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Brunello di Montalcino
May 01, 2019

My Top Picks at Benvenuto Brunello

Brunello di Montalcino, sangiovese, montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, wine
Each year for the past 25 years, Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino has hosted a four day event in Montalcino. The first two days allows international and Italian media and specific trade to taste the current release vintage, along with riservas and fresher rosso di Montalcinos.
I've missed a few vintages due to sheduling conflicts, but happily returned this year.

The 2014s were being showcased, and it was a tough vintage to say the least, one of the coolest and rainiest in more than a decade. It showed in many of the Sangioveses, but there was still a wonderful selection, especially those deftly handled in the vineyard, that rose to the challenge.
The 2013 riservas showed complexity and balance; 2017 rossos (must be aged a minimum of 6 months before release) were also shown and offered a jolt of juicy freshness.

Images right: logo and sangiovese grapes, courtesy of Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.

My Top 62

Brunello 2014s

Ruby in colour with classic aromas of cherries, tealeaf and spices. Lovely in the mouth: bright and silky with chalky tannins.
Expect a juicy wine with attractive floral notes. In the mouth it is silky and bright nice balance and purity. Tannins are chalky and dry the finish is warm.
Paradiso di Montalcino
Expect sweet cherries and purple flowers. The palate is fresh and juicy good purity and powdery tannins. Nicely done.
Podere Canapaccia
Jubilant cherry aromas and high-toned and bright. It is a bouncy wine with good freshness, purity and power. The oak tannin is a little distracting, but overall, it’s complete.
Notes of bouncy red cherries, dried flowers and botanical. A fresh juicy palate shows great levity, finesse and elegance. The tannins are chewy but well managed.Brunello di Montalcino, sangiovese, montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, wine
Solaria—Patricia Cencioni
Bright cherry and berry notes with some floral and fine spices. The texture is lovely and has managed tannins. Great freshness; it is a lovely wine, both balanced and elegant.
Cherries, leather, fine spices and licorice/anise, aromas lead to a palate with levity and grace. It has savoury undertones with notable sapidity (saltiness). Excellent.
Tenuta Buon Tempo
A slightly leaner style with good freshness. It has a linear palate as well. Freshness is maintained throughout. Elegant.
Tenuta Buon Tempo P.56
Attractive fresh cherry notes translate to brightness on the palate with savoury undertones. Dry silky tannins. Lovely.
Tenuta di Sesta
Earthy and plummy with dusty mineral and earthy notes. It has a supple entry, is mouthfilling with good fruit expression. A good wine from a hard vintage. Tannins are dry and polished.
Tenuta Silvio Nardi
Savoury overall with some herbal notes and bright red cherry framing the nose. The palate is savoury too, with some some charry flavours, fleur de sel and cocoa. The finish is mouthwatering.
Tierre Nere—Campigli Vallone
Expect a bright cherry and minty nose. It also has good roundness for this difficult vintage. The palate is juicy, it has great levity, brightness and finesse and is elegant with polished tannins.
Quite powerful nose comparatively to the other 2014s; cocoa, tobacco, and loads of sweet cherry fruit. It has good roundness to palate with flavours of tart red fruits. Nice overall, bright with good levity and sapidity.
