Consortium Brunello di Montalcino

The Consortium of the Brunello of Montalcino Wine was founded in 1967, on the morn of its being branded a D.O.C. wine, as a free association between winemakers bent on safeguarding their wine and on accentuating its qualities. The Consortium has favored the onset of a productive fabric made of old and new, small and large winemaking firms alike, brought together by the common interest of respecting nature and aspiring to the highest quality of wine.

The Consortium organizes events in Italy and abroad, as well as participation by winemakers in trade fairs. It manages public relations and the image of Montalcino wines through its press office, and distributes news and information on an official website, with numerous publications in several languages. A business more in the shadows but no less important is the assistance service provided to specialized press and to opinion makers, to which it caters with organized wine tasting and sampling events and tours. The assistance given to members on the standards that govern wine production are just as important.

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Montalcino, a territory made for wine

Montalcino lies in Tuscany, in central Italy, about forty kilometers South of the city of Siena, in the hill-lands of an uncontaminated landscape. A land of farms with an ancient history and of rare beauty which, since 2004, is enlisted among the locations of Heritage of mankind by Unesco.

The territory of Montalcino consists of one tall hill, mostly covered by forests. Farm cultivations are a mix of vineyards, olive groves, and seeded crops, with a large number of stone buildings that are a witness to centuries of cultivations in these lands.

Montalcino and its hamlets Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Sant'Angelo, and Torrenieri are small cities of art with an overall population just a little over five thousand inhabitants.The area where the Montalcino wines are made lies within the confines of the Municipality of Montalcino. A district of 24,000 hectares, of which a mere 15% is occupied by vineyards. It is a pretty much squared area, the sides of which are bordered by the rivers Ombrone, Asso, and Orcia.
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Montalcino, a few words on the history

Between the 12th and 16th century, Montalcino was contended in fierce military battles, first waged against Siena and later, after 1260, allied with Siena against Florence.The small but bold town of Montalcino was thought to be an impenetrable stronghold, protected by walls and by a great fortress. This is why, when the inhabitants of Montalcino handed over the keys of the city to the representatives of Cosimo de' Medici in 1559, the town had been the last to survive as an independent municipality in Italy.

The territory of Montalcino has a natural vocation for the production of wines of the best quality, which has been renown for over two thousand years: evidence thereof and that Montalcino was a place where wine was made is given by the many archeological findings that date as far back as the Etruscan age.
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Montalcino and it's Brunello

The founding father of the Brunello of Montalcino was, without a doubt, Clemente Santi. In 1869, a Choice Wine (Brunello) of his from the grape harvest of 1865 was awarded a silver medal by the Agrarian Committe of Montepulciano. In the years that follow, the Brunello is awarded other important international acknowledgments, being preferred over French red wines even in Paris and Bordeaux.

For several years, the Brunello remained a rare wine reserved to only few refined connoisseurs. Only in the second half of the 20th century did it change from being an exquisite delicacy available to elite members to becoming a universal symbol worldwide of the finest Made in Italy.

With the introduction of the DOC quality brand (a guarantee of origin attributed to Italian wines), the Brunello is brought to the forefront and numbers amongst the first eight wines to which the "denominazione di origine" or "guarantee of origin" is conferred.In 1966, the Brunello of Montalcino becomes a DOC wine, and a year later, its own Consortium is founded. In 1980, it is the first wine to be branded a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, a guarantee of superior origin reserved to selected wines in Italy), and from that moment onward, all of its bottles are sealed with a seal of the State that guarantees their origin.
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Wine Enthusiast rates Brunello di Montalcino 1993 - 2009

Situated just below the area of Chianti lies the Brunello di Montalcino Wine Region. Based on the Brunello clone of Sangiovese, some of the most collectible and popular wines in all of Italy are produced in Montalcino, according to our Brunello di Montalcino Wine Guide. With one of the warmest and driest climates in Tuscany, grapes from Montalcino yield wines of intense color and body, with bright acidity and strong, ageworthy tannins. Our Brunello di Montalcino Wine Reviews illustrate how most of the wines from the region offer black fruit and cocoa flavors as well as violet and leather nuances. In 1980, Brunello di Montalcino was awarded the highly-esteemed DOCG designation and is now home to over 200 different producers. To learn more about this region and its prestigious wines check out our Brunello di Montalcino Wine Ratings.

