A bit of a garnet rim here. Fresher and juicier than expected, with rich, luscious peppery, red berry and underbrush flavours. Intense berry fruit flavours and aromatic, spicy notes. Poised and long. Drink 2016-2026.
Fully ripe and smoky on the nose, with sweet plum and aniseed. Big and broad in the mouth, with liquorice and woodsmoke notes engraving juicy blackberry fruit. Harmonious, long and impressive. Drink 2020 - 2028.
Only made in superior years such as 2015, Pianrosso is always crafted from a selection of the estate's oldest vines and is aged in wood for one year longer than the regular Brunello. Like the latter, the Pianrosso is dominated by mature nuances. Nevertheless, the heady bouquet of Indian spice, melted vanilla and sun dried sage is intriguing. Rather soft, yielding tannins and ripe fruit make for a round, easygoing mouthfeel. Latent sapidity injects vibrancy but I would still drink this in the near term. Drinking Window 2020 – 2027
The Ciacci Piccolomini estate was a (very generous) bequest from the Countess Elda Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona to Giuseppe Bianchini, who steadfastly managed this 200ha property for years. Since Bianchini's passing in 2004, his children Paolo and Lucia have carried on his stewardship. Both the brick-garnet hue and aromas of potpourri, beef stock and tobacco are rather advanced. While this doesn't lack for tannins on the palate, they are at odds with the soft, developed fruit. The result of a warm site in a warm vintage?
Drinking Window 2020 – 2024
Ciacci Piccolomini’s 12ha flagship vineyard, Pianrosso sits above the Orcia river between 240 and 360 metres. It is consistently caressed by sea breezes which surface in the afternoon. The lavish warmth of this southern zone is palpable in the heady 15% alcohol and soft, laidback acidity. Nevertheless, there is focus and liveliness. Orange blossom and persimmon aromas lead to flavours of toothsome red plum and an attractive lingering bergamot finish. While immediate and accessible with mellow tannins, there is enough substance to carry this 2017 for another five years. Drinking Window 2022 – 2027. - Michaela Morris.
From the estate’s Pianrosso vineyard in the Castelnuovo dell’Abate area, Santa Caterina d’Oro bears the imprint of Montalcino’s south. The spiced, floral potpourri is tangled with sunbaked terracotta scents. This is a substantial, hefty wine with lots of extract and a profusion of fleshy red plum and prune. The tannins are very suave, while sandy earthiness lurks in the background and a salty tang comes through on the finish. Ageing is in Slavonian oak barrels of 7.5 to 30 hectolitres in size. Drinking Window 2022 – 2031. - Michaela Morris.
Shows a ripe cherry flavor melted with hints of blood orange, supported by firm sticky tannins and crisp acidity.
Veste rubino con striature granato. Naso elegante che apre su toni di terra battuta e mineralità ferrosa, per poi virare verso dolci sensazioni di frutta matura e liquirizia, accenti di peperoncino e geranio. Al gusto rappresenta una sintesi perfetta tra muscolarità ed eleganza, coniugando sapidità e calore alcolico; persistente la chiusura in cui le sensazioni piccanti si alternano alle dolci note fruttate. Botte grande.
Granato trasparente. Profilo aromatico ampio e coinvolgente, con dolci sensazioni di gelatina di ribes, caramella al lampone, tisana ai frutti di bosco, cioccolato al latte, cenni di noce di cola, chinotto, tabacco da pipa, origano disidratato, il tutto incorniciato da un’eco di eucalipto, china e grafite. In bocca sfoggia eleganza, delicata sapidità, tannino setoso, freschezza e persistenti ritorni fruttati e mentolati, ben glossati da un’idea di spezie piccanti. Oltre tre anni in botti di rovere di Slavonia tra i 7,5 e i 62 hl.
Manto granato. Impatto di felce, humus, terra bagnata, corteccia di china, pot-pourri, accenni di anguria, tabacco, scatola da sigari, liquirizia, delicati refoli di canfora, ghisa e spezie in sottofondo. Identità gustativa segnata da un importante morso tannico e da una solida spina dorsale fresco-sapida; persistenti ritorni in cui si alternano balsamicità, sensazioni agrumate e una delicata vena liquiriziosa. Oltre due anni in botte grande (20-75 hl).
Granato con pennellate rubino. Lo spettro olfattivo evoca quello di un vero e proprio Brunello, con richiami di confettura di prugna, terra battuta, sensazioni ferrose, toni boschivi, petali di rosa in appassimento, accenni agrumati, di tamarindo, tabacco e una spolverata di cannella e noce moscata. L’assaggio è pieno, avvolgente, con tannino e alcol perfettamente integrati, ritorni sapidi e persistente chiusura balsamica. Botti di rovere di Slavonia da 7,5 fino a 25 hl.
Rubino luminoso con accenni granato. Naso solare, giocato su tutte le declinazioni della macchia mediterranea: ginepro, mirto, alloro, lentisco, lavanda, piccoli frutti di bosco rossi, iris, sbuffi salmastri, spezie dolci e pepe rosa. Sorso dinamico, sapido, con una progressione gustativa elegante e perfettamente coerente con l’olfatto. Botte di rovere di Slavonia da 20-75 hl.
"Lots of ripe fruit and milk chocolate in this wine. Full-bodied and loaded with fruit and soft tannins. Very fresh, yet round and caressing. Serious new-wave Brunello. Drink now through 2008. 330 cases made. " - B.S.
"Dark ruby. Youthful aromas of blackberry, cherry and mineral, with a hint of flowers. Full-bodied, with superfine tannins and a long, long finish. I love the berry, leather and floral flavors.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Drink now through 2017. 550 cases made." - B.S.
"Fabulous aromas of cherry, fresh rose, blackberry and tar, with hints of raisin. Full-bodied, with wonderfully polished tannins. Ultrarefined. This is the greatest wine ever from this producer. Best after 2011. 750 cases made." -B.S.
"Raisin and dried fruitcake aromas follow through to a full body, with soft, velvety tannins. This is big and juicy, with plenty of fruit and attractive tannins. There's plenty of new wood as well. But it all comes together beautifully. Best after 2011. 1,000 case made. " -B.S.
"A wellspring of tobacco, underbrush, tea and mineral notes more than fruit at this point, this red acquiesces to its formidable structure now, yet it's built for the long haul. There's sweet fruit and intensity that should emerge over time. Best from 2015 through 2035. 830 cases made." -B.S.
"Brilliant strawberry and raspberry fruit up front is matched by burly tannins on the finish, but the long and harmonious finish shows the potential of this red. Silky and detailed, with tobacco, spice and a hint of balsamic lingering on the aftertaste. Best from 2015 through 2030. 1,660 cases made." - B.S.
"A racy style, with a firm structure buoyed by cherry, leather, mineral and woodsy notes. Firm but poised, presenting terrific energy and cut. Best from 2018 trough 2035." - B.S.
"Fabulous, traditional Brunello di Montalcino offering great color and masses of mint, berry, mineral and nut aromas and flavors. Full in body and tannins, huge. Needs time. Best after 1999." -B.S.
"Delicate and traditional, with floral, berry and leather aromas and flavors. Medium in body, with medium tannins and a light, crisp finish. Drink now. 1,250 cases made." - B.S.
"Very aromatic wine, with dried berries and cherries throughout. Medium- to full-bodied, with very soft, round tannins and a long, long finish. An absolute joy to drink. Drink now. 800 cases made." - B.S.
"Papery, with plum, leaf and herb aromas. Medium-bodied, with medium tannins and a short finish. Drink now. 1,900 cases made." -B.S.
"Very dark ruby-garnet. Intense aromas of ripe fruit, fresh porcini and toasty oak. Full-bodied, with fabulous texture of velvety and complex fruit character. Incredibly long. I have always loved this wine. I like it better than the riserva in 1997.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Drink now through 2017. 2,500 cases made." - B.S.
"Wild berry, cherry and floral aromas to this Brunello. Full-bodied, with big, silky tannins and loads of exciting fruit. Lively, yet refined. These wines are a joy to taste. Giuseppe Bianchini is a master in the vineyards. Best after 2004. 3,900 cases made." - B.S.
"Very tight and firm, with hints of fresh flowers, berries and fresh meat. Full-bodied, chewy and silky, with hints of mineral and fruit. Long finish. This is a wine that needs bottle age. Strangely, I like the 1998 better and, of course, the 1997. Best after 2006. 4,100 cases made." - B.S.
"Impressive. Lots of jam on the nose, with hints of tobacco. Full-bodied, round and soft, with lots of fruit. Thick and generous. Very well done. Best after 2006. 3,900 cases made." - B.S.
"This is gorgeous with seductive cedar, tobacco, berry and Indian spices on the nose. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a tobacco, coffee and berry aftertaste. Refined. Best after 2007. 4,000 cases made."- B.S.
