Brunello di Montalcino, Riserva by La Velona | 2010
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When a vintage comes along like 2010, it's hard to ignore the sheer beauty of nature and its influence over a final wine's sway and stagger. La Velona is "off the beaten path" in the southeast corner of the Montalcino area in a town called Castelnuovo dell'Abate. Here, at the foot of Mount Amiata, it's one of the warmest pockets with unusual outcroppings of volcanic soils in between the rocky marls. If you've had the wines of Ciacci Piccolomini, Poggio di Sotto, Uccelliera, or Mastrojanni, then you've experienced the power of this region. La Velona takes its name from the 10th century Castello di Velona, which overlooks the surrounding Orcia River Valley. Their Riserva bottling is for the drinker who appreciates the more indulgent side of Sangiovese, one that dips into darker red fruits and has tannin for days (in a good way). So, get your decanter ready, and enjoy the gift of a vintage.