94 Insider Points
93 Points- James Suckling
91 Points- Cellar Tracker Average
Superior- Jancis Robinson
Very Good- Wine Advocate
Very Good- Vinous
When Seeking Sangiovese, I Often Turn to Brunello.
And this was a shining example of what I myself enjoy in this style of wine. I picked up as much of the Máté as I could, and am expecting great things from this in my home cellar. The wine itself is in the beginning of its drinking window. I'll be saving a few bottles to come back to throughout the year.
A light, earthy nose to start. Nice, balanced fruit on the palate- raspberry, red currant and bing cherry. Juicy yet bitter, with smooth acidity and a medium body. It finishes long with a dried cherry quality. This is a wonderful example of world-class Brunello.
94 Points - JZ February '18
"A powerful and linear Brunello with blueberry, stone and spice character. Full-bodied, chewy and structured. Needs time to soften. Try after 2020."- James Suckling
"Candace Máté's 2012 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a dark and savory color that is characteristic of the vintage. The wine's dark saturation is definitely pushed to Sangiovese's limits in terms of where it stands on the color intensity scale. The bouquet reveals aromas of dried fruit and prune backed by very prominent, almost monolithic notes of savory tobacco. Moist chewing tobacco is more specific. Máté's house style embraces generous oak. This wine is aged in French Allier tonneaux for two years and is then left to integrate in large 40-hectoliter casks. Past vintages have seemed too spicy and oaky to me, but this edition has more ripe and succulent fruit to balance out any extremes. Overall, this is a dark, penetrating and powerful wine."- Wine Advocate
"Bright red. Extremely forward aromas of peach nectar, blood orange, and strawberry jam, plus a dusting of licorice. Enters rich, round and soft, then turns almost hard with mounting, tough tannins giving the flavors of coffee, cardamom and red cherry an austere quality. The long finish is bright and juicy, but this is not much fun right now. Lay it away for four or five years and see if it blossoms, but I wonder."- Vinous
"Tasted blind. Youthful, deep ruby. A little bit closed with only a posh oak note rising from the glass. Backward, but elegant. On the palate, the oak is a little attention-grabbing for the moment, but the gorgeous, zesty cherry fruit and fine tannins lead the finish. Maverick, modernist (or should that be: postmodernist?) style."- Jancis Robinson
Riding high on a wave of international acclaim from the likes of James Suckling (93 points), the 2012 Máté Brunello di Montalcino is powerhouse bottle. Full and fleshy, it delivers on the black and blue fruit promise made by the bouquet. Spice and strong minerality lend complexity to the grippy tannin structure, ensuring that this is a bottle for the ages.
Home to the famed vineyards of Angelo Gaja and Gianfranco Soldera, the Santa Restituta region of Montalcino also hosts the Máté Winery. The family owned estate is home to 15 organically farmed acres of vines as well as 75 acres of wild forest. From their perch some 1,300 feet above sea level, Máté is positioned to dominate the Sangiovese market.
From their position on several Top 100 lists and a slew of 95+ point scores from Wine Spectator and James Suckling, you’d think that the 2012 Máté Brunello di Montalcino should cost a small fortune…but we’ve got some savvy buyers and they are pleased to deliver an over-achieving bottle for an unbelievable price!
Why we love it:
- Sangiovese’s siren song reaches new heights in Italy’s most prestigious wine region. High atop the international stage, Brunello di Montalcino has elevated Tuscan Sangiovese from a ubiquitous table wine to the most sought after singular expression of Italian terroir.
- And there’s no better craftsman to bring this song to life than Ferenc Máté. The author of “The Hills of Tuscany” and “A Vineyard in Tuscany” knows more than the average New Yorker about the treasure that lies in the Tuscan countryside.
- After purchasing a 13th century property (complete with farm and a friary), Ferenc and his wife Candace painstakingly restored the property. Once that task was complete, they hired a neighbor’s viticulturist (Gaja is the neighbor, if you’re wondering) and planted their property to Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the powerhouse of Tuscan wine – Sangiovese.
- Since planting their roots in 2002, Máté’s wines have consistently received ‘Outstanding’ scores and praise for their excellence. It’s little surprise, given the high quality of their wine, that 95+ points follow each vintage and every bottle.
- Fun Fact: Brunello means “little dark one” in its native Italian. It’s a pet name for the tiny dark grapes which hunker together forming the charismatic Sangiovese grapes.
Bright red. Extremely forward aromas of peach nectar, blood orange, and strawberry jam, plus a dusting of licorice. Enters rich, round and soft, then turns almost hard with mounting, tough tannins giving the flavors of coffee, cardamom and red cherry an austere quality. The long finish is bright and juicy.
In Latin, Materra means "Mother Earth". Materra Wines has combined the rich soils, varying climate and the extraordinary talents of a dedicated team to produce wines that are both tempting and complex. Materra is produced in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, and this region has been well known for its high-quality Chardonnay and Merlot over the past sixty years.
About the Winemaker
Michael Trujillo's story starts in La Jara, Colorado, where he grew up farming on his family's ranch. In 1981, when Mike was a student at Colorado College, he received a job offer from then-winemaker Jim Allen during a visit to Sequoia Grove Winery, where he first learned his craft. Mike later enrolled at the University of California Davis and the Napa Valley School of Cellaring. He also had the opportunity to work alongside renowned winemakers Andre Tchelistcheff and Tony Soter. In 1998 Mike became winemaker, and then president, of Sequoia Grove Winery.
Karl Lawrence, Mike's own label, was created with friend and partner, Bryan Henry in 1991. The label (a combination of both Mike and Bryan's middle names) has garnered high scores with critics and loyal customers.
Pair this Tuscan Brunello with a hearty Tuscan Bean Stew with Sausage and Cabbage or some Pasta Fagioli.