~ Fog shrouds vineyards near Baricci in Montosoli ~
Ever since tasting a range of Baricci’s wines at Slow-Wine earlier this year I quickly became a fan of this classic producer in the heart of the Brunello district near Montosoli.   Today’s subject wine offers us an advance glimpse of what the 2011 vintage in Montalcino produced.
Tuscan weather in 2011 was hot and dry for much of the summer.  The heat spiked noticeably in late August and many producers feared that grapes would be overripe and the resulting wines would lack freshness. Cooling temperatures arrived with rain at the end of August and those producers who waited to pick seemed to be rewarded for their patience. Marco Sasseti, of Il Palazzone confirmed this to me recently.
2011 was characterised by heat and in fact we dropped a lot of fruit in our low-lying vineyard after the hot winds at the end of August. We waited for rain and ended up picking relatively late. As in 2009, our higher altitude vineyards showed a lot of grace.  It’s early to see the full character of these wines but I am hopeful that some of the difficult decisions we made pre-harvest will pay off.
With that in mind,  I was eager to try the 2011 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino.   Nello Baricci started his eponymous estate in 1964 and the winemaking is now under the control of Grandson Francesco, who speaks of his grandfather’s legacy with the utmost reverance. 

The 2011 Rosso is a gorgeous medium violet colored wine with clear reflections throughout.  The nose of the wine is very reminiscent of Baricci’s Brunello, only on a lesser scale.  There’s nice floral aromas here to compliment the bright berry fruit and the subtle underlying herbs.  On the palate the wine is bright and fresh.  The floral aromas come through as an almost “perfume like” flavor to accompany the crushed berry fruit, backed by high toned acidity.  It’s mouthwatering and medium bodied and the perfect foil for a wide array of foods; in this case, grilled flank steak with onions and mushrooms.  On the medium finish, there’s a long trailing ripe sweetness to the fruit that lingers nicely.  Smooth tannins make this wine ready to be enjoyed over the next 3-5 years.  No complaints here.   90 points, about $22.  Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ Baricci 2011 Rosso di Montalcino ~


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