February, the new barrels enter the winery and become the cribs for the future Brunello. Here explained the reasons for certain choices
February is the month where traditionally the future Brunello begins its barrel ageing. There are those who begin sooner, as suggested by the late Professor Yves Glories, the winemaker who taught the whole world how to interpret the polyphenolic ripening of the grapes. We were at the Bordeaux 2University, where he used to teach, at the end of January 2001, and I gave him a tasting of my most recent harvest, and was thorough told off because I had not yet but it into barrel.
The Montalcino tradition is that of putting wine into the wooden casks when it has finished the malolactic fermentation and the first decanting. For this reason consultant wine makers like our Valerie Lavigne, visit their wineries and taste the entire new production together with the internal wine technician, in our case Barbara Magnani.
It is a very careful and slow examination of every vat. Chemical analysis, vineyard maps, grape harvest diaries…but most of all the actual tasting, all of this conducts to the final decision regarding the destiny of every mass of wine.
Up until 50 years ago, Barbara’s office was the Fattoria del Colle office. It is a small room
at the entrance of the 16th century villa, and from which the wine aroma reaches the offices above. Barbara and Valerie sit one in front of the other each with their laptop in front of them. Both love technology, so no written sheets with tasting notes, all is digital.