Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
98 Points, #23 TOP 100 ITALIAN WINES IN 2018
September 11, 2018, James Suckling
“A decadent and exotic red on the nose with Indian spices, black truffles, plums and fresh leather. Full-bodied, very chewy and deep with polished and poised tannins, giving this wine energy and excitement. Just a baby, but a great wine. Better in 2022, but who can wait?”
Castiglion del Bosco is one of the most prominent producers in Montalcino, both for the history of the estate and for its size, with 5,000 acres unchanged in the last 400 years. In 1967, when the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino was born, Castiglion del Bosco was one of its 25 founding members. This extraordinary property whose origin dates back to the 12th century was acquired by Massimo Ferragamo in 2003, who in turn totally restored the property to its original glory.
As Castiglion del Bosco‘s most representative wine, Brunello di Montalcino is an example of the Sangiovese grape‘s perfect symbiosis with the terroir of Montalcino.
Zodiac is a limited edition of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva that originates from an expert selection of the best grapes from the estate's finest vineyards. This refined selection creates a Riserva of extraordinary character and individuality, making it a class of its own.
The 2012 "Year of the Boar" label was drawn by Hong Kong-based artist Tse Yim On, whose paintings are known for a detailed representation of the subject matter, reached through the bold use of bright colors.
Brunello di Montalcino Castiglion del Bosco comes from a careful selection of grapes from vineyards located in the Capanna area of the estate. The Capanna vineyards lie at an altitude of 350m above sea level facing south. The soil is characterized by the presence of clay shale and gravel-pebble, a terroir which is ideally suited to the production of Sangiovese. The influences of the sea are felt in this area with hot, dry summers and constant winds that remove moisture. The richness of the ”galestro“ stone in the soil gives the wine its unique aroma, complexity and structure.
The vineyard is at an elevation of 350-450 meters with a density of 4,500-5,600 vines per hectare. The entire vinification process is carried out in Castiglion del Bosco’s cellar, completely gravity-fed. The grapes are quality-selected in the vineyards first, then the clusters travel to sorting tables where trained eyes make a further selection of the finest fruit. Fermentation starts with natural yeasts only, once completed, the wines are transferred to French oak in a spacious, climate-controlled cellar that is partially underground. The stainless wine vats are filled by gravity alone, without resorting to mechanical pumps. The Riserva's fermentation lasts 20-25 days at a constant temperature of 82.4°F.
The rich bouquet indicates the great finesse and elegance of this sangiovese. A great complexity and richness increase this wine's longevity, which remains uniquely distinguishable over time.
2012 will be remembered as an extremely hot vintage. Winter 2011/12 in Montalcino was particularly cold and snowy. The beginning of the growing season occurred during the second week of April, in line with the previous vintages. Summer was hot, with little rain. The depth of the root allowed the vines to overcome water stress. The rains of early September restored balance, creating the best conditions for maturation.
Fermentation: 20-25 days in steel tanks
Aging: 36 months in French oak barrels, 6 months in concrete tanks
Cases Produced: 688 numbered magnums, 18 numbered jeroboams