Saturday, December 27, 2014

Brunello di Montalcino Masterclass and Tasting event

It was an opportunity to learn a little more about wines from Montalcino; the Brunello di Montalcino wines in particular. Felicitas Global Pte Ltd organized a masterclass and tasting of these wines on 20th Nov at Hilton Hotel (Singapore).

Brunello di Montalcino Masterclass and Tasting
It was attended by trade and professionals from the local wine industry. Eleven wine producers from Montalcino were at hand to share about their wines. They came from the following wineries: Aemilla, Capanna, Caprili, Collemattoni, La Fornace, La Magia, La Rasina, La Serena, Lazzeretti, Mastrojanni and Palazzo.

The masterclass came first. I must say this class was well attended as all seats were taken up quickly and additional chairs had to be brought in. Recent years have seen an increased interest not only in the consumption of Italian wines in Singapore but also for the quest to gain more knowledge on Italian wines and its wine regions. Trade folks, wine professionals and even consumers are pursuing wine courses and attending workshops to keep themselves informed and updated on the evolving Italian wine scene.

Mr Thomas Ling, a wine educator and consultant, was at hand to facilitate the masterclass. Thomas has visited the Montalcino region recently and visited these wineries. He shared his insights on the history, terroir, viticultural and vinification practices of this region. The wine producers at hand offered details on their respective wineries, wine making philosophy and vinification practices.

Some snippets on the above mentioned wineries during this masterclass.

Armilla. Occupying 4.5ha, it is one of the smallest wineries in Montalcino. Located west of Montalcino, the soil composition here is clay with some tuft and pebbles. Its vines were planted in 1982. Aging of wine occurs in large Slavonian barrels for 2 to 2.5 years.

Caprili. Winery is located west of Montalcino. Its grapes come from 3 vineyards (Ceppo Nero, Pino and Quadrucci) located at different elevations. Aging of wine occurs in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years before spending 4 months in bottle.

Capanna. Owned by the Cencioni family since 1958, the winery is located in Montosoli. Vineyard size is 20ha, located at an elevation between 250-300m. Vines are between 10-25 years of age. This vineyard has a southwest exposure. Wines are aged for 48 months in Slavonian oak barrels. Annual production is around 30,000 bottles.

Collemattoni. Winery is located south of Montalcino. It has 4 distinct vineyards covering 7ha located at an elevation between 380m-420m. Winemaking leans toward a long maceration and fermentation phase of between 28-40 days. Wines are aged for 30 months in 32hl Slavonian oak barrels.

La Fornace. Winery is located to the east of Montalcino at an elevation of 400m. Vineyard comprises 4.5ha of land. Age of the vines are between 6 to 38 years. By and large, aging of wine occurs in large Slavonian oak barrels; though a small percentage of wine is aged in smaller French oak barrels.

La Magia. Winery is located south of Montalcino at an elevation of 400-500m. Estate covers 15ha. Presently it is managed by Fabian Schwarz.

La Rasina. Winery is located on the southeastern slope of Montalcino. This estate sits on 45ha of land of which 11ha is used for viticulture. The vines are between 3 and 25 years old. For aging wines, smaller barrels are a preferred option here.

La Serena. Estate is owned by the Mantengoli family since 1933. In 1988 sons Andrea and Marcella embarked into winemaking. Located on the eastern part of Montalcino, the vines are grown on limestone rich tofu soil. Organic farming is adopted here; with a preference towards low yield per hectare harvest to produce good quality grapes. Upon fermentation wines are aged for 3 years. Both 20hl Slavonian oak casks and French oak barriques are used for aging wine.

Lazzeretti. Estate is located in the north east of Montalcino at an elevation of 300m. The vineyard has a south east exposure. This estate is managed by a brother and sister team (Marco and Lucia Lazzeretti). Wines are aged for 30 monthls in 35/40hl Slavonian oak casks. Annual production is around 20,000 bottles.

Mastrojanni. Vineyards are located south of Montalcino (in Castelnuovo dell Abate, Siena province). There’s 26ha of vineyard land located in parcels between 180m and 430m of altitude. This winery was founded in 1975; at present it is owned by the Illy Group since 2008.

Palazzo. Estate holds 4.2ha of land and located at an altitude of 320m. The vineyard has a south east exposure with vines having an average age of 26 years. Wines are aged for 3 years in 20/25hl Slavonian oak barrels and in smaller French oak barriques.

We got the chance to taste a brunello wine from each of these 11 wineries during the masterclass. The tasting event which followed the masterclass offered attendees an opportunity to talk to the wine producers directly and taste other wines in their stable.

For more information on these wineries and their wines, you can contact Ms Faye Cardwell at ).

I took the opportunity to take pictures of this event; if you like to view them, you can visit the following link:

Brunello di Montalcino wine event.

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