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I'm not here to start a war...just want to know if there is an existing thread that will tell me who makes their brunelli in traditional botti style and who uses the modern barrique style. I wish that JS would write an article on the subject, with listings of same. I loved it when I visited Marchesato degli Aleramici and found that they just installed new cement tanks to go along with their 500l and 700l botti.
Thanks.
@
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asv - I don't know if there is an all-encompassing list to be found. I can list the ones that I know (and have visited to confirm). The only caveat is that some have a blended style (i.e. some aging in botti and some time in barrique)

ModernAll Barrique
Poggio Antico Altero
Cupano
Siro Pacenti
CdN Cerretalto
CdN Tenuta Nuova
Caparzo La Casa

Blended Some time in barrique and botti
CdN Normale (white label)
Fuligni
Costanti
Altesino Montosoli
Banfi Poggio 'all Mura
Camigliano Gualto

Traditional All Slavonian Oak Botti
Salvioni
Col d'Orcia
Soldera
San Marco
Pinino
Poggio di Soto
Barbi
Biondi Santi
Argiano
Livio Sasseti Pertimali
Altesino Normale and Riserva
Caparzo Normale and Riserva
Poggio Antico Normale and Riserva
Banfi Normale and Poggio 'All Oro
Camigliano
Ciacci Picolomini
Baricci

I can confirm these producers since I have visited them. I am sure others can chime in with additional info. Also, some of this is from memory so there could be a few mistakes.
Last edited by longboarder
As far as I know, Banfi's Poggio all'Oro Riserva spends its time in barrique, not botti.

More barriqued wine:

Fanti


Some barrique, some botti (or large French oak):

Uccelliera (normale and Riserva)
Antinori Pian delle Vigne (I'm pretty sure about this one)
Gianni Brunelli (pretty sure about this one too)
Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Mastrojanni

Slavonian Oak Botti:

Lisini (normale and Ugolaia)
Canalicchio di Sopra
Sesta di Sopra

I'll post more later when I get time.
Last edited by futronic
I was bored this morning.

Barrique only:

Castiglion del Bosco
Coldisole
Il Palazzone
Il Paradiso di Frassina
Il Poggiolo
La Magia
La Togata (Tenuta Carlina)
Piancornello
Angelini Vigna Spuntali


Some barrique, some botti:

Agostina Pieri
Campogiovanni Riserva Il Quercione
Casanuova delle Cerbaie Riserva
Cassiano-Colombaio Riserva
Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo
Castelli Martinozzi Riserva
Romitorio
Collemattoni Riserva
Fattoi
Mocali
Salicutti
Talenti
Angelini Normale
Silvio Nardi

All botti:

Abbadia Ardenga
Armilla
Campogiovanni Normale
Canalicchio
Canneta
Cantina di Montalcino
Bonacchi
Capanna
Casanuova delle Cerbaie Normale
Cassiano-Colombaio Normale and Vigna del Colombaiolo
Castello Martinozzi Normale
Cerbaiona
Collemattoni Normale
Donna Olga
La Fiorita
La Fornace
La Fortuna
La Gerla
Le Chiuse
La Rasina
Le Gode
Le Presi
Livio Sassetti
Pian dell'Orino
Greppone Mazzi
La Fuga
Vitanza
Btw, not to speak for Suckling, but in the past he's made comments to the effect that the whole modern-vs.-traditional question is... boring - I think was the word he used. His point seemed to be that the real issue is quality. I mention this only to point out that it's unlikely that he would ever draw lines such as these in an article.

For my own part, I find it fascinating. Most people (as evidenced here) use the botti vs. barrique as the yardstick (as it is clearly the easiest to track), but a case could also be made for a) degree of extraction, and b) clonal selection - both of which effect the resultant color of the wine. Valdicava is one that comes to mind which has made a conscious decision to plant clones that produce a darker color. Some (Galloni and IWC, to note) consider the dark color to be 'atypical' and therefore 'modern.'

I realize I'm clouding the issue, but I remember a list similar to this in which Daniel Fulton (if my memory serves me) labelled Fanti as "ultra-modern" for their use of barrique, but also due to the high extraction and dark color. This makes a lot of sense to me.

Even within the category of 'blends' (barrique and botti), the styles can be wildly different. Taste a Fuligni Riserva (quite delicate, floral, refreshing) next to a Silvio Nardi Manachiara (dark, viscous, and chocalatey), and you might be surprised that they're considered similar in the modern-vs.-traditional discussion. Again, sorry to complicate the issue, but I personally find it intellectually thrilling... not to mention hedonistically satisfying. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
Btw, not to speak for Suckling, but in the past he's made comments to the effect that the whole modern-vs.-traditional question is... boring - I think was the word he used. His point seemed to be that the real issue is quality. I mention this only to point out that it's unlikely that he would ever draw lines such as these in an article.

For my own part, I find it fascinating. Most people (as evidenced here) use the botti vs. barrique as the yardstick (as it is clearly the easiest to track), but a case could also be made for a) degree of extraction, and b) clonal selection - both of which effect the resultant color of the wine. Valdicava is one that comes to mind which has made a conscious decision to plant clones that produce a darker color. Some (Galloni and IWC, to note) consider the dark color to be 'atypical' and therefore 'modern.'

