BENVENUTO BRUNELLO 2018, MONTALCINO CENTRO, PART III

Some more tasting notes from the event. Again, all can be found here, and again, in no particular order (i.e. I did not rank them). Many, many fine wines, only a couple of stinkers; stinkers with the proviso that someone, somewhere will like them, just not me.

Tasting notes of newly released wines

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17 February, 2018 – 2013 Madonna Nera Brunello di Montalcino Toscana  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Vinified in a traditional style (if not manner, i.e. no botti grandi), this vintage of Madonna Nera is a good success – already open, beautifully textured, with supporting structure, and good potential for further, positive development. 25 days of maceration on the skins, with the initial fermentation taking place in INOX. After, the wines are raised in older tonneau. This is medium>medium+ in body, with avg+ length, fine tannins and red-fruited in nature. Drink 2021-2038+. A lot to like here, and if you see it under $55, it’s easily recommended

 

17 February, 2018 – 2013 Martoccia di Brunelli Luca Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) A good success, this juicy, somewhat open-knit effort is also well-structured, shows good detail, and offers avg+ length. Macerations can often go for ~ 30 days here, with the wines being raised (mostly) in large Slavonian casks for 42 months – much longer than required; a small part of the production is raised in barrique, mostly of 2nd or more passage. Not the most traditional, but who really cares as this is fresh, and quite tasty. A good value, and one that is under the radar. Now thru 2038+. Bravo, Luca. Easily recommended+

 

17 February, 2018 – 2013 MastroJanni Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) A very fine effort, and one that will drink well in its youth, though the best should begin about 7-8 years from today (if you’re like me, and look for secondary and tertiary aspects). Red-fruited, structured, and elegant. No need for flowery prose, the wine speaks for itself and is very easily highly recommended in this vintage.

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for what it’s worth, I’d say this was the ‘average’ color for the 2013 Brunello wines. A good thing, in my opinion.

 

17 February, 2018 – 2013 Padelletti Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Small production, high-quality wine offering good detail and, at this stage, hidden nuances that only came forward after significant swirling. There’s an inner beauty here I’d like to get to know, but I’d bet it’ll take a good 4-5 years before it’s more open with its gifts. Traditional vinification, red-fruited, with very fine tannins and avg/avg+ length. On the pricey side of the equation, but based on what’s in the glass, it’s easily worth it. HOLD; drink 2023-2044. highly recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2016 Pian delle Querci Rosso di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) On the simple side of the equation, this was a bit spiritous at times (though that could have been bottle temp due to the room getting very, very full/warm). It’s a big rosso, with avg+ length, darker red fruits, round-ish tannins, and a splash of structure. Of course, at this type of event, who’s to say this wasn’t bottled just a few days ago and is not really in top form. That said, appears ready to drink; pretty luminous garnet>brick red. 14,0% abv., drink now thru 2023. Both their Brunello and Riserva were excellent, so perhaps this needs more time(?). recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2013 Pian delle Querci Brunello di Montalcino (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) 3 years in 50hl Slavonian casks, only. The color is more pale brick red than average, it’s very bright, clear and portends the lovely energy inside this traditionally-styled beauty. Really impressive structure on top of great typicity; LONG finish. Exciting. highly recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2012 Pian delle Querci Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Very pale brick red, odd, but in a welcome way, considering the vintage. This is BIG, yet remains elegant/lifted throughout, putting it in the top quartile of all Riserva wines tasted from this vintage. It’s both excellent and exciting, and something I need to source (only 2,000 bottles). Drink 2022-2045. highly recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2016 Pian Delle Vigne (Antinori) Rosso di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Medium-bodied, good energy, fresh and with the graceful lines the 2016 seems to be getting known for (at least to this taster). Med>med+ finish, red-fruited, with good purity. Likely a good value, certainly has the energy to pair well with a wide range of foods. May well benefit from 30 minutes of air prior to enjoying. Drink now thru 2025. recommended

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Even with the event, it’s a quiet time here in Montalcino.

