Benvenuto Brunello NY 2022

The Consortium of the Brunello di Montalcino was founded in 1967 and is an organization of large and small winemaking firms that keep an eye on quality control for the wines of the region. They also are active in promoting the wines of Montalcino both in Italy and abroad.

Brunello is produced in the same region of Italy, (Tuscany) as its famous cousin Chianti. Though the town of Montalcino is old, Brunello didn’t become the wine we know today until the mid 1800’s while Chianti as a wine has been around for centuries.

Most of the wines at this tasting were the non Riservas from the 2017 vintage since they just have been released this past January. Most were the regular Brunello with a handful of single vineyard wines from that vintage thrown in. There were also a few Riservas from other years as well.

This was a trade only event and was held at Midtown Loft & Terrace located at 267 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

I thought that most of the wines had elegant fruit but at this point the tannins are a little hard edged which is not surprising for these young wines. I would like to revisit them after a couple of more years in the bottle.

2017 Vintage

Campgiovani: Medium brick, pretty nose of violet, tar and graphite, silky bright fruit ending in firm tannins.

Camigiano: Medium brick, closed nose of plum, silky, earthy fruit ending with silky, firm tannins.

Capanna: Clear medium brick with an amber rim, Asian spices on the nose, bright red leather fruit notes ending with crisp acids.

Carpazo “Vigna La Casa”: Clear medium red, closed nose, bright red fruit ending with firm, teeth coating tannins at the end.

Factoria dei Barbi “Vigna del Fiore”: Clear medium red sweet nose of red leather and tar, dusty red fruit with firm tannins.

Il Poggione: Medium to light red, slate and leather on the nose, crushed red fruit with tight tannins and some tart notes on the finish.

La Fiorita: Medium brick, red leather on the nose, silky fruit with teeth coating tannins.

Palazzo: Clear medium red, perfume of tar and cinamon spice, silky red fruit with some earth notes and firm tannins.

Pian Delle Vigne: Clear medium brick with an amber rim, closed nose of crushed raspberry, chewy fruit with fresh herbs on the finish with a nice balance.

Pinino: Medium brick in color, burnt bacon on the nose, cherry red fruit, drinking nicely.

San Polo “Vignavecchia”: Clear medium red, brick rim, funky earth on the nose, chewy dark chocolate fruit with silky tannins.

Tenuta Fanti “Vallocchio”: Medium red, ripe fruit notes on the nose, chewy and ending tannic.

Tenute Silvano Nardi: Opaque medium red, bright red berries and bacon fat on the nose, silky red fruit ending with firm tannins.

Val Di Suga: Light brick, crushed rocks on the nose, silky, earthy with crunchy tannins, nice balance with a touch of heat at the end.

Verbena “Le Pope”: Medium to dark red, pretty nose of graphite, tar and dark chocolate, dark red fruit with tart cherry notes on the firm finish.

Other Vintages:

2015 Col D’Orca Riserva “Poggio Al Vento”: Clear medium brick, perfume of violets and roast meat, silky, earth notes on the fruit and balanced tannins.

2016 Col D’Orca “Vigna Nastagio”: Clear medium red, tar, graphite and some barnyard on the nose, chewy with crunchy tannins.

2016 Corte Pavone Riserva “Poggio Molino Al Vento”: Clear medium red, tar, black cherry and dark chocolate on the nose, dense, silky red fruit with firm acids and a long finish.

2015 La Rasina Riserva “Il Divasco”: Medium red brick, nice perfume of sweet tar and roasted nuts, silky fruit with toasted notes ending with firm tannins.

Brunello Camp Eataly

During the last week of January, Eataly Flatiron held Brunello Camp which were a series of Brunello themed events. On Thursday January 28th I attended their walk-around tasting of Brunello wines. Eataly Flatiron is located at 200 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Brunello is a red wine produced in the Piedmont region of Italy along with its famous cousin Chianti though Brunello came into being much later, courtesy of Clemente Santi in the mid 1800’s. The differences between the two is that for Brunello, it must be 100% exclusively from the Sangiovese Grosso variety which is a large berry form of Sangiovese and the aging requirements. Regular Brunello must be aged for five years before release while the Riservas for six years. In the meantime, to have some income flowing into the wineries, they produce a younger version of their Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino which are available after one year of aging.

