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Brunello by Nardi

What else can we say about Emilia Nardi?  In 1990, she took over Tenute Silvio Nardi, the Montalcino estate founded by her father, and hasn’t looked back.  With an MBA degree and a belief in science applied to tradition, she has continuously updated the winery and its string of vineyards – 36 of them at present on three estates, mainly to the east and west of the hill town.


Nardi is in New York this week with other members of the Brunello di Montalcino consortium, primarily to present the just-released 2009 vintage to writers and the trade.  Her three primary wines – Silvio Nardi Rosso, Brunello and the cru Brunello Manachiara – are represented in the U.S. by Kobrand.  Before too many corks were pulled, I had an opportunity to have a conversation with the vibrant winery owner who ably serves as her own brand ambassador.


Meetings in NYC:  “We’re spending one day with sommeliers and one day with journalists and the trade.  It’s especially important that sommeliers understand that Brunello is expensive to make and why it is an expensive wine, with all those years in the barrel.”


The 2009 vintage: “I can only talk about my wines, of course.  Our wines are more full-bodied in 2009 than in some other vintages.  I call 2007 the Emperor, and 2009 is the Prince.”


The 2013 harvest:  “We had to wait too late to harvest.  In the middle of September, the grapes were looking great.  Then it started raining, and we couldn’t get back in the vineyards until October.  It was not a great harvest for us.”


The Silvio Nardi house style: “It is now softer in style compared to the past.  The science of enology has changed, and we have followed those changes, such as pre-maceration at lower temperatures.”


Rosso versus Brunello: “Rosso is a distinct wine from Brunello.  We often use younger vineyards for it, and the style is more fresh. It needs to be drunk earlier, generally in three to four years."


The adulteration scandal of a few years ago: “It affected our way of thinking and made us more conscientious about what Brunello needs to be.”


What’s new at Silvio Nardi: “We’ve added a new single vineyard from the west side of Montalcino, an area that is still not that well known.”


And what else is she doing on a cold and snowy week in the city?  “Shopping!”

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