Writing, thinking, and drinking Brunello di Montalcino brings three things to mind: Tuscany and and how much I miss Italy, Sangiovese – my favorite grape, and the fact that it is fall and time for great red wines such as these.
Celestino Pecci is a winery located in Tuscany, about five kilometers from the center of Montalcino and right near the amazing Abbey of Sant’Antimo, one of my favorite sites in all of Italy – which is a big statement.
The winery is named for Tiziana’s father Celestino who grew up on this land. They wanted him not to work the land but he bucked the family desires and stayed. The winery was started in 1968, hard years in the countryside when everyone wanted to leave and move to the city.
Celestino did not, together with his wife he worked the land and started a family. Today the winery is run by Tiziana with Celestino looking on to help as well.
The Celestino Pecci Brunellos are lovely expressions of the Sangiovese grape. They are traditional in terms of style but have a freshness that was unexpected. The altitude of the vineyards is 350 meters above sea level, the exposition in South/South West, and the soils are what they call medio-impasto or mixed with some clay. Everything is hand harvested. The wine spends 36-40 months in 10 to 35 hl botti or larger oak barrels. It also spends 6 months in the bottle before release.
On the nose it’s all dusty cherry, bramble, tobacco, and a hint of spice. On the palate, it’s got all those same flavors, good acidity, silky tannins, and incredible length and finesse. The wine is very balanced and a perfect complement to any meal.
Celestino Pecci is a producer I was introduced to right before the pandemic hit. In fact, some of the events that I worked at before lockdown were pouring these wines. I’ve gotten to know Tiziana the owner a bit over the past two years and will have the occasion to pour these wines in a couple of weeks. While the pandemic does not feel and is not over at all, there is a full circle feeling to these events. It’s been great to hear Tiziana’s beautiful Tuscan accent over WhatsApp and to talk about any silver linings one can find from these last 18 months.
Her wines were a highlight before the pandemic and I am sure they will be even more so in the next month.
My last trip to Italy in February 2020 was to the Anteprime Toscane. I was in the airport in Florence on February 22 when I started reading about COVID-19 in Lombardy. I got on a plane and was the only person wearing a mask there or in the airport in Munich on my way home. I would never have imagined that all that ensued would have happened from that day on. Italy began it’s lockdown about a two weeks later, March 6th if memory serves.
My experiences at the Anteprime have always been some of the most special of any wine trip, tasting hundreds of wines in a 13th century cloister, being served by friends from the Associazione Italiana Sommelier, seeing friends from all over the world who share a common passion, and the lovely Rossos, Brunellos, Moscadello, and Sant’Antimo wines we tasted. I certainly hope to someday be back at one of those tables but should that not come to pass, I will forever be grateful for those times.
Join my fellow Italian food and wine lovers as they share their pairings and Brunello selections this month. Catch us live on Twitter this Saturday at 11am EST @ #ItalianFWT. Ci vediamo! See you soon!
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla pairs Riso Venere Nero + La Palazzetta Brunello di Montalcino 2016.
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator…..Gwendolyn Alley offers 2 Organic Brunellos + Vegetarian Italian Fare.
- Terri of Our Good Life serves up Pumpkin Ravioli with Sausage and Amaretto Cream Sauce and a Not-So-Brunello Wine
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass suggests Can’t Travel to Tuscany? Open a Brunello Instead.
- Katrina of The Corkscrew Concierge tells how Biondi Santi Charts New Paths While Honoring Tradition.
- Susannah of Avvinare discusses ;Celestino Pecci: A Brunello di Montalcino Producer to Watch.
- Nicole of Somm’s Table is Lunching and Tasting at Fattoria dei Barbi.
- Host Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm declares A Strong Brunello is Perfect with a Venison Meatball Stew.