Produced for the first time in 1888, the Biondi-Santi Riserva was the first Brunello di Montalcino in history, and even today it is an extraordinary event when a new vintage of Riserva is announced at Tenuta Greppo, the Biondi-Santi main estate.
Renowned for its extraordinary longevity, this rare wine has been released only 40 times from 1888 till today and each production is extremely limited. Riserva is traditionally produced with grapes coming from only the ùoldest vineyards, of more than 25 years of age.
At the centre of the cellar at Tenuta Greppo there is a dark room, hidden away from the world, dedicated specifically to Riserva.
It is “La Storica”, the estate wine library where Biondi-Santi carefully refines the bottles of each Riserva vintage ever produced.
“La Storica” is an intimate place where the bottles lie neatly stacked in small cells divided by vintage, naked, wearing only a drop of bees wax to seal the cork and minimize oxydization.
The Riserva will be removed from La Storica only at the moment that it is sold. It is then dressed with the original label from its vintage, including “la lunetta” – the neck label which carries the number of each bottle, and the date of its departure from the cellar is hand written on the back label.
If a Riserva has been topped up and re-corked in the past, a special topping-up certificate will be placed around its neck, certifying when this delicate reconditioning has taken place.
“Spending one’s lifetime working amid nature, in this country blessed by God, is wonderful.”
Franco Biondi Santi
It is a rare phenomenon that a wine can trace its origins to a single man. Brunello di Montalcino, however, owes its existence to the creative genius of Clemente Santi and his nephew Ferruccio Biondi Santi who in the eighteen hundreds started producing barrel-aged single-varietal wines in Montalcino, betting on the extraordinary quality potential of Sangiovese grosso.
Since 1888, the first vintage of Brunello in history, Biondi-Santi has continued to produce wines renowned for their elegance and extraordinary longevity.
No compromise. Only a painstaking, yet simple attention to detail and an artisanal sense of excellence accompanies the production of the Brunello Biondi-Santi, that is produced exclusively with estate grown grapes, hand selected from our high-altitude vineyards. It is fermented in cement vats with the use of indigenous yeasts only and aged in traditional large Slavonian oak casks.
A wine of fruit and vibrancy, the Biondi-Santi Rosso paves the way for the Brunello. For Biondi-Santi, the Rosso has always been a special wine, following a specific idea of making a red wine which reflects the signature style of our high-altitude vineyards with a vibrant freshness and a structure, which permits the wine to age, but which is driven by a distinct fruity character and is thoroughly enjoyable at a young age.
Traditionally, the Rosso is produced from our youngest vines, and from those vineyard plots which underline the fruitiness. It is fermented in cement vats and has an ageing in oak which is shorter than that of the Brunello, 12 months.
This wine was originally known as the Biondi-Santi Brunello “white label”, but became the estate’s Rosso in 1983, when the Rosso di Montalcino DOC was established.