"A full-bodied red, showing aromas and flavors of dried cherry, vanilla and mild spice, with a meaty note. Full, firm and flavorful. Tight and very concentrated now, but should expand with time. Best after 2010. 2,916 cases made." -B.S.
"Very fruity aromas of raspberry, plum and fresh flowers lead to a full-bodied palate, with round, soft tannins and lots of juicy, delicious fruit. Very attractive. Hard not to drink it now. Best from 2010 through 2015. 4,400 cases made." - B.S
"Silky and elegant, offering cherry, raspberry, currant and violet aromas and flavors. Detailed and firmly structured, with refined tannins and a lingering aftertaste of red fruits. A Brunello of finesse and harmony. Best from 2012 through 2028. 2,900 cases made." - B.S
"A mix of cherry, strawberry, earth, iron and dried beef aromas and flavors make this complex in a lighter style. Balanced between the fruit, moderate acidity and tannins. Very elegant. Best from 2014 through 2028. 2,900 cases made." - B.S.
"Graphite and cedar aromas lead off in this cherry-, strawberry- and licorice-flavored red. This is firm, with quiet intensity and a dense, spice-infused finish. Best from 2015 through 2030. 2,900 cases made. " - B.S.
"Rich, with cherry and strawberry notes, tinged by leather, bitter almond and tobacco flavors. Firm and angular, presenting a long, iron- and tea-accented finish. Turns more supple with air, but remains solidly built for the long haul. Best from 2019 through 2033. 2,916 cases made." - B.S.
"Shows mineral and berry character, with hints of blackberry and dried herbs. Medium-bodied, with a firm yet silky texture. One of the best of the vintage. Drink now. 3,300 cases made. " - B.S.
"Offers black cherry and light spice, with some vanilla. Full bodied, with fresh, clean fruit and a silky finish. Balanced and pretty, with a caressing texture. Best after 2010. 3,750 cases made."- B.S.
"Very attractive plum aromas, with hints of dried flowers and cedar, follow through to a medium-to-full body, with fine tannins and a clean, fresh finish. A lovely wine for early drinking. Drink now. 3,850 cases made." -B.S.
Prune, tar and dried spices on the nose follow through to a medium-to-full body, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Outstanding for the vintage. Needs a little bottle age to soften. Best after 2012. 3,250 cases made.
"A seductive style, featuring fragrant floral, raspberry, tobacco and mineral aromas and flavors. Firm tannins sweep in on the finish, which is tight and unyielding now. It's all there, just needs time. Best from 2013 through 2025. 3,750 cases made." - B.S.
"Though dense and rich, this red is also sleekly proportioned and harmonious. The cherry, raspberry, licorice, earth and tobacco flavors meld with the solid structure. Offers fine length and complexity that increases with aeration. Best from 2014 through 2025. 3,750 cases made." -B.S.
"A floral- and red berry-scented version, with delicate flavors of strawberry and currant. Reticent now, featuring bright acidity and a slightly dry ending. Best from 2016 through 2027. 3,750 cases made." -B.S.
"A nose of ripe cherry, strawberry and floral aromas introduces this juicy, firmly tannic red. More expressive on the palate, staying balanced and long despite the tight finish. Best from 2016 through 2030. 4,580 cases made." - B.S.
"Tight and sinewy, with eucalyptus, cherry, spice and tobacco flavors. The tannins lock this down for now, but the energy and balance persist, showing fine length. Best from 2018 through 2032. 4,166 cases made." - B.S.
"Cherry, leather, wild herb and underbrush flavors highlight this juicy red. On the lean side, but the vibrant acidity keeps this focused and fresh, extending the woodsy spice and tobacco elements on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2025. 5,850 cases made." –B.S.
"As tannic as many Brunellos, but offering distinct raspberry and cherry aromas and flavors balanced with a touch of oak. A bit shy on flavor for so much tannin, but it may be worth waiting until 1993 to '95 to see what develops."-B.S.
"A Rosso with a little more to it than most. Cherry and milk chocolate flavors, medium body and avelvety finish."- B.S.
"A Rosso with a little more to it than most. Cherry and milk chocolate flavors, medium body and avelvety finish." - B.S.
"Berry, mineral and vanilla aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with firm young tannins and a minerally finish. Drink now. 3,300 cases made." - B.S.
"A fruity, medium-bodied red, with plum and tobacco character. Easygoing on the palate, with a hint of chocolate on the finish. Long and beautiful. Drink now. 3,300 cases made." - B.S.
"A bit austere but some pleasant berry and cherry character, with a hint of cedar. Drink now. 3,300 cases made." B.S.
"A fresh young red, with plum and cherry on a well-balanced, medium body, with lots of flavor and a long, easygoing finish. Enjoyable. Drink now. 3,250 cases made." - B.S.
"Displays dried cherry and cedar on a medium palate, with a lightly spicy finish. Drink now. 4,100 cases made." - B.S.
"This rich, round red features an herbal cast to its cherry, rhubarb and tobacco notes. Medium-weight, with a firm finish. Best from 2012 through 2014. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 3,150 cases made." - B.S.
"Features plenty of iron, sanguine and herbal aromas and flavors, surrounding a core of strawberry notes. Bright and intense, with a firm finish. Best from 2012 through 2014. 3,150 cases made. " - B.S
"Chocolate and spice notes trump the cherry and plum fruit in this broad red. Clamps down on the finish. Awkward. 3,300 cases made." -B.S.
"A rich style, with cherry and plum flavors set against a vibrant structure. The dense tannins emerge on the moderately long finish. Drink now through 2021. 3,300 cases made." -B.S.
"Aromas of lettuce and berries. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a medium, austere finish. A bit rough now, but should improve with bottle age. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best after 2002. 2,370 cases made." -B.S.
"Attractive blackberry and cherry aromas, with a hint of tarragon. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a silky aftertaste. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best after 2002. 3,200 cases made." -B.S.
"Ripe red fruit, with hints of dried herb and vanilla on the nose. Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a fruity finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now. 3,200 cases made." -B.S.
"Loads of black licorice and berry on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with lots of chewy tannins and a long, rich finish. Serious. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet. Best after 2005. 2,300 cases made." -B.S.
"A pretty wine with cherry, meat and hints of spices. Medium- to full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long, fresh finish. A well-made, caressing 2002. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2006 through 2009. 1,000 cases made." -B.S.
"Bubbling over with blackberry, coffee and light hints of oak. Medium- to full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a medium finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best after 2007. 1,080 cases made." -B.S.
"Rich and jammy, with a slight stewed fruit character. Full and round. A bit one-dimensional, but likable. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best after 2009. 1,080 cases made." -B.S.
"Blackberry and licorice aromas follow through to a medium body, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best after 2010. 1,080 cases made." -B.S.
"Berry and green tobacco aromas follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a light coffee and berry finish. Little short, but delicious. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. Best after 2010. 550 cases made." -B.S.
"Bright cherry, raspberry and tomato leaf flavors pick up light spice accents in this version, finishing with dusty tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2018. 1,500 cases made." -B.S.
"Lovely aromas of chocolate, game and blackberries. Medium- to full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a chewy finish. Needs bottle age. Cool, new wine. Syrah. Best after 2002. 550 cases made." -B.S.
"Smoky, ripe and rich, with plenty of berry and meaty aromas. Full-bodied Syrah, soft and caressing, with lovely fruit and subtle yet interesting character. Best after 2002. 700 cases made." -B.S.
"Very pretty, with blackberry, spice and light meat aromas. Full-bodied, with a thick and rich palate, yet soft and round. Really delicious Syrah. Ciacci always makes excellent reds. Best from 2004 through 2009. 690 cases made." -B.S.
"Ripe, fruity wine with soft and silky tannins and plenty of cedar and berry character. Turns to coffee and tobacco on the finish. Good shot of new wood. Best after 2004. 550 cases made." -B.S.
"Interesting meaty, spicy berry character in this wine. Full-bodied, with round and caressing tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Subtle for a Syrah. Drink now. 650 cases made." -B.S.
"Subtle aromas of blackberry, chocolate and cherry follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with soft tannins and a fruity, spicy aftertaste. Syrah. Best after 2007. 650 cases made." -B.S.
"Big, juicy and caressing, with loads of ripe fruit, plum and blackberry character. Full, long and delicious. Hard not to drink now. Syrah. Best after 2009. 660 cases made." -B.S.
"Medium- to full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a mineral, slightly cedar undertone. Chewy. Slightly one-dimensional. Needs some bottle age to develop and open. Syrah. Best after 2010. 665 cases made." -B.S.
"Plum and cherry aromas and flavors, with a full body and silky tannins. A little too much wood showing at the moment, dulling the fruit, but attractive all the same. Syrah. Best after 2010. 660 cases made. " -B.S.
"A wine that shows lots of raisin fruit, with meat and mahogany character. You can really see the influence of the hot growing season. Round and ripe, with fruit-coated tannins. Best after 2011. 550 cases made. " -B.S.
