This wine was the second Brunello in history, following the Riserva 1888. It is considered a milestone vintage. When Franco Biondi Santi organized the centennial tasting in 1994 and opened bottes from 1888 up to 1988 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Brunello di Montalcino, he stated that for him the 1891 was the vintage against which all later vintages should be measured. Something of perfection.There are still 5 bottles left of this historical vintage at the winery today.
The 1891 Riserva was probably produced with grapes from the vines of Tenuta Greppo and the vineyard Scarnacuoia. These vines would later lead to the selection of Sangiovese Grosso which brought Biondi-Santi to register its own clone named BBS11 (Brunello Biondi Santi 11). This clone was formally recognized in 1978.
The 1891 Riserva was aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 4 years. It benefited from a long refinement in the bottle in the quiet and darkness of “La Storica”, the bottle library at Tenuta Greppo where all the historic vintages of Biondi-Santi Riserva are scrupulously kept.
The last time a bottle of Riserva 1891 was opened at the winery was in 2009 for the 60th wedding anniversary of Franco Biondi Santi and his wife Maria Floria.
This vintage was topped up and the cork was changed for the first time in 1927, then in 1970 and again in 1985.
Ferruccio Biondi Santi