With over 200 producers to choose from, lovers of Brunello are tasked to find the qualities that distinguish particular producers from the crowd. When I visited with the family team, at the tiny Baricci winery, I saw just such qualities and was impressed by their integrity toward the wines they produce.
|Sangiovese Vines of Baricci, Ready for the Harvest|
In addition to their high standards, the wines of Baricci benefit from a prestigious location, the Montosoli hill. All of their vineyards are located in this famous sub-zone, on the north side of Montalcino. Regarded as one of the best vineyard locations in the the DOCG, Montosoli is occupied by just a small handful of Brunello producers. Interestingly, most of those producers make only riserva or premium single vineyard wines from this location, which is a testament to the quality of the place. In contrast, Baricci only makes a riserva in the best vintages, and even makes a Rosso Di Montalcino from their Montosoli vines.
Another practice that distinguishes Baricci from others is their meticulous, manual processes in the vineyard; everything is done by hand. For example, the leaves of each vine are trimmed to increase sun contact on cooler exposures, or to block sunlight on the hottest southern exposures. Theirs is truly a handcrafted product and that effort is apparent in the bottle.
|A Commemoration of the founders of the Consorzio|
2007 Baricci Colombaio Brunello Di Montalcino $45, 14% ABV
Here is a wine with strength and finesse, in the classic style. On the nose there is solid black cherry skins, with charred brambles, subtle incense, and a distinct beam of sweet spice. There's great balance on the palate, with dark fruits, good acidity, and medium grained tannins. The finish is quite long, with more fine spice, some tobacco, and more brambles. Still needs time to integrate, but beautiful now. Complete and complex. This fine, traditional Brunello is produced in the limited quantity of only 12,000 bottles. 91 Pts.
2011 Baricci Colombaio Brunello Di Montalcino $45, 14% ABVThe nose is marked by solid fruit with dark notes of ripe black and red cherry, with warm spice notes underscored by fragrant, charred incense. This is a wine with a firm, dark heart.The palate has spiced black cherry skins with fresh acidity and a firm grip. Leather and tobacco notes add further detail. Solid and satisfying with a long finish. 90 Pts
2014 Baricci Colombaio Montosoli, Rosso Di Montalcino $20, 13.5% ABV
Overall finessed nose, with dark, charred Earth, grilled meats, and faint incense.The palate is elegant and aromatic with dried red cherry and sweet herbs. Lean and bright with plenty of acidity and fine tannins on the finish. I believe this is the only Rosso Di Montalcino produced from Montosoli. 89 Pts