"Laced with cherry, strawberry and licorice flavors, this red is compact and almost chewy in texture, with a bright structure and a long, tobacco-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. 650 cases made." -B.S.
Wow. Very, very rich, with blackberry, grilled meat and fresh porcini character. Full-bodied, with thick yet refined and silky tannins and a long, long finish. A real beauty. Wonderful. Best after 2005. 750 cases made.
"Fabulous, traditional Brunello di Montalcino offering great color and masses of mint, berry, mineral and nut aromas and flavors. Full in body and tannins, huge. Needs time. Best after 1999."
This red balances juicy cherry and plum fruit, tobacco and leather accents, and firm yet pliable tannins. As a result, this is vibrant and long, with earth and iron elements emerging on the aftertaste. Best from 2020 through 2033.
A tight, leafy, balsamic style, delivering strawberry, cherry, underbrush, wild sage, tobacco and iron flavors.Though tannic, this is more fluid than its peers, with a lingering aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2033.
A harmonious style, whose graceful frame is enhanced by strawberry, cherry, graphite and tobacco flavors. Intense and long, with plenty of energy on the finish. Drink now through 2023.
Exuding cherry, strawberry, floral and tobacco aromas and flavors, this effusive, fruity style is bright and elegant, with terrific harmony and a long, mouthwatering finish that leaves a mineral impression. Very compelling. Best from 2020 through 2036. 3,500 cases made. – B.S.
Elegant, evoking cherry, strawberry, cigar box and graphite flavors matched to a firm structure. Shows fine balance and expression. Best from 2021 through 2033. - B.S.
Cherry, loam, tomato leaf and earth flavors highlight this fluid red. Balanced and moderately long. Drink now. 3,300 cases made. –BS
This red hints at plum, raspberry and fruitcake flavors, reminiscent of a light-weight Châteauneuf-du-Pape, complete with dusty tannins. The profile is leaner, however, and the tannins are assertive. Best from 2021 through 2032. 3,333 cases made, 1,750 cases imported.–BS
Enticing, with warm, savory notes of cardamom, cinnamon and tobacco adding depth to the plum and mulled cherry flavors. Leather and iron accents emerge on the finish. Best from 2021 through 2036.–BS
Black cherry, blackberry and blueberry flavors mark this saturated red. Beefy tannins offer support and all the components are in the right place. Stays fresh and long on the finish, with lingering accents of fruit, mineral and tobacco. Best from 2023 through 2043. — BS
Distinctly salty, this red features cherry, strawberry, juniper, thyme and tobacco flavors. Tightly wound and energetic, with fine balance and a lingering, resonant aftertaste. Complex and built to age. Best from 2023 through 2042. — BS
There’s a bright edge to this red, harnessing the cherry, strawberry, rosehip, mineral and tobacco flavors that build on the palate to a long finish. Displays terrific energy and balance, with an aftertaste that echoes both fruit and savory elements. Best from 2024 through 2050. 833 cases made, 450 cases imported. — BS
Cherry, iron, sanguine and black tea flavors highlight this sinewy red. Vibrant and solidly built, shows assertive tannins lining the finish. Has enough ripe fruit to offset the structure, and the aftertaste persists, with fruit, iron and underbrush accents. Best from 2024 through 2045. 2,833 cases made, 900 cases imported. — BS
Light on its feet, this red evokes strawberry, cherry, earth, menthol and Tuscan scrub flavors. Shows a firm underlying structure, with a fresh and focused finish. Best from 2023 through 2042. 3,333 cases made, 1,000 cases imported. — BS
Both fluid and concentrated at once, this exudes cherry, black currant, violet and mineral aromas and flavors. Saturated with ripe fruit, this has beautifully integrated acidity and tannins, with a racy profile that drives the superlong finish. The tannins flex their muscles at the end yet remain refined. Best from 2024 through 2042. 915 cases made, 400 cases imported. — BS
Rich and lively, exuding cherry, plum and blackberry fruit, with accents of earth and underbrush. Harmonious and accessible now, with fine length and a lingering, mineral-tinged finish. Best from 2024 through 2040. 5,750 cases made, 1,050 cases imported. — BS
This red combines cherry and raspberry flavors with vibrant acidity and a solid backbone of tannins. As a result, there is more punch here, lingering on the extensive finish. Drink now through 2027. 500 cases made. — BS
This red exhibits sappy, concentrated flavors of cherry, currant, plum, tobacco and soy. Shows intensity midpalate, persisting on the firm, chalky finish. Best from 2025 through 2040. 3,093 cases made, 1,000 cases imported. — BS
"Aromas of plums, fresh mushrooms and violets. Fullbody, firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Beautiful balance and lenght. Powerfull tannins underneath the exquisite fruit. Great finish. Goes on for minutes. Drink or hold."
N°14 in MY TOP 100 WINES
"A solid red, with silky tannins and mineral, berry and lightly toasted oak. Full and rich. Lovely now, but better in 2012."
"Lots of fresh mushroom, with dark fruits on the nose. Full body, with silky tannins and a juicy finish. Balanced and attractive. Slightly chewy now. Better in 2015."
"Irony mineral nose with notes of coffee and juniper. Full and quite broad on palate with slightly rustic tannins. Some potential but needs time to find its harmony. Better in 2014."
"Irony mineral nose with notes of coffee and juniper. Full and quite broad on palate with slightly rustic tannins. Some potential but needs time to find its harmony. Better in 2014."
"This is savory and fruity with a full body of fruit and spicy, dried-berry and fig character. Round-textured, with lightly chewy tannins. A year of bottle age will improve it even more: try in 2015."
"Very perfumed with flower, truffle, light wet earth and cherry character. Full body and full integrated ripe tannins and caresses your palate. Very fine and pretty. Slight soya undertone. Succulent and enticing. You want to drink this. Better in 2016."
"This is a very rich Sangiovese on the nose with dried black cherries and strawberries. Lots of dark chocolate too. Loads of black chocolate cake and dried coffee cake character. Full and very powerful. Lots of ripe tannins. Goes on for minutes. Better in 2014."
"Complex aromas of red fruits, flowers and fresh mushrooms follow through to a full body, with ultra-fine tannins and intense fruit and bright acidity. Goes on for a long, long time. So juicy and fruity. Hints of bitter lemon rind. Give this two or three years more of bottle age."
"Aromas of dried cherries and plums with hints of flowers follow through to a full body with velvety tannins and a juicy, meaty, fruity aftertaste. Turns to chocolate powder as well. Drink or hold."
"Aromas of lilac, dark berry and sandalwood follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and an intense and savory finish. Very intense and very long. Succulent. Amazing balance and depth to this red. It's so beautiful to taste now but it will be much better in five to ten years. A triumph."
"Aromas of blackberries, cherries, fresh roses and tar. Ripe fruit. Full body and amazingly polished tannins. Caressing mouthfeel. Super refined."
"Dried fruits and hints of raisins on the nose. Full and softly textured. Plenty of fruit and spice. Lovely now. Will improve."
"Lovely aromas of dark fruit with blackberries, flowers and hints of cloves. Full body, with chewy and velvety tannins that are polished and pretty. Long and juicy. Powerful wine. Very creamy texture. Glorious red. Drink now or hold "
"A red with sliced meat, dark chocolate, berry and spice. Full body, silky tannins and a tangy finish. A harmonious and beautiful wine. This is so layered and fabulous. So wonderful. These riserva Brunellos from Ciacci are always phenomenal. Drink now."
"Aromas of dried fruits with hints of smoked meat and walnuts. Full body, with loads of fruit and a juicy, velvety palate. Intense finish. This is a pure Syrah with beautiful richness and texture. Drink or hold."
"Lots of berry, with hints of lightly toasted oak and violets. Full body, with velvety tannins and juicy, delicious. Another year will soften the tannins slightly. But so good to drink now."
Another reserved and fruity Rosso di Montalcino with beautiful cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, fine tannins and a crisp finish.Drink now.
Layers of animal, fresh wild strawberry with skin of dry cinnamon and lime on nose. Savory, sweet and grilled peach with layer of nutty, wood character. Drink now or better in 2016.
A fresh, vibrant rosso from this vintage with strawberry and cedar aromas and flavors. Medium body, bright acidity and a clean finish. Savory. Drink now.
Serious Rosso with depth and structure. Medium to light body, silky tannins and a plum and cedar aftertaste. Drink now.
Lots of watermelon, berry and spice character to this light-bodied red. Hints of citrus fruit too. Drink now.
This is all about finesse and beauty with such great length and polish. It literally melts in your mouth. Full-bodied yet agile and vivid. So many undertones of cedar, berries, cream and light toffee. Fabulous. Contender for the wine of the vintage.
