There are times when my ability as a photographer fails me. My October visit to the Brunelli farmhouse was one of those times.
I simply cannot express how beautiful the family’s farm is.
The Brunelli estate is situated in the center of the appellation, along the road that leads to Barbi: heading north from Sant’Angelo in Colle, you turn right and head east about halfway between Sant’Angelo and Montalcino.
And when they arrive at Laura Brunelli’s home, her visitors are rewarded with what I think is one of the most spectacular views in one of the most photogenic landscapes of Italy.
As your eye scans the horizon, looking south-southeast toward Mt. Amiata, there are few signs of modernity. It is Tuscany as it probably looked 50 years ago.
As Tracie P once wrote on her blog, if I were a grape, I would want to grow here.
The Vigna Olmo is Brunelli’s top growing site: its gentle slope faces south and is ideal for the cultivation of thin-skinned Sangiovese Grosso. Standing atop the vineyard, you can feel a gentle breeze from the valley below. It’s simply magical.
The entire estate is biodynamically farmed and even the Brunelli house was constructed using organic precepts — bioedilizia as it is called in Italian, Baubiologie in German or building biology.
The beloved, visionary Gianni Brunelli left our world just over three years ago (see this beautiful tribute by Avvinare). But he lives through the estate that he and Laura built together. I never met Gianni but I could feel his presence that day.
Laura and I tasted three wines together. Here are my notes.
2009 Rosso di Montalcino
Brunelli’s signature acidity and bright, bright red fruit. More savory in the mouth. Alcohol very well integrated. This wine is sourced from the estate’s Oliva and Chiuse vineyards, said Laura.
2006 Brunello di Montalcino (classic)
Elegantissimo nose! Meaty in the mouth but so bright and elegant! This wine is sourced from Chiuse, Olmo, and Rada.
2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
YES! Acidity! Fruit! Savory and very tannic. Fantastic! One of the best wines I’ve tasted on this trip. Sourced mostly from Olmo with some fruit from Oliva.
Of all the great wine made in Montalcino, Brunelli’s wines are among my all-time favorites. They always have been. They’re pure, they’re focused, they’re clean but meaty and savory. They’re delicious. They’re like a favorite song: they make me feel high…
And the family’s farm is one of the most magical places on earth.
Thank you, Laura, for our visit. And thank you for these exquisite wines.