2012 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

by Laura Gray on February 27, 2017

Brunello 2012 - 0,75 lt - Front Label
It’s early days to be judging our 2012. It was only bottled at the end of 2016 and illustrates perfectly the necessity of the obligatory four months of bottle aging for Brunello. The wine shows great complexity and structure. On the nose; mint, eucalyptus and a little waft of violets; dark fruits abound, backed by forest floor and wet stone. In the mouth there is tobacco, leather and a a touch of chocolate just discernable on the long and satisfying finish. The juicy acidity and firm tannins are perfectly balanced. This is a wine of promise that will benefit enormously from time in the cellar. It has all the austerity and resolute character of traditional Brunello.

Aging in wood:  1412 days, or if you prefer 201 weeks. That would be 46 months –  a good 22 months in excess of the minimum 24 months required by DOCG regulations.
Bottle aging: The D.O.C.G. regulations governing the production of Brunello require a minimum of 4 months bottle aging before release.
Total production: 8034 0.75 Liter bottles, 259  1.5 Magnums, 60 3 liter Double Magnums
Bottled: 22nd December 2016 in ecological, lightweight bottles
Alcohol per volume%:  14.10
Total acidity%:  6.2
Dry extract:  31,2  g/l.

To fully understand 2012 it is worth remembering the challenges of 2011. In that year, after a cool early summer a well-documented 38 degree heat spike in mid-August cooked any exposed fruit on the vine. Winter 2012 was a dry winter and February’s snows made no significant impact on the acquifers. By March we had had between 40-60% less rainfall than the seasonal average and budbreak was early. Spring brought a little frost but no damage. The vines were healthy. In June however, temperatures rose significantly and a hot dry spell lasting 3 months followed. Temperatures were between 35 and 40°C (104°F) for almost all July and the first ten days of August. The fear of a repeat of the heat stress that characterized 2011 was very real. The vines were at breaking point again until help arrived with rains at the end of August.

September was crucial for the success of 2012. Although the whole month leading up to the harvest was warm, the nights were cool and this diurnal variation gave a long, slow ripening season. At Le Due Porte we had a day night swing from 30 °C to 17°C (86°F to 62°F) which preserved the abundant acidity in the grapes and kept the sugars on an even keel. A defining characteristic of 2012 is the low yields both in terms of what we harvested due to vineyard intervention , but also in the transformation of grapes to wine. Many of the grapes themselves, particularly from the Castelnuovo dell’Abate vineyards, were smaller than usual because of the extreme heat of the summer and as a result yielded less actual juice. We picked at the beginning of October 2012. The grapes were picked in perfect condition, at full ripeness and with wonderful freshness.

Some things in life are simply worth the wait. Such is the case for this delicious recipe thoughtfully created to pair with the 2012 Il Palazzone Brunello by Chef Dominic Rice of Amali NYC, a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant located in Midtown East in Manhattan that celebrates modern Greek & Italian cooking with the freshest local ingredients they can source. They also have a wonderfully curated wine list that focuses on Greek, Italian and French selections that Il Palazzone is very honored to be part of.

This recipe for Tuscan Bruscetta is a perfect dish to enjoy this time of year and well into summer when locally grown tomatoes are available just about everywhere. While a lighter dish, it works beautifully with our 2012 Brunello di Montalcino as the savory notes of the olives and the capers compliment the savory notes of the Sangiovese and the medium plus body of the wine stands up perfectly to the richness of the tuna and your cured meat of choice, but doesn’t overwhelm due to the smooth tannins of this special vintage. And if you happen to have a bottle of Il Palazzone Olive Oil to make this dish with, the pairing is positively magical.

If you are looking for a place to have a fantastic meal and enjoy the 2012 Brunello and/or our Rosso del Palazzone in New York City, please consider Amali.

Also, please note we are sold out entirely of the original US allocation for the 2017 Olive Oil but do have one more small shipment arriving later this month. Please reach  to Jenny@ilpalazzone.com for more information.

Il Palazzone Tuscan Bruschetta

Created by Chef Dominic Rice of Amali NYC

Yield: 4 orders


2oz Culatello or Prosciutto (shaved thin 8 to 10 pieces)
4ea Ciabatta bread (sliced 1” thick)
1.5oz Il Palazzone Olive oil (For toasting bread)
1 pint Heirloom cherry tomatoes
1oz Il Palazzone Olive oil (for cooking tomaotes)
1ea Garlic clove (Minced)
8ea Frantoio or Leccino olives (pitted and quartered)
160g Tuna filets in olive oil (about 4.5oz)
1T Capers (non-peril, chopped)
½ cup Cooked cannellini white beans (drained)
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1ea Lemon (zest and Juice Separated)
1 tsp Thyme (Fresh, picked, and chopped)
½ tsp Salt
1oz Parmesan (shaved with a peeler)

  • In a very hot skillet place the cherry tomatoes coated with light olive oil with half of the salt and a couple grinds of fresh pepper
  • They will immediately smoke, let them sit for 30 seconds; then toss them one time and let the other side char; cooking time is less than 2 minutes. Remove them from the pan, toss with chopped garlic, and let cool, once cooled cut in halves. Mix parsley, olives and tomatoes together.
  • In a separate bowl mix cooked beans, tuna, capers, lemon juice and zest, half of the salt, olive oil, and thyme.
  • Stir to break up tuna and beans till consistency is slightly thickened
  • Cut bread, drizzle with olive oil, and toast to a light char; grilling will work best
  • Take the bread and spread the bean and tuna mixture evenly, then cut in half on a bias
  • Place sliced ham and cover, finally take the blistered cherry tomatoes, parsley, and olives and cover bruschetta to garnish
  • Finish by sprinkling parmesan cheese on top

Serve immediately

2012 has been described in glowing terms as a “rockstar vintage” ( James Suckling ). Galloni : The 2012 Brunellos are characterized by impeccable balance, vibrant acidity and fine-grained tannins… they are blessed with precise aromas and flavors of mainly red fruits, blood orange and minerals, and will prove very ageworthy.” Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate has coined the term “Brunellomania” and brilliant Kerin O’Keefe has described the 2012 Brunello as “a return to finesse” and suggests that if you “love elegant, age-worthy Sangiovese, then stock your wine cellar with 2012 Brunello di Montalcino”.

Wine Enthusiast - May 2018 - 93 pts.

Aromas of fragrant blue flower, wild berry, dark culinary spice, leather and menthol lead the nose. The firmly structured palate delivers succulent wild cherry, raspberry, tobacco and orange zest alongside firm chewy tannins. Fresh acidity lends balance. It’s youthfully austere and precise, with good aging potential. Drink 2022–2032.

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