Brunello Riserva

The Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is produced in only the more favorable vintage years and in limited amounts. It is matured and refined for 5 years, partly in oak barriques and partly in the bottle. The structure is greatly enhanced, yielding an intense, complex wine with a highly concentrated aroma. The result is a well-structured, warm, and persistent wine, rich and fine in a bouquet.

Tasting Notes

This Riserva appears an appealing garnet-rimmed ruby, luminous and rich. Emphatic notes of dark-fleshed fruit are the first to emerge on the nose, including wild blackberry, redcurrant, plum, and blueberry, followed by toastier impressions of vanilla, sweet tobacco leaf, and roasted espresso bean.

Capping this aromatic mosaic are lightly pungent nuances of balsam and eucalyptus oil. It enters the mouth warm and velvet-smooth, then reveals fine-grained, elegant tannins already well-integrated into the structure, bolstered by zesty acidity. The finish, near endless, shows subtle fruit and contributes to the fine overall balance of all of the wine components. Learn more at

Food Pairing Suggestions

Red meat, oven baked cacciagione, aged cheeses.

Browse our Italian recipe collection by wine pairing

Ratings and Reviews

2004 Vintage

93 points – Wine Spectator, August 31, 2011

94 points – Wine Advocate, #188 April 2010

2001 Vintage

97 points / Highly Recommended – Wine Spectator, April 30, 2007

91 points – Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, June 2007

90 points – #173, October 2007

2000 Vintage

90 Points – Wine Spectator, July 31, 2006

Vineyard near Montalcino in Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy.

History of Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is known as one of the standard-bearers for wines in Italy. This famous wine originated in Tuscany, in the region of Montalcino.

The municipality of Montalcino has a rich and enchanting history due to its breathtaking view and the abundance of red wine in the area, with one of the top wine producers Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.

“Brunello di Montalcino is undoubtedly one of the most representative Italian wines in the world,” according to the Web Food Culture.

“It can boast great elegance, structure and balance: characteristics further enhanced by long aging that can last for decades. Over time, this specialty, thanks to its undisputable value and incredible charm, has become a symbol of excellence, considered by many admirers a true work of art,” it added.

This red wine uses the grape variety of the Sangiovese grape, the “Sangiovese Grosso”.

splendid bunches of grapes on the vine in ripening

The comparison between French and Italian Wines

One is always tempted to ask whether Brunello di Montalcino and other great Italian red wines are on the same level as the great French reds? 

Journalist Jancis Robinson wrote about the differences between the two wines in her article. According to her, the history between the Italian and French wines makes the difference between the two.

On her website, she attempted to identify the differences that are seen between the two nowadays.

“If the measure is sheer volume then France and Italy annually vie for who produced more wine from their remarkably similar total area of vineyards,” she said.

If we look at the list of the world’s 50 most expensive wines … 11 are German sweet rarities, one… is from Napa Valley and all the rest are French. Italy is notable by its absence,” she added.

According to her “it is quite a struggle to find an (Italian) wine that costs more than £100 a bottle.”

In the article from Poggio Rubino, Robinson said that the world continues to look for Italian wines.

And these red wines include Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, Barolo, and Barbaresco during wine tasting events in England.

“This…suggests that now is the time to take advantage of Italy’s best wines, whose prices seem, unfortunately, highly likely to rise,” Robinson said.

Golden vineyards of Tuscany. Classic italian countryside

Some interesting facts about Brunello di Montalcino

  1. There is a big difference between the Chianti Classico and Brunello.
  2. Brunello wine allows a blend of up to 10 percent of other grape varietals aside from Sangiovese grape.
  3. Brunello’s strict rules include adherence to 100 percent Sangiovese grapes.
  4. Montalcino comes from the mixture of two Latin words: “mons” 

(monte – mount) and Lucinus (from “Lucina”, another name of the Roman goddess Juno).

  1. The owners of the ‘Fattoria dei Barbi’ company are among the families who have contributed a lot to turn Brunello di Montalcino the product of excellence.
  2. Brunello is a DOCG red wine that is made in Tuscany and exclusively within the municipality of Montalcino, Siena. 
  3. The vineyards of Brunello are located on hillsides, with an altitude of not more than 600 meters. 
  4. The alcohol content of the wine must be a minimum of 12 percent.
  5. Brunello wine has to undergo a period of maturity for at least two years in oak and at least four months in the bottle.
  6. Giovanni Colombini helped a lot in promoting the marketing of this fantastic wine in Italy and overseas.
  7. Giovanni Colombini was the first to promote the importance of “wine tourism”, allowing wine lovers and the public to visit his wine cellar
  8. Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a special selection of wine that is aged for a year more than ordinary Brunello wine.
  9. Brunello di Montalcino (not Riserva) is available for sale after five years, while Riserva is available for selling after six years. 
  10. The big difference of Riserva with other Brunello is in the aging and finishing in the bottle.
  11. Brunello Riserva is from grapes harvested from a single vineyard that also happens to be the oldest.
  12. Brunello comes from the Sangiovese vineyards planted on the slopes of the Montalcino hill. 
  13. The nature of the soil helps a lot in the composition and structure of the grapes for Brunello wines.
  14. The plotting of the vineyards differs from each other to produce different Brunello wines.
  15. Brunello di Montalcino undergoes an extended maceration to ensure the right aromas and color of the wine.
  16. Brunello di Montalcino wine vintage represents the year in which the grapes of the wine were harvested.
  17. After fermentation, the wine will remain in barrels for a minimum of three years.
  18. Wineries of Brunello di Montalcino opt for the traditional method of large barrels.