Wine Chat

I contacted Paola Gloder of Poggio Antico estate in Montalcino, to discuss the future of Brunello, especially pertinent now that everyone is waiting for the new Brunello '97 to reach its peak.One of the most talked about subjects regarding this world famous wine is the conflict between tradition and innovation. I chose Poggio Antico winery as it produces both a traditional Brunello DOCG (from 1976) and a more modern Brunello DOCG (from 1988, even if until '95 it was sold as an IGT) called "Altero".As the grape selection (100% Sangiovese) is the same for both wines, the main difference is in the ageing. In fact, while the traditional Brunello ages 3 years in big Slavonian oak barrels and 1 year in bottle, the Brunello "Altero" ages 2 years in smaller French oak barrels and 2 years in bottle.I asked Paola "Do you prefer your traditional Brunello or your modern one?", to which she replied: "It's hard to say, as it is just a matter of personal taste and I produce both because I love both, they are just different"."Which is the best time to drink the '97 vintage?", I asked later. Signora Gloder explained that "The peak will be in about 10 years, in 2007, although the Brunello "Altero" will be enjoyable around 2005, the traditional Brunello always require some years more."My last question was on what would be, in her opinion, the future of Brunello wines in Montalcino. "Will the Brunello develop following a modern style or will it remain strictly linked to its tradition?""You never stop progress, as modern machinery in winemaking is improving the quality of the wine, but I don't think that for this reason the winemakers of Montalcino will forget the history to which is linked their best wine" concluded Paolo Gloder.
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