I had the occasion to stop by at the Benvenuto Brunello tasting in New York this past week. As I was trying to stay away from alcohol for a few days, I tasted very little but what I did do was taste some Rosso di Montalcino’s. I am about to go to Montalcino next week so I had the luxury to only taste the Rosso’s and not the Brunellos. I did the same last year and once again found that Rosso di Montalcino, which some people call baby Brunello but I don’t like that descriptor, is a beautiful category of wine on it’s own that is woefully unappreciated.
Rosso di Montalcino has it’s own denomination of controlled origin or DOC. While it isn’t meant to age, it has all the elegance of it’s older cousin Brunello coupled with a fresher, rounder style. It has strict production rules, not as strict as Brunello but stringent nonetheless. Also made from Sangiovese, it’s a great wine. I loved the couple of Rosso’s that I tried this year, including one from Talenti in particular. It’s a great way to introduce someone to these wines and it’s also a lot easier on the wallet than some Brunellos can be, more in the $18-$22 range.
I’m looking forward to trying the Brunello’s next week in a serious way but for now, the Rosso has provided lovely insight into this wine. If I were to have a house red, I think it would be Rosso di Montalcino, affordable and incredibly easy to pair with food. A touch of Tuscany in my house to brighten my day that won’t break the bank – a winning combination.