Wow. I love the texture and beauty of this young Brunello. Medium to full body with a dense and tightly compacted palate. Dried cherry light cedar and chocolate. It goes on for minutes. Gorgeous now. Excellent acid fruit balance, but will improve with age.
The aromas of wet earth, sliced mushroom and blueberry are very pretty. Full body, firm tannins. Structured and firm. Excellent. One of the wines of the vintage. Drink now or hold.
A wealth of coffee and spice aromas with ripe fruit. Full body and round tannins. Delicious and rich. Flavorful finish. Opulent style. Drink or hold.
Aromas of light coffee, plum and cherry follow through to a full body with a wealth of dried fruit and hints of figs. Drink or hold.
Some glossy oak warmth across the ripe red cherry and raspberry aromas on the nose. With walnuts, blonde tobacco, sweet brown spices and earthy nuances too. The palate has a level of power and energy that really sets it apart. Shows a very succulent and vibrant core of red fruits and light earthy notes through the finish. Great balance here. Try from 2022.
There’s a handy array of quite ripe red-berry and cherry aromas here that lead to a palate that has attractive red cherries with soft, earthy nuances and fine, chalky tannins. Drink now.
Orange peel, citrus, raspberries and wild strawberries. Medium body, fine and grainy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now.
A spicy Rosso di Montalcino that shows more glazed cherries and rose petals than most, as well as some delicious cinnamon and spices. Medium body, fine but hearty tannins and a medium-chewy finish. If only more wines from this category were as good as this! Drink now.
Extremely perfumed and decadent with dried flowers and spices and fresh mushrooms. Cherries, too. Full body. Solid core of fruit, yet ever so fine tannins. Goes on for minutes. Such beautifully crafted tannins. Drink after 2021.
Lots of ripe and rich fruit with a decadent undertone of meat and spice that turns to pure fruit and licorice. Medium to full body, refined tannins and a fresh and bright finish. All about harmony. Better after 2021.
A juicy, fruity red with pleasing plum and chocolate character and hints of orange peel. Medium body and light tannins that are soft and succulent. Drink now.
The opulence of fruit and complexity of earth, meat, mushroom and cedar is breathtaking. It’s full-bodied, deep and powerful with so much intensity and depth. Chewy and layered, it goes on for minutes. Give it even more time. Try after 2023.
Lots going on here with black plums, ripe cherries, cedar, smoke and cocoa on the nose. Ash, chocolate, crushed walnuts and some praline. Mushrooms. This has firm, ripe tannins and a full body. Flavorful and juicy finish. Very structured. Drink after 2025.
Lots of red and blue fruit to this, evolving into wet leaves, freshly turned soil and brewed tea. Light herbal notes. Sweet cherries, too. It's full bodied with silky, firm tannins. More minerality and tea notes on the finish. Elegant and driven. Drink after 2023.
Glorious aromas of flowers, nutmeg, dark berries, earth and black cherries follow through to a full body with ultra-fine tannins that are long and extremely polished. They go on for minutes. Reserved and shy still, due to its excellence. Give this four or five years to come around. Try after 2024.
This is a beautifully crafted and polished Brunello for this vintage, with full body and creamy, lightly chewy tannins. Dark berries, walnuts and cedar with dried-flower undertones. Needs time to soften, but very pretty. Drink after 2024.
Aromas of cedar, berry, mushroom and burnt orange follow through to a full body with medium, chewy tannins and a fluid, flavorful finish. Not overdone. Drink after 2023.
Sweet cherry and floral character with some orange-peel undertones. Light-to medium-bodied with firm tannins and a persistent, focused finish. Drink now.
A medium-bodied red with crushed-berry and chocolate character. Some spices and bark, too. Lots of structure and flavor. This is more like a Brunello! Drink or hold.
This is so complex, with lifting citrus and herb undertones to the blue and red berry fruit. Thyme, sage and lavender, with mocha and clove, too. Full-bodied, full of depth and intensity, with firm yet seamless tannins. Evolves to espresso. Balanced, powerful and very long. Try after 2025.
Roasted herbs, walnuts, olives, dried cherries and balsamic on the nose with a touch of leather and sage. It’s full-bodied with firm, finely-knit tannins. Creamy and so well integrated with depth and class. Try after 2024.
Bright red. The fresh, clean, perfumed nose hints at red cherry and blood orange. Then sweet and supple on the palate, but with a lively mouthfeel to the red fruit and underbrush flavors thanks to harmonious, vibrant acidity. Has much more midpalate flesh to support its acidity than some other less successful 2013 Brunellos, all of which are made in a similar high-acid style typical of the vintage. Finishes broad, savory and nicely persistent. This 2013 from Ciacci Piccolomini is made in a much cooler-climate style than is usual for this producer. -
Good full red-ruby. High-pitched aromas of red cherry and violet are complemented by lower tones of licorice and dried herbs. Concentrated and primary in the midpalate; ripe dark fruit flavors build slowly and stain the palate. Deep and dense on the tactile finish, this wine could use a little more acidity to highlight its dark, medicinal aspect. Bigger, richer and deeper than Ciacci Piccolomini’s 2013 Brunello, it will likely develop more grace and nuance over time, hence the “+” sign attached to the numerical score.
Deep ruby. Exotically perfumed scents of red berry liqueur, Asian spices, potpourri and licorice, with a herbal quality adding lift. Big, rich and dense, with sappy cherry-cola and raspberry flavors picking up a refreshingly savory edge with air. Finishes long, showcasing excellent clarity and power. --- Ian D'Agata
Full red-ruby. Deep aromas of dark red cherry, blackberry, licorice, shoe polish, and fresh herbs. Enters big and tannic, with rich dark fruit and herb flavors, but not especially graceful and loaded with currently youthful but also harsh tannins. Clearly not as deep or as well balanced as the best recent vintages of this wine (given the challenging vintage) but closes long with repeating plum and dark berry flavors. This wine’s tannins certainly call for some patience but should come around as there’s enough fruit lurking beneath that tannic cloak. --- Ian D'Agata
Deep red. Perfumed aromas and flavors of red and black cherry, cinnamon, mocha, ginger and blood orange. Smooth and multifaceted, with strong licorice notes emerging on the long suave close. - Ian D'Agata
Dark red. Notes of iodine, five spice mix and cloves complement ripe red cherry on the nose and in the mouth. Long smooth finish. - Ian D'Agata
The 2018 Ciacci Rosso Rosso di Montalcino is intense from the get-go, showing sweet black cherries dipped in liquor, complicated by balsamic spices and savory herbs. On the palate, silky, almost creamy textures give way to polished ripe fruits and sweet spices, as pretty inner florals add lift to the experience. There’s a hint of orange citrus on the long finish, as the red fruits lean more to the blue end of the spectrum, along with a mix of residual acids and tannins. As fruit-forward and intense as this Rosso is, I can’t help but enjoy its extroverted yet balanced personality. Eric Guido
Dark, rich and deeply alluring, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso boasts a display of ripe black fruits encased in an air of crushed stone, sage and exotic spice. While velvety and almost creamy in texture, it finds harmony through juicy acids and a mix of ripe black cherry and plums. Hints of licorice and baker’s chocolate balance the Pianrosso’s salty minerality and fine-grained tannins through the long and dramatic finale. There’s beautiful symmetry here for a wine with such power. Place this in the cellar for ten years or more; but don’t make the mistake of not checking in from time to time, because I expect the 2016 to enjoy a long and open drinking window. Eric Guido
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is nuanced with dark florals, hints of black cherry, mint leaf and smoky minerals. With time, more baritone notes of tobacco come forward. It’s velvety in the mouth, showing ripe red and black fruits, licorice and sweet herbal tones. Fine tannins settle in through the finale; yet they don’t get in the way, as this tapers off to hints of dark chocolate and savory spice. Eric Guido
The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino from Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona places savory herbs, exotic spice and earth tones above ripeness of fruit. It’s decidedly dark and brooding on the nose, lifted by hints of fresh-picked mint and sage. There are depths of velvety textures in the mouth, offset by a tactile mix of tart wild berries, minerals and zesty acidity which adds vibrancy in spite of the tannic heft and primary intensity found here. The 2016 finishes with a monolithic feel, still wound up tightly in its youthful state but also promising many years of positive evolution in our cellars. This is gorgeous and a great value for age-worthy Brunello. Eric Guido
Ciacci's 2017 Rosso di Montalcino is racy and inviting, as wines from this vintage tend to be. Soft curves push forward a core of succulent red cherry, sweet spice, tobacco, dried flowers and rose petal. Although the 2017 has quite a bit of richness, it remains translucent and very Sangiovese in feel. The Rosso is a very pretty wine, and a terrific value. Antonio Galloni
Dark yet wonderfully perfumed, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro blossoms in the glass to present a bouquet of dried strawberries and roses complemented by hints of blood orange and clove. It shows the power and grace of a well-muscled dancer as a dense wave of ripe red and black fruits rushes across the palate, lifted by bright acidity, while leaving a mix of saline-minerals and grippy tannins toward the close. Though structured for the long haul, the 2016 maintains unexpected vibrancy, finishing with hints of plum and almond. This is simply stunning. -- Eric Guido
A pretty and fruit-forward display of ripe cherries, minty herbs and sweet smoke wafts up from the 2017 Brunello di Montalcino. This impresses further with a juicy, fun mix of bright red berries and confectionary spices motivated by vibrant acidity. Hints of plum and licorice linger long over a slightly gruff coating of tannins, yet in the end, balance is nicely maintained. Well done. -- Eric Guido
A nuanced, delicate bouquet of dried strawberries, roses, hints of sweet spice and crushed rocks lifts up from the charming 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso. This is remarkably lifted, yet juicy and energetic, as ripe red berries and minerals cascade across the palate. It leaves a coating of violet-tinged florals, along with persistent raspberry and cherry tones. The tannin management here is absolutely stunning, as the Pianrosso finishes structured yet vividly fresh. -- Eric Guido
A pretty mix of crushed cherries, roses and sweet spice wafts up from the 2020 Rosso di Montalcino. This is a pure and lifted expression with pleasantly ripe red fruits that mix with sour citrus and savory herbal tones to create lovely contrasts. Its minerality comes forward through the licorice-tinged finale, along with a gentle grip of fine tannins that frame the experience quite nicely. Ciacci did a fantastic job with their 2020 Rosso.
