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April 17, 2012

Really, it's nothing personal...

The Centolani family owns Pietranera along with two other famous Brunello estates, Fraggiali and Donna Olga. The Pietranera is produced from the south-east slopes of Montalcino at over 700 feet above sea level. The marly and volcanic terroir of the hillside enhances the characteristics of these Brunellos, as well as adding to its intensity and depth. From an exceptional harvest (Antonio Galloni from Wine Advocate reviewed 2006 as "a benchmark vintage for Brunello di Montalcino"), this is a classic example of how beautiful Brunellos can be. So why are we blowing this out at the lowest price in the country? Well, as usual there's a story.

We do seem to come up with our share of deals like this one that will seem like it's a fluke. For the most part, though, things happen for a reason. We won't go into too much detail though we did want to clear a couple things up. After all, those of you who have been following us regularly will recall we did a deal on Pietranera's excellent 2004 last year at about this price, the sotry from the wholesaler at that time being that it was simply a re-release that hit at the wrong time.

Not too long ago we made a good chunk of another of the family's labels, the Donna Olga Brunello 2006, disappear. That came from a different wholesaler who said it was because they were no longer handling the brand and had no use for the remaining inventory.

This time the deal was cut because the distributor and the importer apparently had some sort of very Italian misunderstanding. Allora, that sort of thing does happen and we are always ready to jump on a screaming deal on a classy Brunello whenever it comes along. The fact that we've hit this family's labels three times in the last few months is just the way it played out. Like we said, it's nothing personal.

Either way, the result is the same... a monster buy on a Brunello di Montalcino from an accomplished producer, in "a benchmark vintage", wth a bevy of 90+ reviews from leading critics (Advocate 92, Spectator 92, International Wine Cellar 91, James Suckling 91) ... FOR UNDER $30?!?! While it lasts...


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