Brunello di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva: 2018, 2017 and Other Recent Releases, Part 2

by Ian D’Agata

As mentioned in part 1 of this long article, I believe that the 2018 vintage offers better Brunellos than is commonly believed. Clearly, the wines are generally lighter-bodied than usual, and many are nothing more than very high-quality Rosso di Montalcino wines, but many of the 2018 Brunellos are in fact much more than that with some being downright stellar. The 2017 Riserva wines pay instead a price to the extremely hot vintage, with most being forward and ripe, but here too there are gems to be had. Clearly, you may not buy as much you normally would, but that does not mean the two vintages should be skipped over altogether. So read away and start your wine buying engines!

La Casaccia di Franceschi.

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Ian D'Agata

Editor-in-Chief of Terroir Sense Wine Review
President of Terroir Sense Academy
Vice President of Association Internationale des Terroirs
Chief Scientific Officer of TasteSpirit

Ian D’Agata has been writing and educating about wines for over thirty years. Internationally recognized as an distinguished expert, critic and writer on many wine regions, his two most recent, award winning books Native Wine Grapes of Italy and Italy's Native Wine Grape Terroirs (both published by University of California Press) are widely viewed as the "state of the art" textbooks on the subject. The former book won the Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year in 2015 and was ranked as the top wine books of the year for the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times and the New York Times, while the latter was named among the best wine books of the year by Food & Wine Magazine and the NY Times.

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6 comments
  • Superb review Ian, as usual. Montalcino has a special place in my heart, and my wine cellar! Agree that 2015 and 2016 are two amazing vintages. I have heard from a couple of the producers that 2019 might exceed both of them, and I’m interested in hearing your opinion based on the wines that you have been able to taste from that vintage.
    Grazie,
    John

    • I’d say 19 is very promising indeed. Might be hard to live up to 15 and 16 which are really almost unicorn vintahges, but 19 looks very exciting right now. It might even turn out to be better in Montalcino than in Barolo and Barbaresco.

Ian D'Agata