Dark wood tones, underbrush and crushed black cherries can all be found as the 2019 Rosso di Montalcino Rossofonte grumbles up from the glass. It’s silky, nearly creamy on the palate, with polished red and black fruits that give way to exotic spice in a display of total elegance. While structured, its tannins are sweet and round, providing youthful grip without hindering the resonance of wild berries and licorice that lingers on and on. This is an impressive showing for the 2019 Rossofonte, but some cellaring will be required before it comes fully into focus.
Dark depths of crushed plums and black cherries are offset by notes of rosemary, spiced citrus peels and hints of cocoa as the 2018 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso opens in the glass. This is an especially racy style for Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona, with cooling mineral tones and zesty acidity propelling its ripe berry fruit and hints of sour citrus across the palate. While structured, this finishes with tremendous energy and freshness, leaving the mouth watering with a lingering bitter hint of balsamic spice. The 2018 may not possess the power often associated with the Pianrosso, but it instead impresses with its lively and spicy character. – Eric Guido
The 2018 Brunello di Montalcino is dark and brooding, taking its time to blow off a whiff of mocha before opening up with a mix of dried red fruits,cloves and rosemary. This is surprisingly pure and lifted in style while maintaining elegance, as ripe red and black fruits cascade across a core of vibrant acidity. The 2018 leaves the palate buzzing with residual tension,as fine-grained tannins penetrate deeply, and hints of tart wild berry and a dusting of cocoa slowly fade. – Eric Guido
"Beautiful and delicate from the start, the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso impresses for its depth and balance. The wine sees one more year of oak cask aging compared to the base Brunello and you can definitely sense the extra spice on the nose. Those delicate balsam notes of root beer, ginger and rosemary oil are still prominently on display. Rich spice, leather and tar are followed by dark fruit, prune, blackberry and cassis. The finish is graceful and silky, but its length remains impressive. This is a terrific effort that promises a steady evolution ahead."
"The 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva may not hit the heights of the remarkable 1997 regular bottling, but it is still a fascinating wine. Its deep garnet color is accompanied by a big, sweet nose of melted asphalt, truffles, soy, tobacco, leather, and glorious quantities of red currant and black cherry fruit. Dense, ripe, layered, and sweet, it may not be as exuberant as the regular bottling, but it is a brilliant effort nevertheless. This is one 1997 Brunello that lives up to the vintage's reputation. Anticipated maturity: now-2015."
"The estate’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso possesses striking depth as endless layers of sweet, perfumed fruit emerge with tons of grace. This, too, is an intense, full-bodied wine. The balance here is utterly exceptional, and the wine’s sheer plumpness makes for a highly rewarding glass of Brunello. Succulent dark cherries, spices, underbrush, minerals and new leather come to life as the wine sits in the glass, yet this remains a backward, structured Brunello in need of serious bottle age. The Pianrosso is a terrific effort from proprietor Paolo Bianchini. Ciacci’s Pianrosso is an old-vines selection that spent 36 months in Slavonian oak. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. "
"The stylish, cask-aged 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso opens with a floral, aromatic nose followed by sweet, perfumed red fruit that blossoms onto the palate with notable expansiveness in a superb display of finesse and elegance, closing with fine, supple tannins. Though tempting to drink today, it will be even better in a few years and will drink well to age twenty. It is one of the vintage’s great wines. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2021."
"The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso is a dark, viscous wine that swirls around the inside of the glass with evident weight and heft. The bouquet is similarly stacked tall with thick renditions of teriyaki sauce, soya, barbecue smoke, crushed granite and chopped herb. Vigna di Pianrosso delivers the proverbial iron first in a velvet glove thanks to its lively, streamlined mouthfeel. Bright acidity keeps the wine on its toes. Decant three hours or more prior to serving. Drink: 2014-2026."
"The 1995 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso is a full-bodied, backward, seriously-endowed, muscular offering requiring an additional 3-5 years of bottle age. It is not for those who are unable to defer their gratification. The wine exhibits Asian spice, black cherry, and grilled meat aromas and flavors intermixed with dried Provencal herb and underbrush notes. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2016."
"The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d’Oro is impressive. Interestingly, it is quite a bit better than the regular Pianrosso. In this difficult vintage the decision to make a Riserva probably robbed the straight Pianrosso of some high quality fruit. Black cherries, flowers, licorice and mint are woven together in this powerful, structured Brunello while firm tannins frame the long, intense finish. I especially like the way the fruit continues to flesh out with additional time in the glass. This is a great showing and a terrific effort from Ciacci. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. "
"The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d’Oro is big, rich and seamless. The wine had just been bottled the day of my visit, but it is very promising, even at this early stage. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027."
"With so many fantastic wines produced in 2010, it's hard to make a shortlist of your favorites. One expression that should definitely be included is the stunning 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro. This is a graceful and super elegant wine with bold aromatic intensity that is followed by firm tannins and a polished, smooth texture. It offers power in the proverbial silken glove. But the wine is not simplistic by any stretch. The longer it warms in the glass, the more it delights and surprises. Delicate tones of wild berry, cassis, blanched almond and dried ginger work together in harmony."
"This wine is a candidate for one of the finest Brunello di Montalcinos of the vintage. A thick looking color suggests considerable intensity and extraction. The huge nose of black truffles, jammy black-cherries, and toasty new oak is followed by a massively-endowed, full-bodied, immensely concentrated wine that tastes almost sweet because of the exceptional ripeness and fruit density. No doubt there is significant tannin lurking beneath the layers of fat and glycerin. This is a terrific Brunello di Montalcino for drinking over the next 20 years. Unfortunately, as with so many great wines, quantities are minuscule."
"The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso offers plenty of richness and density in its soft, caressing fruit. The Pianrosso is made in a decidedly opulent style that pushes the limits of ripeness to the extreme. The wine’s balance is acceptable today, but I am less convinced about the future. Both bottles I tasted were overripe and pruney. This is one of the disappointments among Montalcino’s elite bottlings in 2006. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018."
"The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is fresher, more floral and more delineated than the straight Brunello bottling. There is plenty of Ciacci depth and muscle in the glass. Layers of dark red fruit, crushed flowers, licorice and spices wrap around the intense, deep finish. This is a huge wine with tons of 2007 Castelnuovo character, but also with enough freshness to balance out the wine’s more extroverted leanings. The 2007 is a big improvement over the 2006, which remains an underachiever relative to Ciacci’s historical track record of excellence. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027."
"The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is more layered, perfumed and subtle than the straight Brunello. Freshly cut flowers, dark red fruit, licorice, spices and menthol are all layered together nicely in the glass. A wine of considerable texture and depth, the 2008 Pianrosso should drink well for at least a handful of years. There is no shortage of depth, richness or complexity in this fine effort. This is an especially concentrated style for the year, but it works. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2025."
"Ciacci's 1996 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the sexiest, most complete and complex I have tasted. A dark plum/garnet color is accompanied by a sweet perfume of soy, leather, earthy black fruits, smoke, tobacco, and licorice. Complex, full-bodied, and moderately tannic, yet sweet, with plenty of glycerin, and a creamy, fat mid-section, it should drink well for 12-15 years."
"The terrific 1997 Brunello di Montalcino boasts a staggering aromatic profile of soy sauce, roasted meats, dried herbs, jammy black and red fruits, and Asian spices. This full-bodied, superbly concentrated, layered, multidimensional Brunello is the kind of wine one expects from such a renowned region, but so rarely receives. This beauty should drink well young yet evolve effortlessly for 15+ years."
