While Brunello may be a great Italian mobster name in a one-act play, it takes on a much more serious tone when applied to the Sangiovese grape. It’s highly regarded in the Italian wine world where very few vintages rise to the esteemed name. Brunellos are rare in the U.S., but one of them resides in Algoma. We released the Brunello vintage in the April 16 futures tasting, and it is now available for sampling on our Select Tasting list.
How does a Brunello take the stage outside of a one-act? In the U.S., it starts with the vcr6 clone of Sangiovese. In the beginning, it can be called Sangiovese. After two years, it grows into Sangiovese Grosso. After one more year all of those intense, condensed flavors develop into our beloved Brunello.
What are the characteristics of this 2012 Sierra Foothills red? Visit our tasting room to see how time has revealed aromas of black cherry and red fruits with a subtle hint of sweet pipe tobacco and barrel spice. Spending 26 months in French oak imparts a beautiful smoothness. After those 26 months, the Brunello earned yet another 12 months of bottle aging. There is no bottle shock to worry about with Brunello!
If you make the journey to Algoma for a taste of Brunello, you’ll discover the opportunity to sample even more new varieties. Right below Brunello on the Select Tasting list are two newly-released 2012 Mendocino Ridge Zinfandels. Both come from the same vintage fermented from California Zinfandel grapes, which were trucked fresh to us in the fall of 2012. Both were aged in French oak, and we’re very happy with the results. There is a difference. The second holds a special place in our hearts, as it was aged in a distinct French Gamba family barrel. The Gamba family hand splits the oak which is grown in the legendary Allier Forest. Since a saw blade never touches the wood, certain naturally occurring green phenolic components stay bound to the wood. They never come in contact with the wine, creating an even smoother aging experience.
Sample Brunello and the Mendocino Ridge Zinfandels on your next visit to von Stiehl. Starting May 1, we’re open longer hours and offer daily tours.