One of Montalcino’s uncontestable Grand Cru sites - 08 Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino

Posted by Ian McFadden

Authenticity in Brunello
2008 Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino
Lowest Price in the Nation

"These wines prove they own one of Montalcino’s uncontestable grand cru sites." -Antonio Galloni

Every time I taste one of Cerbaiona's Brunellos, I'm blown away. For me, this is Brunello as it should be. The greatest Italian I've tasted all year was a 2001 Cerbaiona Brunello.

As Galloni's quote above makes clear, Cerbaiona's Molinari family owns a choice vineyard at the intersection of Northern and Southern Montalcino. Sadly, only 1.5ha of the vineyard qualifies to be called Brunello and the world doesn't see more than 650 cases per vintage of one of the great traditional expressions of Sangiovese Grosso.

Of course, the vineyard is only half the story. The careful traditional winemaking is the other half. If Brunello has become associated with raw power, Cerbaiona is a reminder that Brunello can be a wine of subtlety, grace and finesse.

There's no point mincing words here: 2008 is not a muscular, blockbuster vintage. And to be honest, that's one of the things I like about Cerbaiona's 2008 Brunello. Galloni notes that '08 Cerbaiona "is one of the stronger wines of the year." However, for me, that's not the most important thing.

What stands out in the 2008 Cerbaiona is the aromatics, the signature perfume that only Brunello achieves. Think of incense, spice and roses, all beautifully integrated with red fruits and minerals. 2008 was a vintage where the quality of Cerbaiona's vineyard really paid off and the site's inherent breeding becomes evident. There's an overwhelming sense of the nobility in how the 08 delivers harmonious, complex elegance.

Brunello, alongside Barolo, has long enjoyed the status of Italy's most noble wines. In my mind, it's not the full-throttle intensity of Brunello that qualifies it for this status, but the range of scents and overall nuance that it can pack into Brunello's muscular framework. It's these qualities that the 2008 Cerbaiona lays bare.

Cerbaiona's 08 Brunello offers a level of balance and finesse that will appeal to fans of the Northern Rhône and Burgundy lovers. In the end, this is just a beautiful wine from one of the great traditionalists of Montalcino.

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Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2008 Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino

Antonio Galloni: "Succulent red cherries, dried roses, violets, tar and spices are some of the many notes that are woven together in the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino. Intensely perfumed, the 2008 shows many of the classic Cerbaiona signatures, even if it is a touch less polished than some of the recent vintages. At the same time, the 2008 has come together nicely over the last few years, so it will be interesting to watch what happens with further time in bottle. Dried rose petals and spices add complexity to the subtle, layered flavors. This is one of the stronger wines of the year.