Villa al Cortile
A unique nose, offers sweet jammy red fruit aromas. Great freshness in the mouth; it is bright and buoyant with some tealeaf flavours and finessed, polished tannins.
Villa I Cipressi
Robust sweet cherry and mint aromas on the nose lead to a palate with attractive roundness on the entry. Bright fruit and grapey flavours are layered with tealeaf and floral flavours. Expect grippy but polished tannins.
Villa Poggio Salvi
A pretty bright cherry and botanical nose, with distinct minty notes to add lift. The palate is also lifted, full of flavour and brimming with fruit from entry to finish. Excellent and expressive.
Banfi Castello Banfi
Nice sweet and ripe fruit here, good depth and quite plush for this vintage. Concentrated and balanced; fruit check, acid check, and tannins are polished.
The nose expresses alted cherries, spice and cedar aromas. It has a bright entry, a silky palate and pretty fruit. Elegant, finessed and balanced. Tannins are chalky and polished.
A bright and cheery nose, a character mimicked on the palate. Good fruit and balance here, it’s all in, nothing overshadows or is lacking either. Good freshness and sweet tannins.
Notable mineral and medicinal/minty aromas on the nose, and a fresh and juicy palate. Expect great levity and finesse as well as purity and polished tannins. Very nice.
Capanne Ricci
This wine has a bright cherry nose layered with spice and flowers. It’s a pretty palate, silky and expressive, bright, with silky tannins. Elegant, overall.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona
Expect a bright cherry fruit nose that is lively and sweet. The palate is silky, it has posture and is balanced and culminates in sweet polished tannins.
Col d’Orcia
A delight of sweet vibrant cherry aromas with notable purity on palate. Finessed and elegant with good roundness in the mouth. It’s a juicy wine with polished tannins and good length.
Impressively expressive: sweet red fruits, spices and licorice. An echo of that on the palate, yet with more intensive dried cherries flavours layered with mint and spice. An interesting wine with a unique vanilla, cola finish. Modern.
Raspberry and cherry, licorice, vanilla and cola spices. Great expressive fruit but would like to see more acidity. Quite pretty on the tongue too, with floral flavours. and raspberry tea on finish.
Il Marroneto
Expect a nice bright nose with fresh and juicy red fruits, licorice and vanilla. The palate is juicy like the nose; lifted cherry and spice and vanilla flavours. Great balance and sweet tannins.
Il Pino—Fattorio del Pino
Lifted maraschino cherry and sarsaparilla aromas. Great lift, sweet palate that is attractively feminine and fresh and bouncy. Elegant and refined.
La Gerela
Good balance overall; the fruit bright, juicy and fresh. It has fruit, acid and fine chalky tannins. Excellent.
La Rasina
Attractive fresh cherry and floral nose. A pretty and vibrant wine with a juicy palate. Great purity overall, a lovely wine with sweet tannins.
Le Chiuse
Expect a bright wine with juicy cherry and red fruits. Balanced, with lifted acidity and good structure; overall pretty.
Madonna Nera
Appealing sweet and smoky aromas lead to a stylish palate with balance and freshness with a slightly bitter finish. Elegant and refined.
Sweet sarsaparilla and cherry aromas are echoed on the palate. It is bright and juicy with good bones, purity and freshness.

