Rosso di Montalcino on Its Own Terms

In his “Wine of the Times” column, Eric Asimov shares notes from a recent tasting of 20 recent vintages of Rosso di Montalcino (often dubbed “baby Brunello,” as is meant to be younger and more approachable than Brunello), offering his enthusiasm in contrast to the tepid reaction of other tasters. While both Chianti and Rossi di Montalcino derive from sangiovese grape (Chianti can blend in other grapes up to 30% of the total, while Rosso di Montalcino must be 100%), the wines of Montalcino tend to be richer, partly due to differences in climate. Where top-quality Chianti tends to be, “graceful and finer textured…the Montalcinos will be denser and more powerful; the best combine muscularity with elegance.” Asimov also argues for the merit of the Rosso di Montalcino “as an introduction to a producer’s style.” Head over to check out the panel’s top ten picks. [New York Times]