Rosso di Montalcino was the first of the “little brother” wines to garner DOC classification based on a more prominent sibling, Rosso di Montefalco and Rosso di Montepulciano. Fruit that lacks the necessary concentration to become Brunello produces a lighter wine made available for release with only a year of aging.
Young and less evolved doesn’t mean the second tier, especially from a producer with the estimable record of Neri. Their Brunello “Tenuta Nuova” 2001 was Wine Spectator’s “Wine of The Year” for 2006. At less than $20, their Rosso delivers quality bang for the bucks.
Upfront, it’s all dark fruit backed by earth and leather. The fruits mellow and take on more red berry/cherry flavors by mid-palate, smooth, and better balanced than many Rossos, but not so manipulated to lose its juvenile rustic nature. Pleasantly solid acidity carries the fruit, giving the tannins time to develop without sacrificing their Montalcino silky firmness.
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