Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2011
There is an understandable trend away from large producers. Today’s world is filled with large corporate interests that seem to represent nothing relatable to consumers 40 and under. But in the world of wine, large producers can be quite important if they adhere to proper farming and wine-making but are able to leverage greater distribution and marketing budgets to reach a wider array of people. Argiano is in that category – making extremely good Brunello with good principles for one of the fairest prices in the local market for these wines.
History and Vineyards
Argiano is an historic property, dating back to the 16th century. It was one of the founding members of the Brunello consortium in 1967. However, it was also involved in its fair share of scandal with Brunellogate, having had a couple of its wines impugned for blending in grapes other than Sangiovese into Brunello designated wines. Argiano declassified those wines (2003 vintage) and was ultimately vindicated on appeal. That was back in 2008. The estate was purchased by Noemi Marone in 1992 and sold by her in 2013 so she could focus on Bodega Noemia in Argentina (one of that country’s best estates). Winemaker Hans Vinding-Diers stayed on, which is important since he drove the winery to non-certified organic farming practices.
The vineyard for the Brunello Sangiovese plantings is located 300m above sea level with breezes from the Maremma cooling the grapes, and shelter from the adjacent Monte Amiata. These conditions allow for long physiological development.
Cellar practices include indigenous yeast ferments after two to three weeks of maceration in steel tank, 1.5 years in steel, and then 2.5 years of oak ageing (first year in barrique, and another 1.5 years in botti). Total production is approximately 100,000 bottles of Brunello and a total production of around 340,000 bottles.
This is really great Brunello. It’s charming, much to do with the 2011 vintage, balanced, juicy and forward. I love the supple cherry fruit and hints of leather in this wine and it is sumptuously easy to drink with a short decant right now. It is extremely impressive Argiano attains this quality across 100,000 bottles and its very reasonable price point.
$60 + tax at BCLDB