"The 1998 Brunello di Montalcino exhibits a soft, supple, elegant, sweet nose of underbrush, licorice, jammy currants and cherries, spice box, and tobacco. Medium-bodied and luscious, this sexy, kinky Brunello will drink well for 5-10 years."
"The estate’s medium-bodied 2003 Brunello di Montalcino is made in an accessible, forward style. Dark cherries, tobacco, earthiness and tar nuances all flow from the glass in this poised, feminine expression of Sangiovese from the southern part of Montalcino. The wine shows outstanding persistence and a pretty note of freshness that rounds out the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018. Proprietor Paolo Bianchini is upbeat about his 2003 Brunellos. It is the first vintage in which he had the tools to perform a cold soak, which he feels was especially critical in preserving as much freshness as possible in the wines. For the Brunellos, fermentation and maceration lasted several weeks and the wines were aged in cask."
"The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino reveals sweet, open aromatics that meld seamlessly into a perfumed core of ripe red fruits. This is one of the more intensely scented, fruit-driven Brunellos of the vintage. The wine reveals superior density and richness in an engaging style. The softness of the tannins makes the wine accessible even today, yet the flavor profile is decidedly youthful. Readers looking for a measure of tertiary development will need to give the wine a few years in bottle. This bottling is made from the estate’s youngest vines. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022."
"The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino is wonderfully plump and juicy in its expressive red fruit. Floral notes are woven throughout, giving the wine its sense of lift and proportion. Though not as explosive as the 2004, the 2005 Brunello di Montalcino offers outstanding persistence on the palate and a long, generous finish. This is a terrific effort from Ciacci. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020."
"The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is an attractive entry-level wine. Dark red berries, crushed flowers, licorice and mint are some of the nuances that emerge from this fleshy, mid-weight offering. The aromas and flavors are decidedly on the ripe side of the spectrum in the racy 2006, but the intensity of the fruit covers the tannins nicely, making this an attractive wine for near-term pleasure. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021."
"The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino emerges from the glass with black cherries, plums, tobacco, spices and licorice. In 2007 the Brunello is especially dark and muscular for the vintage. The warmth of the year plus the estate’s search to make a Brunello that is more approachable in both price and early appeal comes through in spades. The 2007 is a bit bombastic today, but it should settle down with another year or two in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017."
"Bianchini has done a terrific job with the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino. Sweet floral notes meld into dark cherries, cloves and leather. A bold, fruit-driven Brunello, the 2008 impresses for its balance and sensual, inviting personality. This is not a shy wine by any means. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020."
"Paolo Bianchini’s 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a plump and immediate wine with dark fruit tendencies, a bold appearance and sweet fragrances of blackberry and chewing tobacco. The body is medium in feel but should gain some volume as the wine continues its bottle evolution. The Tuscan sunshine cuts straight through this wine with soft tannins and a fruity, approachable style. Two and a half years of barrel aging follows fermentation in stainless steel. Drink: 2015-2020."
"The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino represents a return to the traditional values of Montalcino. The bouquet is buoyant and bright with lingering tones of smoke, ash, balsam herb, licorice and soy sauce. Those kinds of aromas make Brunello such a wonderful wine and thankfully you get them in abundance here. Dry mineral and brimstone also give the wine a sense of focus, sharpness and cleanliness that is very appealing. The close is long, fine and polished. I look forward to retasting this bottle five years from now."
"The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is a very beautiful wine that shows a fraction of good things to come. Very fruit-driven at the moment, it should flesh out further with time. Evident fruit underlines the warm growing conditions of this vintage. You get dark cherry, raspberry, dried strawberry and plum. The bouquet doesn't feel overripe per se, but you definitely get a taste of the warm growing season. Delve deeper, and this Brunello begins to reveal spice, herb, cola, tar and black licorice. These elements form the base of the wine's budding complexity. As nice as this wine is to drink now, I look forward to trying it five years from now."
"Ciacci’s 2011 Rosso di Montalcino is one of the darker wines of the year. Black cherries, flowers, spices and cloves all take shape in a powerful, broad Rosso that stands out for its sheer intensity. The ripeness of the year in this southernmost part of Montalcino comes through in spades. Not a lightweight, this serious Rosso is all about richness. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019."
"The 2010 Rosso di Montalcino is plush, rich and totally inviting. It boasts stunning textural depth and richness for a Rosso. The warmth of these warm microclimates in the south of Montalcino comes through in spades. This is a hugely overachieving wine from Ciacci and proprietor Paolo Bianchini. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016."
"Ciacci’s 2009 Rosso di Montalcino shows attractive plumpness in its bright red berries and sweet spices. This is a Rosso built on a core of generous fruit. Accordingly, it is best enjoyed on the young side. The juiciness of the fruit carries through nicely to the round, caressing finish. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015."
"The 2007 Rosso di Montalcino is soft and perfumed in its floral red fruits. Medium in body, this accessible Rosso offers excellent length as well as balance in an understated style. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2011."
"The 2006 Rosso di Montalcino is a knock-out effort bursting with dark red fruit, spices and earthiness. It flows onto the palate with remarkable density and plushness, with silky tannins that are beautifully integrated into the wine. Ciacci’s 2006 Rosso is a gem, and is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2011."
"This fairly rich 2004 Rosso di Montalcino offers plenty of super-ripe red fruit and mineral notes with excellent length and lovely balance, all while maintaining a sense of classicism and finesse in its proportions. Made from the estate’s less well-exposed plants, it fully expresses the house’s hallmark style in miniature. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2010."
"Ciacci Piccolomini's 2000 is the finest Rosso di Montalcino I have ever tasted. This deep ruby/garnet-colored, outrageously rich Rosso boasts an explosive bouquet of smoke, dried herbs, black fruits, tobacco, and fruit cake. Luscious and opulently-textured, with a sensual, velvety-textured feel that cascades over the palate with no hard edges, this seamless classic should be drunk over the next 5-8 years."
"The 2009 Fabius is a bit of a mystery, since Syrah is a variety that generally does well in warmer years. The fruit is very much on the ripe side, with prominent notes of blackberry jam, licorice, spices and alcohol. At the same time, the tannins are surprisingly hard. Something isn’t quite right in the wine’s overall sense of balance. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2014".
"The 2007 Fabius reveals layers of dark, introspective fruit. There is plenty of richness and depth in the glass, although slight suggestions of heat come through from time to time. Hints of mocha, chocolate and spices inform the finish. Fabius is Syrah from vineyards in the Sant’Antimo appellation just outside the classic Brunello producing zone. Though unquestionably a beautiful wine, varietal character doesn’t seem to be a priority as it is nowhere to be found. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019."
"The 2006 Fabius (Syrah) is a gorgeous, medium-bodied wine loaded with dark fruit, smoke and earthiness. Previous vintages have been more concentrated in style, and the 2006 seems to give more attention to finesse rather than sheer heft. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2014."
Like Ateo, Ciacci’s 2005 Fabius (100% Syrah) is another rich, concentrated wine loaded with sweet dark fruit. The wine has a lovely, plush mouthfeel but in this vintage it doesn’t have the level of varietal expression or complexity that might allow it to merit a higher score. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2017. Proprietor Paolo Bianchini is upbeat about his 2003 Brunellos. It is the first vintage in which he had the tools to perform a cold soak, which he feels was especially critical in preserving as much freshness as possible in the wines. For the Brunellos, fermentation and maceration lasted several weeks and the wines were aged in cask."
"The deeply-colored 2003 Fabius (100% Syrah) is a powerful wine. It exudes masses of unabashedly super-to-over-ripe dark jammy fruit, toasted oak, licorice and black currant flavors with terrific concentration on the palate, great length and just enough freshness to keep things in balance. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018".
"The 2001 Fabius is 100% Syrah, and its inspiration seems more Australian than French in the sweet, ultra-ripe fruit, blackberry and coconut nose, broad and luxurious palate, and supple, plush close. Drink: 2004-2014."
"There are only 15 barrels (approximately 375 cases) of the 100% Syrah 1998 Sant'Antimo Favius, which may be the finest Italian Syrah I have tasted. An opaque purple color is followed by a classic bouquet of bacon fat, blackberry liqueur, and cassis. This monstrous fruit bomb is unctuous, thick, and unbelievably concentrated. The wine's new oak aging has been absorbed by its formidable concentration of fruit. Drink this exuberant, in your face offering over the next 5-7 years."
"The 2010 Ateo, a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend, is striking in this great vintage. Firm tannins support expressive dark fruit, wild flowers, mint, sage and blackberries. Although a wine more of region than variety, the 2010 impresses for its vibrant, structured personality and impeccable class. A big, full-throttle finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2022."
