Americans love their wine, but we continue to import the most from Italy. Among its finest gems is a Tuscan red, the legendary Brunello di Montalcino, which must age for a minimum of 50 months before hitting the market. Brunello is a luxury, a splurge even, but if grilled steak (bistecca fiorentina) or a Bolognese sauce is in order, few wines fit the bill as well. Made exclusively from the sangiovese grosso subvariety, these three options taste beautiful now, but will only improve with time.
Tenute Silvio Nardi, Brunello di Montalcino, 2012
Nardi shows off the essence of Brunello: intensely aromatic (with cherry compote, bay leaf and roasted game), super-concentrated, powerful tannins, plus a mouthwatering finish. It’s a savory, almost rustic style, with grace notes of mushroom, coffee, ripe berries and cloves.
$60, V. Cirace, North End
Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Brunello di Montalcino, 2013
The Frescobaldi family has been involved in the trade since the 14th century. This Brunello is a wow wine—sleek, rich and lingering. Deftly balancing grace and power, it’s a mélange of delicious black fruit, chocolate, tobacco and anise sensations that benefits from decanting.
$85, Urban Grape, South End
Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino, 2013
A silkier incarnation of Brunello, La Fuga saturates the palate with ripe mellow fruit. Alongside its delicate floral fragrance, you will note campfire, earthy and herbal scents. It brings great flavor complexity, with tart wild cherries and licorice.
$75, Eataly, Back Bay
Sandy Block is a master of wine and the vice president of beverage operations for Legal Sea Foods.