As you can well imagine, the 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto was absolutely explosive on the palate, and even more so because it followed the stylistically traditional, more understated and more ethereal wines from Montalcino in this tasting--such as Cerbaiona and Salvioni. Giacomo Neri's Brunello would stand tall among the wines from Bolgheri and coastal Tuscany, given the thicker extraction, textural richness and power he strives to achieve. Despite the more robust Bordelaise style, the wine maintains a brilliant sense of balance, finesse and poise that is only evident in the greatest expressions of Brunello. When Robert Parker and I asked our audience to name their favorite wines in this flight of ten, the Cerretalto and the Masseto garnished the most votes. The wine is supple and velvety in texture with a long, polished finished. My favorite quality in great Brunello are the balsam herb aromas you get with Sangiovese that is ripened with deep diurnal shifts between day and nighttime temperatures right before harvest. This wine delivers those in spades.
Very powerful and rich, with blackberry, licorice and light toasty oak. This has pure fruit. Turns exotic and decadent. Full-bodied, with dense, powerful tannins, but velvety and beautiful. Big and powerful. Layered and gorgeous. Best from 2011 through 2018.
“Casanova di Neri is one of the shining stars of Montalcino. Each successive vintage released brings us a renewed understanding of the focus and the dedication demonstrated by the father and son team that operates this estate. The winemaking style is impeccable and elaborate. There’s a higher degree of texture and richness on display, and this is not often the case with Sangiovese.”
-Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Famous for their bottlings of Brunello di Montalcino, Casanova di Neri sets itself apart from other establishments in that it also produces wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Vermentino, and Grechetto in addition to the mandated Sangiovese. The estate was founed in 1971 by Giovanni Neri, and its 155 acres are still family-owned and operated. The vineyards are planted on alluvial stone, degraded rock, iron and magnesium soils, and produce all the grapes for the three single-vineyard wines, two standard Brunellos and one Rosso di Montalcino. The winery today prides itself in being mostly underground where the processes can be kept in a natural, cool temperature without the use of air-conditioning.
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