Bold Brunello

Sometimes you have to travel to a wine's home in order to understand its character. Last fall, after the harvest in Italy, I stood atop the ruined fortress that looms over the ancient town of Montalcino, the birthplace of Brunello, just 40 km southeast of Siena. From the fortress, I devoured the panoramic view of the Tuscan countryside. In the distance, the grapevine leaves were as colorful as New England's autumnal best. Clumps of olive trees and upright cypresses were shadowed by the brooding Monte Amiata. The whole ambience was distilled in the Brunello I was drinking. Seeing my red-wine-stained teeth,...

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