Last year with friends in Montalcino, one of them said "did you hear that Montalcino can now boast the best red wine in the world".
At the prestigious International Wine Challenge in the London Wine Show in June 2010, 10,000 wines competed for "The Best Red Wine in the World" trophy. The outcome was great news for Brunello and Montalcino with the 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva from Castello Romitorio being declared the winner.
The judges comments were "deep, intense and slightly brooding on the nose. Leather, hints of tobacco and violets. Red fruits dominate on the palate".
The winemaker is Sandro Chia. He said " The Tuscan climate regularly bestows on us a gift of excellent wine, but every so often fortune shows an extra measure of generosity. Only a careful selection of grapes from a truly exceptional harvest can produce a Riserva, and 2004 was just such a year. The 2004 harvest was one of the best of the decade; the highest possible score of five stars was awarded to this exceptional vintage by the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino".
Sandro Chia was working as an artist in his studio in New York in 1984 when he received a call from an old friend asking him if he was interested in a castle...or what was left of it. He had previously considered buying a property in Tuscany, the region where he was born. So he got on a plane and eventually bought the castle and this year his wine produced at the castle was named "Best Red Wine in the World". His art work helped him pay for the castle and as you can see above his label is very artistic. At the time he bought the castle he was working on a large piece for a restaurant in New York called Il Palio, named after the great Sienese horse race.