Born for Giodo

by Daniele Cernilli 01/28/20
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Podere giodo Montalcino vigneti

A vertical tasting of Giodo, Carlo Ferrini’s Brunello di Montalcino, which confirms how this wine is fine and elegant and in no way muscular.

Carlo Ferrini, who aside from being a personal friend for the past 30 years, is one of the most brilliant enologists of his generation. He is a trained agronomist who only later specialized in winemaking. At a certain point in his life he realized that being a consultant was not enough. After working primarily in Tuscany – at the Ricasoli, Casanova d Neri, Castello Fonterutoli, Tenuta del Terriccio, Talenti, Poliziano and Principe Corsini estates – and elsewhere in Italy – for Tasche d’Almerita, Masciarelli and San Leonardo, just to name a few – he decided he needed to make his own wine.

The opportunity to do this arose with the new millennium when he was able to acquire a few hectares of lands in Montalcino, in a formidable area next to Tenuta Sesta and on the dirt road that links Sant’Angelo in Colle with Sant’Antimo and Castelnuovo dell’Abate. The great enologist Giacomo Tachis called this zone the “egg yolk” of this winemaking area. Ferrini acquired 3.5h of land and planted his vines but it was not until 2009, after some seven years, that he was able to produce “his” wine, for the most part Brunello but also some Toscana IGT because not all his vines were registered as Brunello DOCG. He began with only a few hundred bottles, less than 1,000 the first year. With each year the quality of the grapes improved, as did the quantity although production remained limited.

Today production has climbed to 8,000 bottles a year. Among these is Giodo (a name that combines Carlo’s parents’ names Giovanna and Donatello) with which Ferrini sought to make a wine that was stylistically different from what he made for other wineries. The result was a very refined Brunello, matured in wood, mostly smaller barrels, which was very measured with a delicious drinkability and traits determined by the quality of the harvest. The only hiccup in his production was in 2014. “In this difficult year I tried to make the best wine possible, employing a very strict section of grapes which limited production to 2,500 bottles. I did this to demonstrate that even in these cases one can make an excellent product and ensure continuity and reliability for a very small and unknown winery that still has to prove itself,” Ferrini explained.

A tasting of all Giodo vintages last December 4, at The Hide in London, produced the following evaluations with sight differences in their ratings from those we gave in our Essential Guide to Italian Wine. This was above all the case for the 2011, which at the time was the best, and the 2014, which right now is the best. The rest are more or less the same, with the 2015 remaining as extraordinary as it was when, with Riccardo Viscardi and Stefania Vinciguerra, we sampled it at a Brunello preview tasting of that vintage.

Brunello Giodo wines are enchanting, fine, elegant and are in no way “muscular” or compromised by wood or grapes that are too ripe. The wines are technically impeccable and they exalt their terroir and the Sangiovese varietal they are made from, without being too rustic nor having excessive extracts. A great Brunello that retails for around 85 euros.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2009 

92/100 - € 85

Made from Sangiovese and macerated long – two and a half years – in 700-liter French barrels and aged for 18 months in the bottle. An intense and limpid garnet color and light vegetal scents along with some evolved notes of glutamate on a background of fruit and vegetal notes. The saline mouthfeel has pronounced tannins and is typical and warm, perhaps a bit dry, with a nice persistence.

Bottles produced: 800.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2010 

97/100 - € 90

Made from Sangiovese, matured for two and a half years in 700-liter French barrels and aged in the bottle for 18 months. A lively and limpid ruby-garnet color with well-defined, clear and fine notes of fruit in the aroma with some spice hints. The bouquet is very typical with scents of blood orange peel, cherry and Kirsch. The Taut, saline and agile mouthfeel has an excellent body and is elegant and progressive with fine yet silky tannins. Excellent.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2011 

92/100 - € 90

Made from Sangiovese, matured for two and a half years in 700-liter French barrels and aged in the bottle for 18 months. A nicely intense ruby-garnet color and an ethereal aroma with scents of red berries and cherry, in part jam, along with a few vegetal notes and those of Kirsch. A tad evolved. The warm mouthfeel is a bit alcoholic and saline with compensating tannins that are a tad bitter, while the finish is distinctly alcoholic. Very ready now.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2012 

98/100 - € 90

Made from Sangiovese, matured for 30 months in small barrels and aged in the bottle for 18 months. The color is an intense and limpid ruby-garnet. The bouquet is wrapping, clear, very typical, elegant and multifaceted, while the notes of spice and fruit are full and particularly refined: cherry, blood orange and a hint of vanilla. The taut mouthfeel has an acidity that upholds a rather full body with tannins that are “channeled” by an alcoholic and glyceryl softness. A great version.

Bottle produced: 8,000.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2013 

96/100 - € 90

Made from Sangiovese, matured for some 30 months in 500 and 700-liter barrels and aged in the bottle for 18 months. An intense ruby color with garnet hues and an aroma that is a bit simple with some notes of currant followed by those of cranberry and cherry and, while not complex, it is clear and intact to the nose. The mouthfeel is agile and crispy with the acidity prevailing over the polyphenolic component. A vertical, lively and very pleasing wine with an excellent drinkability.

Bottles produced: 8,000.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2014 

96/100 - € 85

Made from Sangiovese, matured for some 30 months in 500 and 700-liter barrels and aged in the bottle for 18 months. An intense ruby-garnet color and with an aroma that has a surprising impact and an excellent intensity. The bouquet has notes of cherry, blood orange and Kirsch and is even complex for such a difficult year. The taut mouthfeel has an excellent acidity that offsets the alcoholic warmth, with perfectly integrated tannins and a body that is incredibly full for the vintage.

Bottles produced: only 2,500.

Brunello di Montalcino Giodo 2015 

98/100 - € 90

Made from Sangiovese, matured for some 30 months in 500 and 700-liter barrels and aged in the bottle for 18 months. A luminous ruby color with garnet hues and an excellent albeit youthful bouquet that is wrapping, almost ethereal and very fine. There are aromas of spice and scents of cherry and currant, with a tad of Kirsch. The mouthfeel is taut and agile, multifaceted, saline and very elegant with a delicious drinkability already now and a formidable persistence.

Bottles produced: 8,000.

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