2012 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino

Year: 2012
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 94+
James Suckling: 96
Red Wine
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"An elegant style, displaying cherry, currant, tobacco and earth flavors. The tannins are present yet integrated. This leaves a lasting impression of balance and sweet fruit. Best from 2019 through 2032. -B.S" (WS)

"The Argiano 2012 Brunello di Montalcino does a great job of interpreting the vintage and of showcasing its special microclimate on the southern flank of the Montalcino appellation. Both these elements point to warm-climate Sangiovese. and Argiano accepts that challenge with creativity and expertise. This is a proud expression of the grape with thick texture, determination and a succulent approach. Aromas of dark cherry, moist earth, tobacco and grilled herb lift from the bouquet. Bright acidity marks the close. The wine still carries its baby fat and needs a few more years of cellar aging in order to fully express itself.

Argiano is one of the most important estates in Montalcino. It is located in the southwest quadrant and sees most of its vineyards at 300 meters above sea level, on a flat plateau with beautiful views and a protected microclimate. The Amiata mountain in the distance blocks much of the incoming bad weather. One area of the estate has heavy clay soils. International grapes are planted here. Sangiovese (clone M1) is also planted here in part. Other Sangiovese vines make their home in light, calcareous soils that help enhance aromas. Since 2014, there have been many important changes at Argiano. A new underground winery is complete and is used solely for the production of top wines Solengo and Brunello di Montalcino. The Sangiovese aging regime has moved from French barrique to large oak casks. The estate recently added seven new hectares of Sangiovese, planted according to a strict mapping of micro zones. Argiano started organic farming in 2012 and earned its certificate last year. Lastly, Argiano has introduced a new Brunello that will be released in 2020 (vintage 2016). Fruit comes exclusively from a single vineyard of old vines." (WA)

"Fantastically complex aromas of spices, dried flowers and plums follow through to a full body, integrated and polished tannins and a superb finish. This is a 2012 Brunello with it all. Drink in 2018." (JS)

Winery Notes:
2004 is the first vintage fully made by winemaker Hans Vinding-Diers, who took over for Giacomo Tachis in 2003. Vinding-Diers took the time to harvest and vinify each plot separately in order to study the vineyards and understand the needs and strengths of each area.

In the winery, he decided to adopt foreign methods to tame the tannins inevitably found in Sangiovese. He took the “crusher” part out of the de-stemmer/crusher machine in order to work with full grapes. Because Sangiovese has such thin skin, strong tannins and very little fruit, Vinding-Diers does a “cold soak” at very low temperatures with whole grapes prior to fermentation (rather than post-fermentation) to promote semi-carbonic maceration. These techniques result in fruitier wines with softer tannins, making the wine accessible at an earlier age.

Vinification:
Vineyards are picked and vinified separately. The bunches are de-stemmed, but not crushed. In a cold-soak for 5-6 days, the grapes start to macerate within themselves prior to the fermentation, thus creating an explosion of flavors. Fermentation using natural yeasts lasts for about two and a half weeks at low temperatures of no more than 82°F.

Aging Process:
Aged the first year in French oak barriques to reinforce the wine’s inherent structure; aged at least an additional year in larger, Slovenian oak casks. The wine is then aged in cement for 8-12 months before bottling. Bottle refined at least six months before release.

Tasting Notes:

Color:
Intense, ruby red

Bouquet:
Red fruit

Flavor:
Full-bodied and complex; strikes balance between power and elegance

Pairings:
Grilled, roasted, and stewed red meat as well as game and duck.