I realize I'm clouding the issue, but I remember a list similar to this in which Daniel Fulton (if my memory serves me) labelled Fanti as "ultra-modern" for their use of barrique, but also due to the high extraction and dark color. This makes a lot of sense to me.

Even within the category of 'blends' (barrique and botti), the styles can be wildly different. Taste a Fuligni Riserva (quite delicate, floral, refreshing) next to a Silvio Nardi Manachiara (dark, viscous, and chocalatey), and you might be surprised that they're considered similar in the modern-vs.-traditional discussion. Again, sorry to complicate the issue, but I personally find it intellectually thrilling... not to mention hedonistically satisfying. Smile

Bravo! The barrel selections don't tell the half.

As another example, Col d'Orcia ("traditional") and La Togata ("modern") would probably seem to be stylistically reverse (i.e. modern and traditional, respectively) in a tasting.
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
a case could also be made for a) degree of extraction, and b) clonal selection - both of which effect the resultant color of the wine.


I can't remember who said it, but it was Soldera or Biondi Santi who said, you should be able to see your fingers through the wine on the other side of the glass, to be a true Brunello.
quote:
Originally posted by Foghorn:
I can't remember who said it, but it was Soldera or Biondi Santi who said, you should be able to see your fingers through the wine on the other side of the glass, to be a true Brunello.


That's right: Gianfranco Soldera believes you should be able to see your fingernail behind a glass of BdM, and Franco Biondi Santi believes that barriques should be 'abolished,' among other restrictions. If Fanti is considered 'ultra-modern,' Soldera and Biondi-Santi should probably be considered 'ultra-traditional.'
stickman:

While I agree that the traditional vs. modern - which is better/what is really Brunello approach can be boring at times, I don't think there's any harm in discussing various production techniques. While the list(s) above do not include *all* the producers in Montalcino, it's still a pretty good selection of them.

Breaking them into the three categories - all barrique, some barrique/botti, all botti is a good start.

As you stated, there are varying styles within these ranges. No surprise, since the Brunello spectrum is one giant gradient. That said, it's a good start with respect to providing expectations as to what they'll get in the glass. As long as it tastes like Sangiovese from Montalcino, that's what matters to me.

chadd:

I don't know how Col d'Orcia's Brunello would come across as stylistically modern in a tasting - especially when considering their Poggio al Vento. Maybe I misread your post.
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
Btw, not to speak for Suckling, but in the past he's made comments to the effect that the whole modern-vs.-traditional question is... boring - I think was the word he used. His point seemed to be that the real issue is quality. I mention this only to point out that it's unlikely that he would ever draw lines such as these in an article.

For my own part, I find it fascinating. Most people (as evidenced here) use the botti vs. barrique as the yardstick (as it is clearly the easiest to track), but a case could also be made for a) degree of extraction, and b) clonal selection - both of which effect the resultant color of the wine. Valdicava is one that comes to mind which has made a conscious decision to plant clones that produce a darker color. Some (Galloni and IWC, to note) consider the dark color to be 'atypical' and therefore 'modern.'

I realize I'm clouding the issue, but I remember a list similar to this in which Daniel Fulton (if my memory serves me) labelled Fanti as "ultra-modern" for their use of barrique, but also due to the high extraction and dark color. This makes a lot of sense to me.

Even within the category of 'blends' (barrique and botti), the styles can be wildly different. Taste a Fuligni Riserva (quite delicate, floral, refreshing) next to a Silvio Nardi Manachiara (dark, viscous, and chocalatey), and you might be surprised that they're considered similar in the modern-vs.-traditional discussion. Again, sorry to complicate the issue, but I personally find it intellectually thrilling... not to mention hedonistically satisfying. Smile


Interesting comments, Stickman.

I don't think keeping track of production techniques is very easy for the average person. It's one of the reasons why I think the modern vs. traditional discussions never end. But as you point out, there's more to a wine than the type of casket/wood used. At the end of the day, though, I have to rely on my own palate to figure out where a wine sits on the whole modern/traditional spectrum.
I posed the original question because I have found that the "traditional" styles seem more delicate and soft, while the "modern" style seems more like chewy, big bruisers. Yeah, maybe I'm generalizing, but I have not consumed as much bdm as most of you here. Am I off the mark? Should I have re-worded the post to ask about delicate vs. not so?
@
This has been an excellent discussion. Thanks to all those that have contributed. The real question is "Do you enjoy the wine?" If the answer is yes, then the question of modern vs. traditional is mute. Personally, the nuances of the different styles can be captivating. I suggest you taste the wines blind to remove the "prejudice" of knowing whether the producer is modern or traditional. I personally enjoy many different producers, but if push comes to shove, the traditional style would be my preference.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
chadd:

I don't know how Col d'Orcia's Brunello would come across as stylistically modern in a tasting - especially when considering their Poggio al Vento. Maybe I misread your post.

I was saying that if you were to taste the La Togata and the Col d'Orcia side by side, and then categorize one as traditional and one as modern, I'd guess that most would find the Col d'Orcia more "modern" than the La Togata, yet the La Togata is the "modern" one (based on barrique usage).

