Sommavite Brunello di Montalcino

Reviewed by Eric Tansey,CSW, Sommelier 

The Sommavite Brunello di Montalcino is a brownish red color with a very light stain. Funky aromas of Magic Marker, sour cherry, and rotting rose petals. I know this sounds awful and I initially thought the wine must be tainted. I allowed the wine to breathe for about 30 minutes and sure enough, the scent mellowed out.

On the palate, the Sommavite Brunello di Montalcino has a medium body mouthfeel with some complex taste characteristics, however I would not say the wine is all that complex. Very typical Sangiovese with crushed rose petal, orange peel and sour cherry on the front and mid palate. The finish brings a little plum but unfortunately the finish was rather short and not very exciting.

Sommavite Brunello di Montalcino is a great intro into Brunello but it does not paint the picture of rugged beauty that a typical Brunello delivers. Most Brunello di Montalcino starts in that 35- 100+ price range. It was cool to taste one under $20 but again, it does not paint the same picture as a typical Brunello di Montalcino.

I gave this wine 81 points at first but as it opened up I upped it to 83 points. It was not a waste of money by any stretch but as far as great Brunello di Montalcino, this wine fell short.

Tansey’s Blind Rating – 83 Points 

No other review found in 2017 


 The Break Down

98%
Dryness Level

65%
Fruit

35%
Oak

35%
Tannins

65%
Acidity


Wine Selection –  Annata 2011 

Producer – Sommavite 

Style – Brunello di Montalcino

Varietals – 100% Sangiovese

Region – Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Alcohol – Unknown 

Oak – 2 years in Slovenian oak or French, I am guessing Slovenian oak. 

Food Pairing –  Tuscan sausages, roast leg of lamb, beef roast, aged pecorino or parmesan cheese, steak


What is Brunello di Montalcino?

First let me say that Brunellos are one of my favorite styles of wines. I absolutely love them and I spend a lot of time exploring them. Their story is quite fun to tell as well. Let’s start with the name, “Brunello di Montalcino”.

If  we break the entire name down word by word you will quickly learn all you NEED to know about the wine and its origin. So I guess that is how we will work through this blog.

The first word is “Brunello.” Brunello comes from the word bruno which means brown and sure enough, the wine is in fact brown in color. Brunello is grown in the town of Montalcino which is in Tuscany, just down the road from Chianti. Now of course this can’t be all there is to it, and leave it to Italy to make it a bit confusing…

Up until the late 1800s, Italians believed the grape varietal in Montalcino was its own varietal, Brunello, but in 1879 the Province of Siena’s Amphelographic Commission determined it was Sangiovese. Since the locals have always referred to it as Brunello, Brunello stuck as the designation for wine produced from 100% Sangiovese in Montalcino, Italy.

So, Brunello di Montalcino is simply brown wine from Montalcino and the varietal used to make it is Sangiovese. Brunellos are fantastic and brilliant wines with characteristics of black cherry, sour cherry, raspberry, rose petal, orange peel, cocoa, and sometimes leather. Beautiful wine with medium acidity, medium tannin, medium body, and loads of character.

Brunellos need to be enjoyed with age. 10+ years is often the standard, however if you are drinking a younger Brunello, I highly recommend the use of a decanter. Cheers! Eric Tansey, CSW, Sommelier