Winter in Montalcino was fairly dry and mild in 2009, with a good amount of rain in March that helped recharge the water reserves in the ground. The vines responded with higher-than-average yields, so it was important to reduce the crop to ensure balance and consistent ripening. Summer temperatures were warm, and there was rain throughout—especially in August, before the harvest. After three ageworthy vintages—2006, 2007 and 2008—the new releases from the 2009 vintage in Montalcino show a different side of Sangiovese. Wine Spectator's Bruce Sanderson explains.
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