Riserva 2013s

PalagettoBrunello di Montalcino, sangiovese, montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, wine
Expect aromas of cherry liqueur. It has very good intensity, power and structure. The tannins are dry and polished but grippy. A concentrated wine.
A slightly greener nose balanced by sweet fruit aromas and flavours.
Good freshness on the palate entry; generous, fruit, great acidity and polished tannins.
Pian Della Vigne
Attractive black cherry and vanilla aromas lead to a smooth palate with a silky texture. It also has right acidity and a firm tannic structure.
Poggio Landi
Fresh minty aromas are woven with juicy cherries. The palate is equally bouncy with and a silky texture, gripped with assertive acidity and tannins. The finish is savoury and sweet.
Santa Giulia
Expect a fresh nose with good levity. Nicely balanced firmness throughout with sweet fruit on entry. Overall, purity and balance and freshness without manipulation.
Expect a wine with posture, balance and levity, with expressive fruit and flowers: a lovely wine with finesse.
Terre Nere—Campigli Vallone
A fragrant cola and cherry nose leads to a palate of purity and freshness, overall. Balanced and tasty wine; a standout for the 2013s tasted today.
Val di Suga V. SpuntaliBrunello di Montalcino, sangiovese, montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, wine
A finely woven wine, a pretty wine that is fine boned and offers juicy red fruits, Elegant and beautifully balanced.
Val di Suga V. Del Lago
Much more powerful than the V. Spuntali, this one has grippy mineral tannins, and notable earthiness. It speaks of its place and the grape tannins here are impressive.
Expect sweet and silky, a wine with a supple weight and generous fruit. Good complexity and completeness overall with firm but chalky grape tannins.
Villa I Cipressi
Unique minty-eucalyptus notes seem to reappear on all the I Ciprissi wines, nose and on the palate as well; gin/juniper tones call out. Unique, lifted and delicious.
Fresh bouncy fruit aromas abound on a pristine nose. Bright and lifted, good structure and length and fruit, dry chalky tannins. A very complete wine.
Expect dusty plums lifted with minty notes. On the palate is sings with good acidity and levity, and is buoyed by expressive fruit. It finishes with dry and sooty grape tannins.
Juicy and complex and fresh with impressive posture. Overall, and elegant and fresh wine.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona
Sweet, with good purity and expressive fruit. A clean and buoyant wine that is equally lovely and elegant.
Col d’Orcia Nostagio
The aroma of sweaty saddle leather dominates the nose. In the mouth is has a sweet entry of expressive fruit. It leads with purity and lift, but gets murkier mid-palate before redeeming itself on the finish.
A pretty wine with raspberry tea, orange peel fresh and bouncy fruits. Nice levity and purity but showing more evolution than the other 2013s here.
La Fiornita
Expect good freshness on nose and lovely fruit on palate. Balanced with liveliness, purity and elegance—it’s all in.
La Fornace

A plummy and juicy nose is layered with sweet cherry aromas. Expect good purity here with balanced sweetness and plenty of high-toned fruit.
La Fortuna-GiobiBrunello di Montalcino, sangiovese, montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, wine
Best expressed with freshness and purity, overall. It is juicy and expressive and clean without manipulation.
Le Macioche Famiglia
A modern and perfumed wine with aromas of blueberry vanilla, raspberry tea, and violets. The palate is perfumed as well. It shows oak tannins on the finish, but they are managed.
Another fragrant wine with liberal blueberry, raspberry, fragrant floral notes and sweet tea aromas. The palate shows good integration, it perhaps has less overt acid to help it age, but is very pretty and approachable now.
Lovely freshness of fruit and purity overall. It is a complete wine, juicy with tealeaf and bright fruit on the palate. A pretty version, elegant and balanced.

Rosso 2017s

Expect bright floral and cherry notes with a bouncy fresh palate. Drinkabale now, the tannins are sooty tobacco tannins.
Just what I want from a rosso; it has a lively and bouncy palate with loads of fruit and fine spices. Expect great acidity with dry and firm, but not assertive, tannins. Lovely.
A fragrant cherry cola and floral nose. Lead to a fresh but less effusive palate with a leaner demeanor. Good fruitiness on finish.
Villa I Cipressi:
Like the 2014 and riserva 2013, expect a very minty/eucalyptus character with a bouncy cherry cough drop character—it’s very fresh. The palate is sweet and supple, bright and delicious to drink. An utterly lovely and fresh wine.
Poggio Salvi
Expect bright red berries and fresh cherries. Good acidity overall with sweet chalky tannins. Very drinkable now.
Col d’OrciaBrunello di Montalcino, sangiovese, montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, wine, Tenuta Nardi, vine
As is consistent with the estate, this wine is very mineral driven and earthy, with a restrained nose. It has a supple weight and loads of plummy and black cherry fruits in the mouth; a lovely silky texture and the weight impressive. Expect more complexity than most other rossos, with dry, chalky tannins.
Pretty, bouyant cherry and vanilla aromas, which are also echoed in the mouth. Bouncy and approachable, all balanced and in check, with a sweetly spiced finish. Divine.

photos above: Montalcino
photo right: vine at Tenute Silvio Nardi

~Daenna Van Mulligen
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