BRUNELLO (broo-NEHL-loh) – grape name, synonym for SANGIOVESE GROSSO (see below). Although the origin of the name is unknown, many believe that it was a local name for the clone found in Montalcino, possibly inspired by the dark color of the grapes or the wines (bruno means brown in Italian and the diminutive brunello denotes brownish). Brunello di Montalcino is made using 100% Brunello (Sangiovese Grosso) grapes.
BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO (broo-NEHL-loh dee MOHN-tal-CHEE-noh) – DOCG (denominazione d’origine controllata e garantita, see below), appellation name. Brunello di Montalcino must be made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes grown in the township of Montalcino and then aged for a minimum of 2 years in cask and 4 months in bottle before release (6 months in bottle for the reserve). Pieve di Santa Restituta ages its Brunello di Montalcino for 2 years in cask and an additional year in concrete vats. Its vineyard-sdesignated Brunello di Montalcino Rennina and Sugarille are aged for one year in barrique and one year in botte (see below) and then is aged for two years in bottle before release.
DOC, DENOMINAZIONE DI ORIGINE CONTROLLATA (deh-NOH-mee-nah-TZEE’OH-neh dee oh-REE-gee-neh KOHN-trohl-LAH-tah) – appellation qualification meaning literally designation of controlled origin. The Italian DOC system was established in the 1960s with the French AOC system as its model.
DOCG, DENOMINAZIONE DI ORIGINE CONTROLLATA E GARANTITA (deh-NOH-mee-nah-TZEE’OH-neh dee oh-REE-gee-neh KOHN-trohl-LAH-tah eh GAH-rah-TEE-tah) – appellation qualification meaning literally designation of controlled and guaranteed origin. The main difference between the DOC and DOCG designations is that the latter is tasted and analyzed by the tasting commission upon bottling and later before release while the former is tasted only once before bottling. All of Pieve Santa Restituta’s wines are DOCG.
ROSSO DI MONTALCINO (ROH-soh dee MOHN-tal-CHEE-noh) – DOC (denominazione d’origine controllata, see above), appellation name denoting wines made from Sangiovese Grosso grapes grown in the township of Montalcino. Unlike Brunello di Montalcino (see above), Rosso di Montalcino does not require cask aging and can be released as early as one year after harvest. Many winemakers produce Rosso di Montalcino using younger vines or fruit sourced from second-tier vineyards. Pieve Santa Restituta does not produce a Rosso di Montalcino and uses only its best fruit for its three bottlings of Brunello di Montalcino.
SANGIOVESE GROSSO (SAHN-joh-VEH-zeh GROH-soh) – grape name, a local mutation of Italy’s quintessential red grape Sangiovese, found primarily in the province of Siena (Montalcino and Montepulciano, where it is known as Prugnolo Gentile). The name means literally large Sangiovese, a misleading designation because it is in fact the small size of the berry that helps to give the wine its dark color (the smaller the berry, the great the ratio of skin surface area to juice; the color of red wine is determined by the pigments contained in the skins).