grosso, Sangiovese Piccolo, Brunello, Prugnolo Gentile, Morellino.

Food matches for Sangiovese (Nielluccio) include:

  • Pappardelle pasta with a rabbit and porcini mushroom ragù
  • Fried chicken livers
  • Slow-roasted pork with white bean mash