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2012 Biondi-Santi - Brunello di Montalcino (Annata) Tenuta Greppo""

ITALY / TUSCANY /
  • 90 WA
  • 92 WS
  • 95 JS
  • Variety
    Sangiovese
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SKU: 45379-2012-750-1A
  • James Suckling | Rating: 95

    Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better than 2020.
    Author: Bruce Sanderson
    Issue: Web Only - 2017
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 92

    The supple texture is pervaded by cherry, currant, graphite, tea and underbrush aromas and flavors. Firm tannins and vibrant acidity provide support as this cruises to a long aftertaste. Not imported in the U.S. Best from 2020 through 2033.
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

    It's always such a pleasure and an honor to be in front of a bottle of Biondi-Santi. These wines deliver a sense of history and tradition that puts them into a very elite group of Italian icons. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Annata shows a medium garnet color with pretty ruby highlights. The bouquet emits dark fruit, cassis, balsam herb, tar and cola. This vintage shows the classic aromas that are associated with the venerated Il Greppo estate, but there is a little less focus and sharpness here compared to a great vintage like 2010. Instead, this wine is more veiled and opaque in terms of its aromatic presentation. The mouthfeel is lean (too lean in my opinion) and you don't get the same chiseled acidic determination in this 2012 vintage. You'll need to wait a few years more before it begins to show its potential. Following rigorous tradition, this wine is aged in large Slavonian oak casks for three years. Some 50,000 bottles are produced.Last year was a big one on the Biondi-Santi timeline. In April 2016, rumors that this historic Tuscany estate was being sold overtook the Vinitaly trade fair like wild fire. At the time, Italian newspapers reported that the winery and vineyards at Il Greppo were the focus of an intense bidding war between the Prada fashion group and the Bernard Arnault investment group. No concrete details ever followed and the chatter slowly subsided in the months to follow. However, lingering doubts remained. It became clear that an ownership shakeup was imminent. Biondi-Santi has been in family hands since its founding at the end of the 19th Century. Reports of bank debt and disarray had dogged the estate since the death of Franco Biondi Santi in 2013 at the age of 91. In December 2016, Franco's son Jacopo Biondi Santi announced that a partnership deal had been signed. Jacopo and his family sold a majority stake to France's Européenne de Participations Industrielles (EPI). The Paris-based holding company is owned by Christopher Descours. It owns the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagne brands. Jacopo remains president of Tenuta Greppo and his son Tancredi will continue in his active role. Both father and son remain in control of winemaking. I am disappointed to see that Biondi-Santi continues to operate without an importer in the USA and wish them luck in finding the right fit now that the events of 2016 are behind them.
    Drink Dates: 2020 - 2028
    Author: Monica Larner
    Issue: 28th Feb 2017
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  • The Biondi-Santi estate defined Tuscan wine culture in the 19th century, beginning with Clemente Biondi Santi. The terroir on the estate was uniquely acclimated to growing Sangiovese grapes, and Clemente perfected his techniques in his time on the estate. Before his death, he taught his nephew, Ferruccio Biondi Santi, everything he knew about crafting Sangiovese. This proved essential years later, when phylloxera wiped out many crops in the region. Biondi Santi used his knowledge of clones to isolate one that was phylloxera resistant.

    In the process, he created one of the most popular clones used today, and one that produces grapes which cellar far longer than Sangiovese of the past. He produced his first bottle of Brunello di Montalcino in 1888, and since then, this vintage has become one of the most iconic in Tuscany.

    Biondi Santi releases both an Annata, or normale bottling, and a Riserva bottling, making both only in good vintages and the latter only in great. While the Annata derives from vines between the ages of ten and 15 years, the Riserva derives from older vines between 25 and 80 years of age. Both the Annata and the Riserva undergo fermentation in traditional Slavonian oak for 18 days, followed by aging in large oak casks of 800 to 7,000 liters for a period of two to three years, and the Riserva is released six years after the harvest.

    The rolling hills of Tuscany are home to ancient vines that grew wild long before modern times. Sangiovese is the variety of the region's best-known wines, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti. In recent years, “Super Tuscans"—blends including non-native Bordeaux varieties—have gained in popularity and acclaim. The region's Mediterranean climate, with its warmer average temperatures, provides ideal conditions for the development of rich, structured, and age-worthy wines. 

    Sangiovese is Tuscany’s star variety and the primary grape in Italy’s renowned regions of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. It is high in both tannin and acid, producing well-balanced wines with medium body and aromas of red cherry, strawberry, fig, plum, and dried herbs. Sangiovese is late-ripening, and therefore requires the warm climate of Tuscany to grow. Wines from Sangiovese are typically aged for a period of time in oak to soften the tannins and add flavors of spice. With bottle age, the best wines develop meaty and gamey aromas. For the best expression of this variety look to producers Biondi-Santi, Valdicava, and Soldera.

    Sangiovese is also used in “Super-Tuscan” blends alongside other international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These styles originated from experimental winemakers wishing to produce wines that did not fall under local requirements, and have since risen to global prominence. The best of these pioneering estates include Ornellaia, Gaja, and Sassicaia, and are recognized today as some of Italy’s finest wine producers.

    Sangiovese pairs best with local Tuscan cuisine, particularly herb- and tomato-forward dishes including pizza and pasta marinara, as well as rich, roasted meat, cured sausage, and hard cheese.

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 211 bottles owned
    • 32 collectors