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“A knockout: this is Brunello 101.”Ian d’Agata, Vinous
Biondi-Santi is the grandfather of all Brunello estates, having made the first wines called “Brunello” in the mid-1800s. By the end of that century, its Brunellos were not only Tuscany’s most prized wines, they were the most famous wines in all of Italy.
Franco Biondi-Santi took over the estate in 1970 and ran it with brilliance for the next 43 years. In fact, it can be argued that his wines got better as he aged, reaching a pinnacle during the last decade before his 2013 death at the age of 91.
His later achievements included the predictably great 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 Brunello Riservas. But Franco also delivered the occasional bombshell, such as the 2008 Brunello Annata (normale). Vinous’ Ian d’Agata actually judged this wine to be superior to the 2008 Riserva—despite the fact that the Riserva was released at $750, and the Annata at less than $200.
But if you’re reading this offer, you have the chance to buy the great 2008 Biondi-Santi Brunello Annata for an incredible price, and you’ll be getting mint, absolutely pristine, bottles from original cases that have never before been moved. It doesn’t get any better.
A Little History
Just as Vega Sicilia laid the foundation for winemaking in Ribera del Duero, Biondi-Santi gave birth to Brunello, beginning with Clemente Santi’s discovery of the brownish-hued Sangiovese clone that gives the wine its name.
Clemente’s son Ferruccio perfected both the tending of the Brunello clone and the style of winemaking that resulted in the legendary 1891, the most celebrated Biondi-Santi wine of all, and the wine that most forcibly argued for the region’s potential.
Ever since then, Biondi-Santi has stood as Montalcino’s greatest icon, producing a number of Brunellos that have not only become legendary, but which have come to define the wine at its most classic.
And during his long tenure, Franco Biondi-Santi was the fierce defender of this tradition, much as Bartolo Mascarello and Giovanni Conterno were for Barolo. Franco never wavered from the estate’s classic methods, fermenting with the native yeasts in tank and aging his Annata for a full three years in massive Slavonian oak botti.
The 2008 Brunello Annata has all the earmarks of classic Brunello—the beautiful perfume, elegant structure and silky texture, and the potential for decades of development. It is beautiful example of the style of winemaking perfected by Ferruccio Biondi-Santi more than a century ago.
Just on the cusp of its long window of maturity, this is an outstanding Biondi-Santi Brunello Annata at a price that’s nothing less than a steal.
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