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For me the undisputed kings of Montalcino are Soldera, Biondi-Santi and Salvioni. These three producers perfectly express the breed and pedigree that Montalcino Sangiovese is famous for and it is no coincidence that their vineyards are close to each other. The first two producers are incredibly famous yet the wines of Salvioni are the most sought after and only less than 1000 cases are produced. 

Giulio Salvioni’s tiny 4 hectare organic vineyard is located high up on the hills south Montalcino (in the original Montalcino zone before expansion to lesser areas) and is planted to 5 different clones of Sangiovese.  The yields are very low and the fruit is hand-picked and delivered to Giulio’s tiny, cramped Montalcino cellar where the wine undergoes and long maceration and aged in traditional Slavonian botte. There are no tricks with the winemaking and the result is a classic style of Brunello with the emphasis on structure, finesse and freshness. There is a delicacy and detail not unlike the wines of Giuseppe Rinaldi, Bartolo Mascarello, Thierry Allemand or Phillipe Pacalet. 

The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino ($150.50) is a pure, rapturous beauty. Layers of sweet red fruit meld into rose petals, licorice, spices and mint as the 2007 seduces all of the senses. The ripe, open personality of the year is present, but there is more than enough structure to provide balance. Floral notes reappear on the vibrant, beautifully articulated finish. The 2007 is more than a worthy follow up to the epic 2006. Even better it should drink well quite a bit earlier than that wine. Sadly, there are fewer than 1,000 cases to go around. This is a magical Brunello in every way. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2032.’ 97 points Antonio Gallioni. The Wine Advocate.

Giulio Salvioni is one of the great producers of Italy-s old guard. Spending time in this tiny, cramped cellar in the center of Montalcino tasting every cask is one of the great experiences for anyone who loves traditionally made Brunello. In some years, Salvioni takes one cask and releases it early as Rosso di Montalcino. I am convinced that Salvioni-s small vineyard, and that of his neighbor Diego Molinari, are among the most privileged spots for Sangiovese in Tuscany. If we were in Burgundy, these vineyards would be considered the grandest of the grand crus.’

Region: La Cerbaiola, Montalcino, Toscana
Country: Italy