Nicely Aged Brunello Riserva

Today’s Story: Uccelliera

Uccelliera is a small wine estate located in the Tuscan village of Castelnuovo dell’Abate in Montalcino, and it was established in 1986 by Andrea Cortonesi. Andrea purchased his property from the neighboring Ciacci Piccolomini, and at the time the Uccelliera farm consisted of 4 hectares and was pretty run-down with less than a hectare planted to vine. Andrea quickly set about transitioning the property to focus on viticulture, though he did keep the olive trees to make extra virgin olive oil as well. Andrea produced his first vintage in 1991 and production amounted to a measly 500 bottles, though fortunately for us consumers he grew his property to about 6 hectares over time with most of that planted to vine. All of the work in the vineyards is accomplished by hand, and Andrea produces a Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Rosso di Montalcino, and a “Super Tuscan” called Rapace which are all very highly regarded.

Today’s Wine: 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

100% Sangiovese; 14.5% ABV

The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is deep garnet in color and almost opaque. There is a good amount of very fine sediment and this needs about an hour to decant, but once it does the nose showcases gorgeous aromas of dried cherry, cranberry, leather, anise, red rose, forest floor, mushroom, and tar. Meanwhile on the palate I get notes of black cherry, dried strawberry, black raspberry, licorice, tobacco, truffle, black tea leaf, sage, and cedar. This is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, high tannins, and a long finish. Drinks beautifully right now but will be fun to revisit in 2-3 years.

Price: $180 (paid $100 a few years ago). This is a very, very solid Brunello and I think the price-tag is justified but there are certainly better “values” out there. Finding this a few years ago for $100 was a steal!

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