"The 2009 Ateo (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot) is a juicy, immediate wine best suited for drinking over the next handful of years. It shows excellent up-front intensity, but then loses some persistence on the mid-palate and finish. Freshly cut flowers and mint give the dark berry fruit an attractive sense of lift. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016."
"The 2008 Ateo (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) reveals gorgeous dark red fruit, herbs, cassis, cedar and sweet spices. This is a fairly compact Ateo – not surprising considering the vintage – yet it shows plenty of concentration, depth and sheer muscle. It is a terrific effort in this vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018."
"The estate’s 2007 Ateo is Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot now that the Sangiovese has been eliminated from the blend. Although the wine is made from international varieties here those grapes speak with a distinctly Tuscan accent. Plummy dark fruit leads to sweet herbs, spices, earthiness and minerals as this rich, deep wine opens up in the glass. This is one of the few 2007s that will actually benefit from another year or so in bottle. It is gorgeous stuff! Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019."
"Bianchini’s 2006 Ateo (Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) flows from the glass with tons of harmony and finesse. Here the fruit is ripe, sweet and expansive, yet the wine possesses remarkable poise, energy and vibrancy. This delicious wine from the Sant’Antimo appellation is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016."
"Bianchini’s 2006 Ateo (Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) flows from the glass with tons of harmony and finesse. Here the fruit is ripe, sweet and expansive, yet the wine possesses remarkable poise, energy and vibrancy. This delicious wine from the Sant’Antimo appellation is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016."
"Ciacci’s 2003 Ateo, a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot, is a potent effort bursting with intense, concentrated sweet dark fruit, licorice and underbrush flavors. While it shows the heat of the vintage, the higher acidity of the Sangiovese provides freshness and gives the wine a beautiful sense of harmony. It should be even better after a few years in the bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2015."
"The 2001 Ateo, the house Sangiovese-Cabernet blend, is, for me, the best to date, a dark ruby with warm and spicy notes of red and black currants, rosemary and thyme, and minerals. The powerful, sustained palate is sizeable and of excellent intensity. Drink: 2004-2015."
"Mama Mia! The 1999 Ateo is a brilliant effort from this prodigious producer. It is a blend of 45% Sangiovese, 35% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine possesses a deep, saturated garnet/plum color in addition to a pure, sweet bouquet of saddle leather aromas intertwined with black currants, licorice, tobacco, and plums. Elegant yet powerful, medium to full-bodied, with sweet tannin and enough acidity to provide definition, it can be enjoyed over the next 10-12 years."
"The 1998 Ateo (a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a gloriously ripe, full-bodied, velvety-textured effort with a dark ruby/purple color, plenty of smoky, earthy, blackberry, cherry, and currant fruit, a touch of graphite, decent acidity, and a seamless, opulent, voluptuous finish. This compelling wine is meant to be drunk over the next 10-12 years."
"The estate’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso possesses striking depth as endless layers of sweet, perfumed fruit emerge with tons of grace. This, too, is an intense, full-bodied wine. The balance here is utterly exceptional, and the wine’s sheer plumpness makes for a highly rewarding glass of Brunello. Succulent dark cherries, spices, underbrush, minerals and new leather come to life as the wine sits in the glass, yet this remains a backward, structured Brunello in need of serious bottle age. The Pianrosso is a terrific effort from proprietor Paolo Bianchini. Ciacci’s Pianrosso is an old-vines selection that spent 36 months in Slavonian oak. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024."
"The 2003 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Pianrosso is made from the estate’s oldest vineyards. It is vinified along the same line as the regular bottling, but gets a few additional months in cask prior to bottling. This full-bodied, velvety Brunello is endowed with plenty of dark fruit, smoke, iron and tar. The tannins finish big, but the wine appears to have enough depth and length on the palate to provide a good measure of balance. The Pianrosso comes across as surprisingly fresh in this vintage, which should allow it to age more gracefully, if not necessarily longer, than the normal bottling. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018. Proprietor Paolo Bianchini is upbeat about his 2003 Brunellos. It is the first vintage in which he had the tools to perform a cold soak, which he feels was especially critical in preserving as much freshness as possible in the wines. For the Brunellos, fermentation and maceration lasted several weeks and the wines were aged in cask."
"The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso is a dark, viscous wine that swirls around the inside of the glass with evident weight and heft. The bouquet is similarly stacked tall with thick renditions of teriyaki sauce, soya, barbecue smoke, crushed granite and chopped herb. Vigna di Pianrosso delivers the proverbial iron first in a velvet glove thanks to its lively, streamlined mouthfeel. Bright acidity keeps the wine on its toes. Decant three hours or more prior to serving. Drink: 2014-2026."
The 1995 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso is a full-bodied, backward, seriously-endowed, muscular offering requiring an additional 3-5 years of bottle age. It is not for those who are unable to defer their gratification. The wine exhibits Asian spice, black cherry, and grilled meat aromas and flavors intermixed with dried Provencal herb and underbrush notes. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2016
The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is a beautifully finessed and elegant wine. It offers a very pleasing sense of balance in which no one characteristic overpowers the next. A dark ruby appearance gives the wine an open and inviting personality. The bouquet produces a subtle medley of wild berry, blueberry, underbrush and toasted almond aromas. The mouthfeel is lean, but it also shows polished and silky persistence. If you don't have the patience to wait, it tastes great even at this early stage. By Monica Larner
Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona is one of the headline estates of Montalcino and the Pianrosso single vineyard is known for its consistency and the steady grace of its performance. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso does not quite reach the heights of the outstanding 2010 vintage. This release comes near in terms of power and purity, although it bears some of the weight of the hot vintage. The darkness of fruit is more pronounced and the tannins are a bit softer. Make no mistake, the thick soils of the Pianrosso site have helped to achieve impressive balance. The long finish offers tobacco, balsam herb and dried fruit. By Monica Larner
The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is a gorgeous expression that sits firmly on a base of dark fruit, spice, tobacco and crushed river stone. There is a spot of ripe fruit and candied raspberry that comes into focus as the wine warms in the glass. The wine is slightly shorter in the mouth, but it quickly makes up for that thanks to balanced elegance, fine tannins and tangy acidity.
This wine initially comes off as more somber, brooding and dark in personalty. The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino takes a few moments in the glass before its starts to relax and grow in volume and context. Before long, opulent tones of black fruit, spice and pipe tobacco. The wine is elegantly tempered and finessed on the close.
The 2015 Rosso di Montalcino Rossofonte is a fruit-forward expression that offers a steady stream of cherry, blackberry and plum aromas. A subtle touch of strawberry marmalade gives the wine extra warmth and volume. You might also notice a mild touch of sweet almond candy.
Although this wine is not labeled as a riserva, it is released six years after the harvest as if it were one. The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso (with 20,000 bottles produced) opens to balanced fragrances that mix fruity elements with spice, crushed stone and smoke. This wine is linear and direct with firm tannic support at the back. Give it another few years to flesh out further with additional bottle aging. (2020 - 2035)
Like the other wines I tasted from Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona this year, I am surprised by the soft ripeness achieved in the 2014 Brunello di Montalcino. This was a cool and soggy vintage so those dark and sweet fruit flavors are counterintuitive. However, they elevate the wine to a higher intensity threshold and a more profound flavor profile. The wine offers enough crisp acidity and tannic firmness to hold it tightly together at this young stage in its lifespan. Some 60,000 bottles were released. (2020 - 2030)
The 2016 Rosso di Montalcino Rossofonte (with 8,000 bottles produced) offers shapely tones of ripe fruit, summer cherry and fresh plum. This wine shows a point of extra ripeness (with 15% alcohol) that makes me think the fruit either came from younger vines (that tend to reach ripeness faster) or a warmer vineyard site. The wine is not overripe but it does offers lots of plush and easy primary fruit. (2019 - 2023)
The 2017 Rosso di Montalcino is an easy-drinking wine that is plump and soft in the middle due to the heat and dryness of this vintage. This wine reveals dark fruit flavors followed by medium intensity and build. In essence, this Rosso is simple and bright and would be perfect with your favorite pasta dish. I tasted this wine next to the estate's 2016 Rosso di Montalcino Rossofonte, a wine that shows more depth and intensity. If you are looking for affordable and accessible Sangiovese from Montalcino, Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona has you covered.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone or chalk. This adds a greater sense of focus and delineation that not only characterizes the bouquet but also applies to the way the wine hits the palate in a fuller and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello). Instead, this single-vineyard Brunello shows an upright and direct approach with soft salinity on the close followed by forest fruit, spice and medicinal herb. The mouthfeel makes a big impact thanks to its streamlined and polished texture. Some 37,000 bottles were released in January 2020.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona estate enjoys a beautiful and huge expanse of vineyards at the back of the Castelnuovo dell'Abate village, where the downward slope of the hamlet meets the Orcia River, which delineates the appellation border. The estate's 2015 Brunello di Montalcino offers lovely harmony and elegance. The wine's taste profile follows the soft contours and beautiful horizons that characterize this beautiful part of Tuscany. The mouthfeel is medium-weight but carefully balanced with just enough acidity to add brightness. It shows just enough backbone to guarantee staying power and longevity. That said, the tannins are carefully integrated into the delicate fiber of the wine. This is no doubt one of the most graceful Brunellos to emerge from the 2015 vintage. Some 74,500 bottles were released in January 2020.
