95 Insider Points

REVIEWS

We’re back with more stunning Brunello from this top tier producer, this time it’s the standard Brunello from ‘02.  The wine pours rose red with just a tinge of brick around the edges, beautiful floral aromas and notes of leather and orange rind waft from the glass.  On the palate the wine expresses bright red fruit, cranberry acidity, well integrated but still dry tannin on a lengthy finish.  This is elegance in a bottle, and it would be heavenly with some pasta or tomato based seafood dish.  The wine is aging wonderfully, but should be understood for what it is, bright and delicate with a light body, and lingering fruit, perfect for those who already know they enjoy an older botle of Brunello.  Enjoy now through 2020. - DZ Updated Aug, 2015

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Sangiovese
  • APPELLATION
    Brunello di Montalcino
  • ALCOHOL
    13.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

From the vintage the critics pontificated with sheer gusto and that saw rainfall in biblical proportions, this is a wine proving indeed, the most talented producers knew how to deal with the conditions. Here. that most talented producer is hailed one of Brunello's 'top tier' and without exception takes the top spot of best Brunello di Montalcino QPR.


There is no doubt that knowledgeable Brunello fans consider Il Marroneto to be one of the top dozen or so estates in Montalcino today,” says Galloni in Vinous. We would add, it’s also one rarely spied on U.S. shelves at this perfectly mature stage. This is a drop-dead gorgeous red aching to be drunk now and represents a very rare opportunity for the connoisseur and collector. Brunello is the ultimate expression of Sangiovese. This is 100% Sangio, grown on the mineral- and sand-rich soils that make Montalcino one of the world’s most coveted wine-growing sites. Il Marroneto is as traditional as they come, fashioning a small number of cases each vintage in accordance with the strictest, most time- testing methods.

A far cry from a fruit bomb, this Brunello won TONS of admiration from our Panel for its sinewy, highly acidic mouthfeel and its mind-blowingly complex aromatics of mineral, stone, wildflowers and even, yes, blood. In the mouth, the wine quietly unfolds to reveal flavors that echo these seemingly inexplicable smells with the addition of black truffles and black plums.

A serious “wow” factor accompanies this bottle. And while lovers of ripe, jammy California red may find themselves a bit lost, those who know and cherish classic Brunello will find gobs to celebrate with here.

Reasons We Love It:

As tradition dictates, this wine was aged for more than four long years (39 months to be exact) in large oak barrels from France (Allier) and Slovenia.

The majority of vineyards under this estate were planted in 1975, with additional plots added in ’79 and ’84, which means the youngest of Il Marroneto’s vines are no less than 31 years of age!

This estate practices an approach to growing that is best summed up by minimalism. Vines are treated with as little intervention as possible, absolutely NO herbicides are used and grass is encouraged to flourish between the rows.

The winery at Il Marroneto dates back 1246 and was originally used for the drying of local chestnuts. The building is constructed against a stony slope of hillside, which creates the ideal environment for fermentation and aging in oak, and without the aide of modern-day air conditioning!

TASTING NOTES 

Our classical Brunello, sangiovese 100% made absolutely following the traditional style. This is the historical wine of the farm elegant and in the same time structured. It burns from a vnification whose aim is to fix as much as possible the perfumes of sangiovese, so even the typicality of the territory.
Fantastic for moments of relax.

THE STORY TO KNOW

There is no doubt that knowledgeable Brunello fans consider Il Marroneto to be one of the top dozen or so estates in Montalcino today.  This is because over the last ten years especially (i.e., the wines of the 21st century), with the increasing age of its vines, Il Marroneto has been the source of some of the purest, most perfumed and most archetypal renditions of sangiovese made anywhere.

Il Marroneto produces a very refined Brunello di Montalcino that showcases pungent floral aromas, sneaky concentration and a strongly mineral personality.  Unfortunately, the estate’s wines are often penalized in blind tastings due to their high natural acidity and apparent lack of flesh.  A single-vineyard Brunello, named Madonna delle Grazie, is also made in the best years; though it offers much greater concentration and a more textured mouthfeel than the “regular” Brunello di Montalcino, even the cru bottling is never one of the bigger, thicker wines of Montalcino.

Owned by Alessandro Mori, the son of a Siena lawyer and once a lawyer himself, Il Marroneto is located in the heart of the Montalcino production zone, on the outskirts of the main town (you’ll need to drive right through Montalcino to get there). This is a fairly northern location in the Montalcino production zone, so the fact that the estate’s wines are characterized by high acidity and mineral tones should not be much of a surprise.  The vines were first planted in 1975 near the church of Madonna delle Grazie (which is where the idea for the name of the estate’s top Brunello came from), the original building of which dates back to 1247. The rest of the estate’s vineyards were planted in 1979 and 1984, at that time entirely with clonal selections of sangiovese from the University of Pisa. The estate’s name derives from a central tower that was once used to dry chestnuts (castagne or “marroni” in Italian), long a source of flour in Italy.

The estate first made a Brunello in the 1980 vintage (only 1,855 bottles, with production rising to a whopping 2,555 in 1982), and was originally guided by brothers Alessandro and Andrea Mori.  Since 1993, Alessandro has run the show on his own.  Anyone who has tasted Mori’s wines won’t be surprised to know he considers his two mentors to have been Mario Cortevesio (who had long worked in Chianti) and Giulio Gambelli, two acknowledged fathers of great sangiovese wines of exceptional purity and breed.  At Il Marroneto, grapes are grown organically and yields are never more than about 38 hectoliters per hectare. The vines are almost always harvested in mid-October and the fruit is only partially destemmed. The wine is very traditionally made, with plenty of pumping over and use of large oak barrels only.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

This wine is particularly suited to accompany red meat, game and aged cheeses.