An excellent welcome for Brunello di Montalcino 2012

Presenting the very good 2012 vintage and the harder-to-interpret 2011 Riserva

26-02-2017

Benvenuto Brunello 2017 has ended, presenting th

Benvenuto Brunello 2017 has ended, presenting the 2012 vintage and the 2011 Riserva. Excellent signals come from Montalcino

2012 will offer great satisfaction and can currently express only a small part of its potential. Benvenuto Brunello, the last of the Anteprime di Toscana 2017, offered the chance to discover this Cinque Stelle vintage in its facets, with 134 producers inside the Sant’Agostino building. They brought their products with the deserving pride.

So what is this 2012 like? Let’s avoid comparisons with other vintages, such as 2010 or 2007 just to name two: every vintage has a story of its own, every producer tries to improve year after year. A vintage is not just a simple essential element in wine production, it is also an added value: interpreting it in the right way can allow getting satisfaction even from the hardest vintage. And then let’s not forget that Sangiovese is an extraordinary grape variety, always (almost) offering emotions.

Overall, 2012 was a really good year: fruity wines, with spicy notes, very fresh and with a good structure. Wines that can currently show only part of their characteristics, which will emerge over the years, after a long and just wait in bottle. It is a known fact that the strength of Brunello is its longevity and this is why the tasting at Benvenuto Brunello had to take into account this hardly secondary aspect.

The tasting of the wines from the 134 participating wineries: the Rosso di Montalcino 2015, a vintage that will give satisfaction, were also excellent

The tasting of the wines from the 134 participating wineries: the Rosso di Montalcino 2015, a vintage that will give satisfaction, were also excellent

What we noticed is that many wineries are more refined, especially those that are experiencing or have experienced a generational change, with the young generation taking part in the winemaking choices. The “old style” Brunello, too hard and rough, even rustic in a way (hope the producers won’t mind), are gradually leaving way to more elegant wines, in which tannins are clearly there, but they are not overwhelming and don’t overshadow the other characteristics. Not to mention that on the nose, in a large part of the some 160 tasted samples, what with “entry-level” Brunello and selections, producers tried to avoid excessive and fastidious concentrations, notes too strong, so as to give space to a thousand nuances given by the complexity of Sangiovese.

So basically we’ll surely remember 2012. And while this is the right moment to buy a few bottles of Brunello di Montalcino, it’s best to wait to drink some of them.

The 2011Riserva is a different matter: only around 30 wineries decided to produce a Riserva that year though it was still regarded as a Quattro Stelle vintage. Truth is, 2011 won’t probably be remembered in centuries to come, with wines that might have a shorter life than the 2010 and 2012 vintages. Yet some managed to produce decent wines which, however, are not as thrilling as in other vintages.

The Brunello vintages are celebrated with tiles on the walls of the town hall. In the latest years, 5 Stelle were given to 2010, 4 to 2011, 5 to 2012, 4 to 2013, 3 to 2014, 5 to both 2015 and 2016. To find out about all the vintages since 1945, just click here

The Brunello vintages are celebrated with tiles on the walls of the town hall. In the latest years, 5 Stelle were given to 2010, 4 to 2011, 5 to 2012, 4 to 2013, 3 to 2014, 5 to both 2015 and 2016. To find out about all the vintages since 1945, just click here

To be more specific, as for Brunello di Montalcino 2012, I’d like to recommend Col d’Orcia, with a good balance and long finish, Fattoi, with very complex scents, Fuligni, very elegant, Il Poggiolo, where the first fruity impression gives way to notes of leather and black pepper, La Palazzetta, a wine that gradually opens up, with a bouquet ranging from fruits to spices to a delicate balsamic note, Le Chiuse, with fine tannins and a long and complex nose, Mocali, with a touch of aromatic herbs, Pacenti Franco – Canalicchio, structured and very fruity, Pian delle Querci, with an intriguing forest note, Santa Giulia, a small emerging winery, Argiano, very balanced, Bonacchi, also very balanced but with lively tannins, Capanna, showing a wise use of wood barrels, and Carpineto, with an intense and long nose.

Finally, I also recommend Poggio dell’Aquila and Poggio di Sotto. On top of making excellent Brunello 2012, their Riserva 2011 wines were very interesting. Praise also for Riserva Vigna Manapetra from La Lecciaia, Pomona from Villa Poggio Salvi (perhaps the best Riserva of the few presented) and Brunelli.

Patrizio Cencioni president of the Consortium, announces the Cinque Stelle for the 2016 vintage inside Teatro degli Astrusi in Montalcino

Patrizio Cencioni president of the Consortium, announces the Cinque Stelle for the 2016 vintage inside Teatro degli Astrusi in Montalcino

This is what was tasted, as that other wineries, even prestigious and famous ones, didn’t participate in the event. So they cannot be judged.

Next year there will be many more Riservas (2012 was a good vintage) and a 2013 vintage that deserves to be discovered, while we’ll have to wait for the 2016 vintage which during Benvenuto Brunello received Cinque Stelle, with a special tile that this year was created together with Michelin.


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