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Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are nice enough grapes, but it's not like they are the only wines we want to drink for the rest of our lives. Which is the raison d'ĂȘtre for the Italian Vini Buoni wine guide, which scouts up and down Italy's boot to find no, not Super Tuscans - but just those good old wines produced by Italian vines. 

The Vini Buoni guide was founded 10 years ago, to give praise and support to winemakers who focus on Italy's native grape varieties; and on the ideal conditions (terroir and micro-climate) needed for these grapes to turn into great wines. 

Being a lover of this kind of approach, I wasn't surprised to read the names of some of the producers I appreciate most between the awarded wineries in Montalcino. First and foremost there is the corona (a crown - the highest score) going to the Sesti winery for it's Brunello Riserva Phenomena 2006, a phenomenal wine indeed. Located at Castello di Argiano to the South-West of Montalcino, Giuseppe and his daughter Lisa Sesti produce wines that defy the one size fits all approach of contemporary wine-making. No, don't worry, these are not difficult wines to drink, but a good example of what every Brunello should measure up to.

View towards Sesti Winery at Castello di Argiano, Montalcino
Home of Montalcino's Sesti winery
View towards Castello di Argiano and Mount Amiata

Rodolfo Cosimi's Il Poggiolo, Mastrojanni, Le Potazzine, Poggio di Sotto and Pietroso produce Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino produce wines, that I always  recommend friends to stock up on and they can all be found on the final cut of the Vini Buoni guide (see list below).

Then  - in pole position - there is Biondi Santi's Tenuta Il Greppo. Obviously! This estate is the wine world's historic backbone when it comes to true blood wines and Sangiovese Grosso survival in Montalcino. Always a pleasure to taste the estate's world-class wines, you may have to take out a mortgage to do so. 

The award ceremony takes place in Montalcino's theater (teatro degli Astrusi) on Saturday, 1st of December 2012 at 10.30am. 

CORONE (crowns)

Biondi Santi Franco -Tenuta Greppo - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva Tenuta Greppo 2006
Cerbaiona - Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2007
Col d'Orcia - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva Poggio al Vento 2004
Le Macioche - Palazzina - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva 2006
Le Ragnaie - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Ragnaie V.V. 2007
Pietroso - Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2007
Poggio di Sotto - Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2007
Poggio di Sotto - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva 2006
Poggio di Sotto - Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2009
Salvioni - La Cerbaiola - Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2007
Sesti - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva Phenomena 2006
Siro Pacenti - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva PS 2006
Tenuta Le Potazzine - Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2007
Tiezzi - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Vigna Soccorso 2007
Val di Suga - Tenimenti Angelini - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Vigna Spuntali 2006


Biondi Santi Franco -Tenuta Greppo - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Tenuta Greppo 2007
Cerbaiona - Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2009
Gianni Brunelli -Le Chiuse di Sotto - Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2007
Il Marroneto - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Selezione Madonna delle Grazie 2007
Le Chiuse - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva 2006
Lisini - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Ugolaia 2006
Mastrojanni - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Vigna Schiena d'Asino 2007
Siro Pacenti - Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2010
Tenuta Il Poggione - Brunello di Montalcino Docg Riserva Vigna Paganelli 2006

VINI DA NON PERDERE (Wines not to be missed)
Celestino Pecci
Col di Lamo
Il Poggiolo - Rodolfo Cosimi
La Magia
La Mannella
La Palazzetta
Pian delle Querci
Podere Paganico
Tenuta San Giorgio
Vasco Sassetti

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