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Vintage chart 1990 - 2012 Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s vintage chart is a year-by-year guide to the overall quality and drinkability of the wines from the world’s major winegrowing regions. The quality ratings are determined by our wine review panel of experts, based primarily on their tastings of current and previous vintage wines, but also on interviews with winemakers and knowledge of the weather and harvest conditions. Thus, ratings for 2012 are not included, as most of those wines are yet to be tasted. Vintage ratings are only loosely related to ratings of individual wines, and readers are reminded that some producers succeed even in difficult years. Drinkability colors are based on experience with past vintages and assume a high-quality wine and proper storage.

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9 steps to becoming a wine expert

Becoming a wine expert is daunting. Wine snobs lurk around every corner itching to challenge your wine smarts and everyone else has strong opinions about what they think you should drink. Fortunately, there is hope! Below are 9 steps to start you on your journey to becoming a wine expert. Complete the steps below and you’ll be confidently ordering wine from the fanciest restaurants in town.

Depending on your level of commitment you can become a self-proclaimed wine expert in less than a year. You’ll find that your wine knowledge is like a rolling stone; you pick up wine knowledge faster and more easily as you progress. Self motivated individuals will succeed. One of the premier American wine expert accreditation programs, Court of Masters, has no accompanying classes and is simply a series of difficult tests. To prepare for the Court of Masters most people either study independently or form small study groups.
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The ABC of wine tasting

Drinking wine is easy: tilt glass and swallow. Tasting wine is more of a challenge. You need special tools, the proper environment, keen concentration, a good memory and a vivid imagination. But after three or four glasses, the basic effect is the same either way. So why bother? I'm a baseball fan. When I take a friend who knows nothing about the sport to the ballpark, he may enjoy the crowd, down a hot dog, cheer if someone hits a home run. The rest of the time he's asking me, What's the big deal? One guy throws a ball, the other guy misses it. But for me, every pitch is a small drama: what the pitcher chooses to throw, how the defense sets up, where the batter tries to hit it, how the strategies play out. When nine innings are over, we both know the score. But while my friend may have passed a pleasant afternoon, I've been totally absorbed in the game.

Life can be lived in a casual way, or plumbed to the depths. We all choose how and where to spend our energy and attention. You may play music, cook seriously, tend a lovely garden. Maybe the things you love aren't vital, but they make life richer. Passion is never wasted effort.

That's why wine lovers learn to taste. We know that the effort we put into understanding and appreciating wine—as opposed to simply enjoying it (or its psychotropic effects)—pays big dividends. Really tasting wine adds an extra dimension to the basic daily routines of eating and drinking. It turns obligation into pleasure, a daily necessity into a celebration of life.
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Why and when to decant?

Seems like serving a wine should be easy enough: Just open and pour. But anyone who has ever struggled with a crumbling cork, or listened to a debate over whether the Cabernet they’re drinking needs to “breathe” more, knows that sometimes it’s not quite so simple.

Decanting is one of those elements of wine service that remains mysterious and intimidating to many drinkers: Which wines need it? When to do it? And how? Is it really even necessary or just a bit of wine pomp and circumstance?
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How to store a wine

So you bought some wine that you’re not planning on drinking right away. Now what do you do with it?

First off, it’s useful to remember that only a small percentage of fine wines on the market benefit from long-term aging. Most wines are best enjoyed within a few years of release. If you’re looking to buy wines to mature, you should really consider investing in professional-grade storage—a totally different ballgame

For everyone else, however, following a few simple guidelines should keep your wines safe until you’re ready to drink them.

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How to serve a wine

Seems like serving a wine should be easy enough: Just open and pour. But anyone who has ever struggled with a crumbling cork, or listened to a debate over whether the Cabernet they’re drinking needs to “breathe” more, knows that sometimes it’s not quite so simple.

Ever had a glass of wine that came highly recommended but was underwhelming to you, or been disappointed by a wine you had loved previously? Maybe the wine simply wasn’t served in a way that allowed it to shine. Temperature and glassware can significantly affect a wine’s aromas and flavors, as can the practice of decanting. Understanding how and why will help you decide what’s best for your particular wine and occasion.

Here are some guidelines on serving temperatures for different wines, as well as quick fixes for chilling down or warming up a bottle.

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