(ANSA) - Montalcino, September 20 - Brunello, one of Italy's most age-worthy fine wines, is gearing up for a year that will be "lower in bulk, higher in quality," president of the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino, Fabrizio Bindocci said in preparation for the harvest kick-off this week. In fact, the consortium is predicting a harvest 10% lower in quantity than last year. "Despite a very hot and dry summer, the late rains have restored balance and created the best conditions for ripening," Bindocci notes. Made exclusively from the Sangiovese Grosso grape, Brunello is known for intense aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackberry and black raspberry, with characteristic notes of violets, cocoa and leather. It rivals the great Barolos of Piedmont for aging since it is packed with intense tannins and high acidity. But it is the climate of Montalcino, the Tuscan town known as Brunello headquarters, and the surrounding area that has the most considerable effect on these distinctive wines. Though the quality-quantity ratio will be seen at the end of the harvest, 'with figures at hand,' the outlook is very optimistic says the consortium. Two hundred and fifty producers make up the consortium and divide up 3,500 hectars among them. On average each year, 8,500,000 bottles of Brunello are produced, along with 4,000,000 of lesser-valued Rosso di Montalcino, plus 80,000 of dessert wine Moscadello. Montalcino producers average a 150-million-euro turnover yearly.