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A.D. 1441 The Brunello of the Angels.

A.D. 1441 The Brunello of the Angels.


to you pilgrims, tired and flushed by the August sun, hungry and thirsty (especially thirsty). Rest and regain your strength here, at the Altesi Castle at the gates of Montalcino.

The A.D. 1441 is the year King Henry VI of England founded King's College in Cambridge. Meanwhile the Tricerchi family was carving a white marble plate to seal the completion of the castle.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go to Wineries than to College!

Tricerchi Castle ever since, literally Three Circles.

No castle is worthy of this name unless it has an important, esoteric and fascinating story around it.

This is not a story of Anglo-Saxon ghosts or even a dark horror tale in the fashion of Edgar Allan Poe, nor is about devilish presences of any kind as in a Stephen King’s novel. We are neither on the Scottish Highlands, nor in Maine here.

We are in the heart of Tuscany here, along the Via Francigena, the ancient road that leads the pilgrims to Holy Rome. There are positive energies here. Celestial. Angelic.

You can breathe the DeWine here.

In the aristocratic chapel, entitled to the Virgin of the Veil, there is actually a fragment of the Veil certified by a papal bull.

The number 1441 is palindrome, that is, it can be read both ways as a double 14, and you all must know that this is a way the Angels communicate with us mortals.

I like to believe that it was the Angels themselves who caused the delay to the paperwork that prevented the Riserva 2013 to be called as such. It was the top wine of that vintage and deserved an impressive name, and so it ended up being called A.D. 1441 Brunello di Montalcino. A wonderful stroke of luck after all.

However, for those who do not believe in the Angels, there is a much more pragmatic and rational explanation that somehow wraps it all up and makes everyone happy.

Number 14 in the Neapolitan folkloristic cabala represents the drunkard (I know now why it has been my basketball shirt number for 40 years).

The vineyards are located around the Castle, north of Montalcino, in the coolest area and less exposed to the sun that also benefit from a peculiar microclimate created by a small lake at the foot of the hill. The exposure is not ideal; therefore, the Brunello of Castello Tricerchi makes elegance and finesse its winning trait and strength. Paradoxically, here global warming has certainly helped and will continue to do so over time to the vineyards with a similar exposure.

Long macerations and slow aging in large barrels, in the fifteenth century cellars that once where the dungeons of the castle, bringing the wine back to its essence.

The Brunello of the Angels.

A Brunello that has always a silky and polite tannin in any vintage, always well integrated with the wide complexity of the aromas that turns from ripe and full fruits in the cool years to being more balsamic in the hot and dry ones. Always controlled. Always balanced. Dignified but always decisively present. A patient but inexorable Brunello. It does not explode into fireworks but amazes with its perseverance and solemn determination. It is never the fastest who wins, but rather the one who goes the farthest. Every pilgrim who has ever entered and stopped here knows that we can get anywhere one step after the other, and that the goal is not the destination but the journey itself.

"It is only the journey that matters, because only the journey is enduring and not the destination, which is only the illusion of the journey” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

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