Pian dell’Orino is one of the names of excellence of Brunello di Montalcino: a small winery that has achieved record ratings in recent years both in Italy and abroad. It was founded in 1997 by Caroline Pobitzer from South Tyrol together with her German husband Jan Herback, a long-time winemaker and winemaker, united by a common passion for the Montalcino terroir and for great wines.
In the vineyard all synthetic chemicals are banned in favor of biodynamic preparations, manure and green manures, in the cellar the fermentations take place in steel or in conical wooden vats, without temperature control and with long maceration. In continuity with traditional best practices, only native yeasts are used and refinements involve the use of large barrels.
Pian dell’Orino wines represent high and dizzying expressions of Montalcino: from intense and juicy red to Brunello of great depth, with a classic and austere character, fruity and expressive. These are wines of great complexity and elegance, produced with great wisdom following traditional and genuine methods: the result of vineyards with attention to every detail.
Brunello di Montalcino is also made from 100 percent Sangiovese Grosso. The grapes are left to macerate for a certain period, according to the vintage. Spontaneous fermentation starts and the temperature is automatically controlled. The must macerates for three to five weeks, depending on the vintage, in order to obtain greater concentration and structure in the young wine. The wine is then transferred to wooden oak barrels of 25 hectolitres (6,600 US gallons), where the malolactic fermentation takes effect. After 2 – 3 years of maturing in the barrels, when the wine becomes stabilized and appears brilliant, it is bottled without using a filter. The wine is left to mature in the bottle for at least one year before labelling and release.
This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate’s annata Brunello. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante (with vines planted in 1997) shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry. The fruit is nicely balanced by those elegant, ethereal notes of blue flower, balsam herb, cola and crushed pine nut that are characteristic of aged Sangiovese. [94 Points, Monica Larner – March 2016, robertparker.com]