The best in Montalcino

Benvenuto Brunello: fifteen wines to note down. Including Riserve, Rossi and Moscadelli

Wineyards in Montalcino (Siena), a town with littl

Wineyards in Montalcino (Siena), a town with little over 5thousand inhabitants who grow limitlessly during Benvenuto Brunello – the latest edition being on February 21st-24th 2014. This year’s test involved Brunello di Montalcino 2009, vintage Brunello Riserva 2008 and 2012 Rosso di Montalcino

As per every year, at the end of February Benvenuto Brunello took place in Montalcino, an event focused in this case on Brunello di Montalcino 2009, Brunello Riserva 2008 and Rosso di Montalcino 2012. It’s always an exciting event, due to the long wait: a wine can in fact be commercialised starting from the fifth year following the harvest. So the aura of magic and expectations should not surprise.

The 2009 vintage was judged as an excellent one by the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino. They gave it four stars. But we cannot draw randomly, as some wines are tired, weak, with rough and not perfectly mature tannins. Some samples lack in fruit, matter, and have an excessively perceivable alcoholic note. Luckily, however, the good labels are indeed good and we have managed to taste some truly memorable bottles. Here are our winners

Pure light. A light, transparent colour, the nose starts with balsamic, graphite, spices and sage notes followed by a nice proud and perfectly ripe fruitiness. On the palate it strikes and sinks. This wine is profound, with a great balance, very fine and elegant. Fascinating and gourmand.

It starts with an interesting toasted hazelnut note. It then continues with black cherries, blackberries and various spices. On the palate it is fresh, engaging, with a medium body and a long finish.

Castello di Romitorio
The nose still hasn’t reached its maximum expressive potential but one can already notice some beautiful velvety notes, scents of dark fruits, with hints of orange and spices. On the palate it is already balanced, enveloping, fascinating, full, with a sweet fruit pulp.

Le Ragnaie
A nice nose: engaging, very spicy, elegant and with a good palate. The “VV” version, from the same vintage, is also very interesting.

Brunello di Montalcino, 100% Sangiovese grapes (photo

Brunello di Montalcino, 100% Sangiovese grapes (photo

Lisini Riserva
It illustrates the territory of Sesta with sincerity and strength, starting from its typical irony and earthy notes, from rosemary, thyme and herbs, to dark fruits. A very powerful wine.

Tiezzi Vigna Soccorso Riserva
Ink, incense, smoky notes, tobacco, earth, ripe cherries. The palate is balanced yet strict, severe. It shows off a nice fresh fruit and a good structure.

Barbi Riserva
The nose is straightforward and doesn’t bestow much, ripe red fruits and earthy notes. On the palate it calls attention, imposes itself, it is fresh, charming and persistent. Vigna Fiore, produced by the same winery, is also very interesting.

Banfi Poggio alle Mura Riserva
A rich and still compressed wine, with dark fruity notes, with blackberries standing out. The palate is strict, dense and lively.

Col d’Orcia Poggio al Vento 2006
An absolute star. It is out a couple of years after the other riserve, rightly so. The son of what I consider to be the best cru in Montalcino, in the best vintage in the last decade. A great, austere and magnificent Brunello.

Tunde Pecsvari, the author of our piece and owner of Osteria del Brunello in corso Garibaldi, Milan

Tunde Pecsvari, the author of our piece and owner of Osteria del Brunello in corso Garibaldi, Milan

Tenuta di Sesta
Spices, pink pepper, bay leaves, small red fruits. On the palate it is crispy, clean, fresh and fluid. Transparent, frank, enjoyable. A didactic Rosso di Montalcino.

Fascinating nose of blood oranges, raspberries, with floral hints and a delicate and fine spiciness. On the palate it is immediate, pleasantly drinkable and clean.

Canalicchio di Sopra
On the nose it is very compressed: the typical balsamic, marine and mineral notes still find it hard to emerge. Later, notes of rosemary, spices (black pepper) and medical herbs stand out. In order for its scents to emerge, perhaps we need to wait after the summer. On the palate, however, it’s champing already.

A lively, fresh red wine, with scents of cherries and blackberries. Enjoyable palate.

An unjustly undervalued variety which once granted all the winemakers on the hills of Montalcino enough to live. A light, fun and easily drinkable wine.

Caprili 2013
Very fresh and luminous. Full of scents, enjoyable.

Capanna Vendemmia Tardiva 2010
A much more demanding and complex nose, in comparison with the standards of this variety, on the palate it has an acidity that can support the high sugar content.


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