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Wine Spectator School

Course: Tuscany

Class 2: Chianti and Montalcino


In Italian terms, Brunello di Montalcino is a relatively recent innovation; the wine first appeared in the 15th or 18th century, depending on the source. Nevertheless, the vineyards clustered around the hilltop town of Montalcino are the source of Tuscany's most famous and ageworthy wines.


One Grape, A Few Clones

Brunello di Montalcino is produced from 100% Sangiovese; unlike Chianti, it is not blended with other grape varieties.

Brunello was the local name for Sangiovese; therefore, Brunello di Montalcino means Sangiovese of Montalcino. Brunello is also a Sangiovese clone that has big berries and thick skins. They contribute significant color and tannins, making Brunello the darkest of the Sangiovese-based wines.

Although this clone may dominate...

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