I wanted to make a wine the resembled a Brunello Di Montalcino, since my family owned a vineyard in that region of Tuscany when I was a kid.
I knew that like Barbera, Brunello was a wine always in my heart because of my family history and upbringing, and farm.
This is a ruby-red color wine. Brunellos are known for having a very deep color, as are most super tuscan wine.
And a characterstic of Brunello is that with age the color steadily changes to a dark amber color. So it has an interesting aging process.
It displays a very palatable minerality and strong cherry flavors, without losing another of its sturdy structure.
So I wanted to make a Brunello Di Montalcino-style, which means I produce it pretty much exactly like a Brunello is produced in Italy.
The only difference - the one thing I obviously couldn't have - was the wine growing region and town, which is how the wine takes its name.
Everything else is the same, including the yeast that's been employed for centuries by Brunello wine makers. It's 100% Sangiovese Brosso, which is the clone of the Sangiovese varietal that's used for Brunello.
And in California sometimes you can find a produced grape that they call the 'Brunello grape'.
Once I fermented it with a yeast strain used to make Brunello, and used the same 'principles' or rules that have been developed to denote a true Brunello wine.
Details include how long should the wine be aged in barrels, what type of barrels, and how long the wine should be bottle aged, for a total of five years of aging, as well as many other such details.
I follow all of those rules so that if we were producing this wine in the Brunello region - it would sit on the shelf along with all the other Brunellos in town!
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