Where Brunello Began
2004 Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
A Legend in the Making
"Impeccable and classy. These remain some of the most rigorous, age-worthy Brunellos readers will come across... These are magnificent."
- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
It's hard to overemphasize the importance of the Biondi-Santi estate. Most historians credit Biondi-Santi for first bottling and promoting a wine called "Brunello," made 100% from the Sangiovese grape's hulking big brother, Sangiovese Grosso.
In other words, Biondi-Santi is where Brunello began.
As happens with such historic estates, there have been dark days at Biondi-Santi. Given the epic stories (and therefore the epic expectations), these reds have sometimes underperformed over the last few decades. Yet, by nearly all accounts, Biondi-Santi has experienced nothing short of a renaissance, a rebirth.
The 2001 Riserva has made a monster impact; it is a strong declaration that more than a century after its founding, this family-run estate is back. The 2004 has continued this streak - it will prove to be one of the monuments of the vintage and of the estate.
The 2004 Riserva is one of the most unflinchingly rigorous reds in all of Brunello. This will be a wine for the ages, have no doubt. It is from one of the absolute best Tuscan vintages in the last decade, a year famous for its extreme range. The Brunellos of 2004 show a density, a luscious mid-palate all contained by a compact, tense and structured form.
It is a great, great vintage for Biondi-Santi. Galloni's review is below but he concludes: "I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Biondi-Santi this year."
Obviously for all the fans of traditional Brunello, we can't recommend Biondi-Santi's 2004 Riserva enough. Yet Biondi-Santi will also speak to collectors of the traditional masters of Italy, Giacomo Conterno, Bartolo Mascarello, Giuseppie Mascarello in the Piedmont as well as the maverick geniuses like Enzo Pontoni at Miani, Edoardo Valentini, Emidio Pepe, and Paolo Bea, to name a few.
The recipe at Biondi-Santi really has no tricks, no surprises. They have exceptional vineyards which they farm with an uncommon rigor. Yields are low, harvests are done by hand and in the cellar only natural yeasts are used and the élevage is very long and carried out in large, neutral casks.
If you have never experienced a Biondi-Santi, this is a good time to invest in the future. For the full experience, most collectors concur that a Biondi-Santi Riserva should not be opened for at least a decade post-release... so you're looking at another three years in your cellar. That said, if you do decide to open one earlier, give it a serious, serious decant.
Biondi-Santi's Riservas are only released in top vintages and only around 800 cases are produced. We grabbed as much as we could, but it's not much. We expect a quick sell-out and we may have to limit purchases. That said, please give us your maximum order and we'll do our best.
To order, please email us at email@example.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is impeccable and classy. Ripe red fruits, flowers and minerals are some of the nuances that emerge from this fresh, vibrant wine. The fruit remains incredibly youthful and pure all the way through to the finish. This is a surprisingly supple, fruit-driven style of Riserva from Biondi-Santi, and with time in the glass the reluctant bouquet finally emerges. Some of the explosiveness of the best vintages (such as 2001) is missing, but the wine nevertheless impresses for its finesse and impeccable overall balance. The 2004 Riserva looks to have a long life ahead of it, but it is so harmonious that opening a bottle in its youth, while not optimal, is far from infanticide. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034."
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