Monday, April 22, 2013

Pian dell'Orino

I've been curious about this estate for a long time, but never had the opportunity to try their Brunello.  That changed this weekend and I'm much the better for it.
Pian dell'Orino is tiny estate, only 6 hectares in total, that lies adjacent to the Biondi Santi estate. The tiny size allows for painstaking manual procedures at every step. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand.  Everything is natural from the yeasts, to the fill organic certification the winery holds.  Yields are extremely low, as the aim of the estate is 1 bottle of wine per vine.  Quality takes a back seat to nothing, and it shows in this dramatic wine.
The 2004 Pian dell'Orino Brunello was aged three years in large oak casks and for an additional year in bottle before release.  The color is so interesting to look at.  The core of the wine is a dark garnet red, and there appear to be concentric circles that expand outwardly from the center, each in a slightly different color, until the final rim is that of fallen oak leaves. 
The aroma is spellbinding.  Cherries, flowers, leaf tobacco, dried herbs and fennel combine in harmony. It's difficult to stop smelling this wine.  However, once you've tasted it, that provides the needed incentive.  Silky red fruits sit elegantly on the midpalate while earthen notes linger in the background and spices gently attack from all angles giving the wine vitality and freshness.  The tannins are fine and ripe and the finish goes on and on.  This Brunello threw a major sediment of coffee grind like silt.  I didn't decant this bottle, but would do so in the future. Great effort.  95 points, about $70.
2004 Brunello di Montalcino Pian dell' Orino


  1. John, the label looks like Braille!
    So, do you think it's time to take the 2004s out of the cooler?
    Oh, and I just love the color descriptors.
    That's why I read your posts very day:-)

  2. Hey Dennis,

    Yes, the label is also in braille. According to their website, they do it so that "Everyone can appreciate their information"...

    It's cool. Chapoutier does the same thing.

  3. Thanks for a great note! That producer is on my to-do list...:-)