Brunello di Montalcino is one of Italy's most highly regarded and expensive wines, originating from vineyards around Montalcino, in the Tuscan Hills about 70 miles southwest of Florence. Rosso di Montalcino is Brunello's little brother, less ambitious and considerably less expensive. Although it usually comes from younger vines with higher yields, it also spends less time in wood (six months compared to a required one year for Brunello), and that can be a plus, resulting in a wine that is more pleasurable at a younger age. Like Brunello, Rosso is made from a clone of Sangiovese, Sangiovese Grosso, that is believed to be ideally suited for the microclimate of Montalcino.
Placido's 2005 Rosso is a deep, dark garnet. Aromas offer up dark cherry fruit and peels, deeper and more complex than most Chiantis of the same price range. Racy, intense flavors--black raspberry, sage and violets. Good level of acidity from the front to the back of the palate; it goes well with penne pomodoro. For my taste, this wine could benefit from another year or two in the bottle. I paid $9.99 for it as a closeout wine at Harding's Markets--a good value.