 

19 February, 2018 – 2016 Piancornello Rosso di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Not offering much of a sense of place; slightly better sense of variety. Darker brick red>ruby, with sweet cherry skin, cherry juice, not much else, today. On the med.med+ palate, a touch of loam, dust, cherry, and good+ acidity. Medium body, with avg finish that satisfies though is short of thrilling, as many 2016 Rosso wines are today. 14,5% abv., drink 2018-2024. recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2013 Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Consistent with my tasting of three weeks ago, this larger-scaled/darker colored Brunello offers a good sense of place/grape. A touch heavy at times, it seems to recover nicely ultimately showing good tension. Not yet fully integrated, some warmth and heaviness weaved in and out, though those visits were short and acceptable. I think it just needs 1-2 more years in the bottle to show its goods. 15,0% abv. drink 2020-2035. Based on potential and value, it’s highly recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2012 Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) HUGE tannins, again the darker brick red>ruby color. The finish is muted, the fruit (at this stage) seems simple, though some additional swirling suggested there is potential for some improvement. 15,0% abv., drink 2022-2031. Not something I’d buy, but with enough cellar age, could see myself enjoying a glass.

 

19 February, 2018 – 2016 Podere Brizio Rosso di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Warm, ripe, international-leaning nose. Medium body, just enough acidity, though clearly falling short of the tension many of today’s 2016 Rosso are exhibiting. NR, not something I would drink or buy.

 

19 February, 2018 – 2013 Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Of their three wines being poured today, this was the only one I found interesting/good. Brick red>ruby, a touch international on the nose (e.g. compote, toffee), though with some good soil and varietal notes firmly in the background, too. It’s clean, balanced, with good purity. A good surprise. 14,0% abv., drink now thru 2034. recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2012 Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) The same color as the 2013 Brunello, a darker brick red>ruby. Opens with some loam, leather, followed by ripe red>dark red fruits. Medium>full body, avg acidity; missing the structure that would suggest this is anything other than a wine to be enjoyed in its youth. Short-ish finish with a puff of EtOH. 14,5% abv., drink now thru 2028. For the style, it’s recommended, but not something I’d buy for my own cellar.

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Matteo (Salvioni) and Gaetano, at Albatreti – buy all you can find!

 

17 February, 2018 – 2013 Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Very good. 100% for the first years in grandi botti di Slavonia, and after (if my notes are to be believed, this conversation was entirely in Italian, mind you), 40% in used/aged barrique. That said, the color is a striking, typical brick red with some tawny at the rim. And while it may look as if it’s got some age, the medium-bodied palate comes across as very traditional, and very fresh. With some air, the body adds a touch of weight; the length is already impressive. Solid, and highly recommended

 

17 February, 2018 – 2016 Podere La Vigna Rosso di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Fantastic, and something traditionalists will find very exciting. Lovely, bright pale brick red color, clear. Loam, iron, dust, soil, cherry, and a really nice, complex brown spice component. With six months in 60hl Slavonian casks, and a traditional maceration, some may call this austere, I find it beautiful, honest, and with a vibrancy of purity. Fruit bomb lovers, stay away. 13,5% abv., drink 2019 thru 2029. highly recommended

 

17 February, 2018 – 2012 Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Another exciting wine, this making it 3/3 for this address, today. The nose is just gorgeous, it sucks you in, entices the senses -immediately and fully. It’s got the same lovely color as the Brunello (whereas many Riserva are noticeably darker, especially from this vintage). Very good sense of place and grape; plenty of dusty, mineral-laden soil. There’s a lot of fruit here, though the wine is artfully balanced and comes across much lighter in weight notwithstanding an expansive mid-palate. On the last sip, some tangy citrus and red apple notes. A wow wine, for traditionalists, mostly. 14,5% abv. (fully resolved), drink 2019 thru 2038+ highly recommended

 

19 February, 2018 – 2015 Fattoria Poggio di Sotto Rosso di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Good>Very good, but not on par with the best of the 2016s being shown today; the 2016 will probably be released this time next year. Luminous brick red, striking and clear. It’s tightly packed, red-fruited, already long on the finish and medium-bodied, with a pure, developing flavor profile. Will need a few year before it’s ready to shine. 13,5% abv., drink 2020-2033. recommended

 

18 February, 2018 – 2013 Fattoria Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino  (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Excellent. Luminous, striking brick red color. This was opened just seconds before tasting, and yet…it’s stunning. Weightless, packed with precision, power and purity. This has it all, but most especially a brilliant future. If you’re lucky enough to get some (just 15k bottles), this will wow for decades to come; should be at peak around 2030, and beyond, but already quite satisfying. 13,5% abv., drink 2019-2045+ highly recommended

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(left) Riccardo Campinoti (Le Ragnaie) shares his wines with members of trade/press

 

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