Yes, the '95 Poggio al Vento remains a benchmark Brunello di Montalcino for me, just perfect. Didn't strike me as particularly traditional, but I guess that's a matter of definition.

Now Biondi-Santi, that's traditional styling, IMO, and Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, modern styling. Everything else falls on a continuum inbetween!

Today I drank the '01 La Campana (www.grailwineselections.com) and it was just rockin'. Stylistically, right in the middle, perhaps with just a hair more traditional elements, but gorgeous all the same.
Not sure why you are making a big deal out of modern and traditional. And you are solely basing it on wood maturation. I don't want to get into it but there are a number of wines in your list that don't use new small barrels and others that do. Moreover, most Italian wineries use botti made from French oak, not Slovanian. I think it all gets down to good viticulture and good winemaking...
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
stickman:

While I agree that the traditional vs. modern - which is better/what is really Brunello approach can be boring at times, I don't think there's any harm in discussing various production techniques.


I hope my contribution didn't seem like criticism; I certainly didn't intend it that way. Most discussions of modern vs. traditional begin with barrel selection, and I think they SHOULD; it's the most tangible place to start. I was simply trying to add to the discussion, as I find this stuff incredibly fascinating. Hearing that most botti are made from French oak, not Slovanian, is news to me - news I WANT to know. I'm not of the opinion that it's enough to talk good vs. bad.

If you listen to producers like Biondi-Santi and Soldera, or Fanti and Pacenti, etc., their production method certainly matters to them, and the philosophy of what Brunello IS certainly matters to them, so I say why don't we join in and be edified. Learning/discussing this stuff merely adds to my enjoyment in drinking them. What a great time to be a Brunello fan!
While I agree that it is interesting to know the production methods of different producers, it is also more important to like their product. I can enjoy a tradional Brunello just as much as a modern one if they are both well made with quality grapes. The other thing to remember with Brunello is that despite the small area of the DOCG, there are many different micro climates and soil types. These often play a bigger role in the flavor profile than what sort of cask is used does. For instance Banfi could never made a copy of Altesino Montosoli no matter what they did in the cellar. Of course some would say that they couldn't with the same grapes. Smile The point is learn as much as you can, but to not be tied down to any one style.
No, I don't think it's criticism at all - it's a discussion.

And as for the botti made from French oak instead of Slavonian oak, most of the producers that I listed off above explicitly stated on their website (or I have seen in person), that they're using the latter.

Some may be using French in the "all botti" group, where even more still might be using French botti in the some barrique/some botti group.

Regardless, I prefer to understand the house style so I can certain expectations as to what is in the glass. This more often than not comes from drinking lots of Brunello, which isn't a bad thing! Smile
How nice to see this one revived again!

I do find it useful to use ageing methods to remember a style of a particular producer. Just as the position of the vineyards (altitude, exposure) helps me to put some perspective to the various (and numerous!) styles that can be found in one of my favourite wine regions. The visualisation helps a mere amateur like me to remember wines. Images that are revived instantaneously when smelling a wine. Always an amazing experience.

And yes, it will influence my objectiveness when tasting non-blind. But that's a shortcoming that I'm happy to accept, being an amateur!
I certainly agree that the most important thing is the quality, but I don't agree that the barrel regime is completely unimportant. I bet that Giancarlo Pacenti finds it no less important that Gianfranco Soldera, and I bet both believe that it is inextricably attached to the character of their wines. If it matters to the character of their wine, it matters to me.

I, for one, like to seek out diversity within the region, so if I find that I'm buying lots of one part of the region, or one end of the spectrum in styles, I purposely seek out other, more diverse selections.

Knowing something about the producers choices also helps to give context to the wine that we experience in the glass. For example, I recall a number of critics taking issue with the dark color of Valdicava's '01 normale. Follow that up with the little scandal about non-Sangio grapes being blended into Brunello, and someone like me might wonder if Valdicava did that. If it weren't for the reports that I read from you about the clonal selections and Abbruzzese's rigor in the vineyard, I probably would have been badly misled about my own impressions of the wine.

Similarly, where the grapes are grown, who the consultant is (if there is one), barrel regimes, technical choices, personalities of the owners/winemakers, etc. are all important to me. Perhaps I would feel differently if, like you, I had nearly unlimited exposure to the actual wines themselves, but as my experience is limited by a number of factors, I feel that all of these other elements help me feel closer to the wine and enrich my experience.

I couldn't agree more with Jochem's attitude about the lack of objectivity in knowing more about what's behind a given wine. I'm just a lover, not a critic, so I will sacrifice objectivity for enrichment any time.
quote:
Originally posted by James Suckling:
One day, if I have time, I will write a book.


Great! I look forward to it. Smile

Speaking of which, what would be even better would be an online 'book,' for which one could buy a subscription, and which could be updated as new information is found or as changes occur. With so many new ventures, projects, and changes, trying to pin down BdM must be difficult as a moving target. So much has changed in just the last decade or so that a book written before then would already be woefully outdated. Just my $.02.

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