Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and appreciating one of Italy's greatest wines (May 31, 2012)
by Dean Tudor, www.deantudor.com
Brunello di Montalcino: Understanding and appreciating one of Italy's greatest wines (University of California Pr., 2012, 300 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-6564-6, $39.5 US hard covers) is by Kerin O'Keefe, who writes about Italian wine for Decanter and The World of Fine Wine. She has also written Franco Biondi Santi; the gentleman of Brunello.
It's in two large parts – the basics of the region and the grape, the birth (1865 at Greppo by Santi), and how the control came about, the scandal of 2008 regarding over-cropping and blending, the development of Rosso as a quicker-maturing wine. The second part concentrates on the 60 or so leading producers by the six subzones, with names and addresses, websites, phone numbers, etc. A third, smaller, part features other wines of the region and local cuisine (with a description of typical dishes). There is also a vintage guide, some fact sheets ("Brunello at a glance"), glossary, and a bibliography.
Audience and level of use: Wine lovers, especially Brunello fans.
Some interesting or unusual facts: Brunello estates are tiny – 22% have less than 1 hectare of vines, 29% have between 1 and 3 hectares.
The downside to this book: Rosso di Montalcino (scattered through the book) was not indexed.
The upside to this book: A good example of a single (and singular) region book.
Quality/Price Rating: 91.