It was a snowy evening this Thursday, a perfect time to spend indoors drinking wine. The event was open to the consumer and featured over 50 wines. Most were from the 2016’s and 2017’s vintages which were back to back blockbuster vintages. There were also a few older vintages poured. There was a table in the seperate wine shop that poured a handful of extra older wines (20+years).

Most of the wine tastings have been held at Eataly dowtown and this was the Flatiron stores first wine event in a couple of years. I don’t think that they weren’t expecting the size of the crowd that showed up as we were jammed into a space literally cheek to cheek at the tasting tables. Still, I didn’t have to wait too long for a pour and Management promised to use a larger space next time around.

Coming from a couple of great vintages there were some very nice, elegant wines with good acidity being poured. The only disappointment I had that evening was at the table in the wine shop. Brunella has a reputation as age worthy wines, but I found most of them tasting old.

Some of the producers I sampled:

2004 Tenuta Frigiali2012 Fuligni
2013 Il Palazzone2013 Lisini
2014 Il Paradiso2012 Barbi
2015 Podere Le Ripi “Amore Magia”2015 Le Ragnaie
2016 Col d’Orca2015 Vigna Nastagio
2016 Fanti2017 Argiano
2016 Campogio Vanni2016 Collemattoni
2016 Mastrojanni2016 Castel Giocondo
2016 Pietrosso2016 Antinori Pian delle Vigne
2016 Ferrero2016 Barbi
2015 La Togata2016 Poggia Cerrino
2016 San Polino2016 Molino di Sant Antimo
2016 Collemattioni2015 Fuligni

Finally Brunello 2021

The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino is hosting Brunello week June 14-20. The theme is “Finally Brunello, The destiny of every bottle of Brunello di Montalcino is to wait for years”.

That refers to the fact that for Brunello’s according to the DOCG laws, the wines cannot be released for a minimum of 4 years for the regular bottling and 5 years for the Riserva. That means the wines from the outstanding 2016 vintage have recently been coming to the US market. And I suppose the “finally” was for the fact that they can begin having live tastings again.

For the Brunello week that means 40 restaurants and 2 clubs will be featuring special menus paired with wines from any of the 56 wineries that are participating in the Brunello week.

Prior to that week they hosted several webinars and events. On June 9th I was able to attend the Brunello Week Press Release Luncheon where we were served six wines from Montalcino paired with a three course lunch.

That lunch was held at Il Fiorista restaurant at 17 West 26th Street in Manhattan. This has to be one of the most unique restaurants in the City. Il Fiorista which means “The Florist” in English has a Florist theme with many plants and plant products that are on sale in the restaurant. They also use various locally sourced edible plants in their cooking. The lunch was excellent and went well with the wines that were served with them.

Four Rosso di Montalcino and two Brunello’s were served.

The Menu

Tagliatelli

Sun-gold tomatoes, tarragon, flowering arugula

Pork Belly

Cherry, farro, basil blosssoms

Sorbet

Blackberry, lap sang su chang (smoke-dried black tea)

The Wines

2016 Poggio Antica Brunello di Montalcino: Opaque dark red, closed nose at first then opened up with floral wood, petroleum and dark fruit notes, silky and juicy black leather fruit with bitter cherry on the finish.

2016 Cortenesi “La Mannella” Brunello di Montalcino: Opaque dark brick with floral green herbs and black leather on the nose, silky dark fruit and red licorice ending with silky tannins with excellent balance.

2019 Argiano Rosso di Montalcino: Dark purple with dusty, crushed red fruit on the nose, dusty tannins, black licorice and bitter cherry on the finish.

2019 Talenti Rosso di Montalcino: Opaque dark red, dusty crushed black fruit, green herbs on the nose, juicy red leather fruit, bitter cherry with a silky finish.

2019 Cortenesi “La Mannella” Rosso di Montalcino: Dark purple in color, tar, damp earth and floral violets on the nose with juicy red leather fruit and black licorice notes on the finish.

2019 Patrizia Cencioni Rosso di Montalcino: Clear medium red with tar and dried herbs on the nose, tight with crisp acids, a little unbalanced.