A pure expression of Syrah, the Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2016 Sant'Antimo Fabius is an impressive expression of the grape. Syrah always tends to show opulent richness and succulence, and although you certainly get that here, I'm also reminded of its Tuscan roots. It tends to be more compact and linear overall. This wine pulls in opposite directions, and that's what makes it most interesting. You will recognize those varietal characteristics for sure, but they are ultimately overridden by the wine's Tuscan identity. With 8,000 bottles made, this is terrific value.
The entry-level 2018 Sant'Antimo Ateo by Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona is a handy wine for informal occasions. The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The bouquet offers a fresh level of red and purple fruits with some of the sour and raw characteristics you could expect of this cool corner in Tuscany. That fruity bitterness is especially evident on the wine's lean to medium-weight frame. You taste wild Tuscany in this wine. Some 27,000 bottles were released in September 2019.
The 2016 Rosso di Montalcino Rossofonte (with 8,000 bottles produced) offers shapely tones of ripe fruit, summer cherry and fresh plum. This wine shows a point of extra ripeness (with 15% alcohol) that makes me think the fruit either came from younger vines (that tend to reach ripeness faster) or a warmer vineyard site. The wine is not overripe but it does offers lots of plush and easy primary fruit.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2016 Rosso is an easy blend of mostly Sangiovese with smaller parts Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a forthcoming and honest expression that temps you with its purely Tuscan personality but also comforts you with its accessible appeal. The wine wraps smoothly over the palate, imparting aromas of wild cherry, dried raspberries and light background accents of smoke and spice. Pair this informal wine with a hearty plate of cinghiale in umido. Some 50,000 bottles were released in March 2019.
The Bianchini family has been working hard to develop a cohesive strategy for its Rosso program. The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2018 Rosso di Montalcino pours from the bottle with a light garnet appearance. The wine remains compact and lean-bodied in terms of palate, and it imparts classic aromas of wild cherry, potting soil and blue flowers. Everything you get here is straight out of the Sangiovese playbook, and the wine remains accessible and easy-dinking throughout. You can't beat that low price. Some 68,000 bottles were released in January 2020.
The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino (with 56,000 bottles made) shows bold cherry, spice, crushed stone and balsam herb that come together in seamless fashion. This estate has honed a unique style that becomes a common theme traced to each new vintage. I'd describe it as delicate but also succulent with a rich and almost pulpy quality of fruit. The wine is fueled by the golden light that hits this part of Tuscany in those last hours of the day. Here is a wine that shows spirit of place.
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is a fine and delicate wine that cleverly delivers the intensity of the vintage but without the heaviness or the ripeness. This wine holds back, just enough, to affirm its poised balance in terms of fruit richness, texture and tannic structure. It shows symmetry throughout. Dark cherry fruit, cassis, plum, lavender and campfire ash set the tone. The mouthfeel is thickly woven and generous, more so than the more linear and focused 2016 Brunello Pianrosso (that I preferred by a tiny margin). This special Riserva represents a 11,000-bottle production.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is a single-vineyard expression that draws its fruit from an 11.7-hectare parcel with moderately thick galestro soils with ancient marine material. This special site, awash under the brilliant light of a big, open sky, does indeed deliver a more pronounced mineral signature, with wild berry, rose and rosemary essence. This is a beautiful wine, taut and silky, with elegant tannins that will endure ambitious bottle aging. Production is 37,000 bottles.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso shows nice balance and elegance, and it definitely shows the deft hand of the winemaking team in what was not an easy vintage by any stretch. This pretty wine delivers lots of fresh cherry and wild rose, with ferrous earthy, licorice and grilled herb; I also get bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Like the annata 2017 Brunello produced by this estate, the single-vineyard Brunello Pianrosso is distinguished by a sweet cherry note (plus a hefty 15% alcohol) that accompanies the wine from start to finish. Production is 37,000 bottles.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is gorgeous, full stop. It shows an incredible level of Sangiovese purity and sharpness, and you taste the grape as if you were eating berries straight out of the vineyard. On top of that healthy and bright primary material, the wine layers on elegant aromas of spice, ferrous earth, balsam herb and red rose potpourri. The aromas meet with seamless integration and segue to ongoing depth and complexity offered to the palate. This Riserva is rather delicate in terms of mouthfeel; however, it is powerful and long, with high alcohol, polished tannins and a silky texture. A hint of sweet cherry mixed with menthol freshness pulls it together at the end.
Generous, layered and rich, the Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2017 Brunello di Montalcino shows the generous fruit and deep layering that identifies this vintage. It also delivers a powerful 15% alcohol. This edition (with 69,000 bottles made) shows a bright note of sweet cherry that features strongly both on the bouquet and the palate. The wine shows lots of soft fruit with almond, spice and wild rose. From a hot and dry vintage, this Brunello is probably best suited to a near or medium-term drinking window.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2019 Rosso di Montalcino Rossofonte is the second entry-level Rosso from this creative estate that loves to push the boundaries. This is a great effort, especially considering its price tag and the growing potential of Rosso di Montalcino. Red cherry, raspberry, cedarwood and toasted almond rise from the bouquet. The wine offers a great sense of dimension and depth, with just 6,000 bottles made.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2020 Rosso di Montalcino hits all the right buttons, especially if you are looking for an easy-drinking Tuscan red to pair with you next pasta with home-cooked tomato sauce. Candied cherry, tart raspberry and sweet almond appear on the bouquet, along with lavender and wild rose. This is a terrific entry-level effort from a hot vintage, with 56,000 bottles made.
A rare look at Syrah from the cool Montalcino climate, the 2019 Sant'Antimo Fabius is packed tight with blackberry and black cherry along with spice, sweet tobacco and smoked bacon. There's a lot going on aromatically speaking, but the wine stays clear of the heavier black pepper or cured leather aromas that you often get in New World Syrah. I love the soft texture, freshness and tension that this extremely well-priced wine exhibits. Production is 13,000 bottles.
"Another wonderful showing in 2010 is the Brunello di Montalcino from Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona. This is pure, elegant and refined, bursting with fresh dark cherries and plums followed by spring floral, aged balsamic, wet stones with hints of red licorice. Full-bodied with excellent balance, supported by a gorgeous silky texture and a lovely inner sweetness from the ripe tannins, which carries through to the long, pretty finish. This is quite open, even at the early stage and looks as if it will be accessible immediately, however should also age nicely over the next decade. (Best 2016-2030)"
"The 2011 Brunello Brunello di Montalcino is a valiant effort from Paolo Bianchini in this vintage. As this Brunello slowly opens it releases aromas of ripe cherries and plums which come together with dried spices and leather along with an underlying hint of earthy mushrooms. This is a beautifully made, classic style Brunello which is well structured with a gorgeous silky texture leading into the long, sleek finish. If approaching early allow some significant air, but allowing this to continue to develop with a few more years of additional bottle age would be ideal. (Best 2019-2026)."
"The 2010 'Pianrosso' is an absolutely gorgeous single vineyard cru Brunello from Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona. It delivers wonderful aromas of fresh blackberries and plums, which are woven together with floral, earthy minerals, aged balsamic and sweet red licorice, all coming together beautifully in the glass. The full body is nicely balanced, supported by ripe tannins and a beautiful fine, silky texture. So pure and elegant as it finesses its way through the long, pretty finish. Not quite as accessible and open as the Brunello normale, so it will require a bit more patience, but that being said there's a lovely future ahead for this Pianrosso and it will be interesting to watch it evolve for years to come. (Best 2017-2034)"
"The 2010 Pianrosso Riserva Santa Caterina d'Oro is an absolutely gorgeous Brunello di Montalcino. This elegant and refined Brunello dazzles with red cherries and wild berries which come together with spices, leather, floral, licorice and hints of balsamic to form the beautiful aromas. It continues to impress with its remarkable balance, finesse and long silky finish, which is marked by red cherries and exotic spices. Although this is already quite compelling, this stunning 2010 is ultimately an age worthy Brunello with an even brighter future and will continue to provide drinking pleasure for many years to come. (2019-2034)"
Ripe black-skinned fruit, underbrush, truffle and dark spice aromas come together in this full-bodied red. The palate is firm and seamless, delivering mature black cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and pipe tobacco flavors with both power and finesse. Tightly knit, polished tannins provide structure. Drink 2022–2032.
Dark spice, ripe berry, forest floor, Mediterranean brush and new leather aromas lead the nose on this powerfully structured wine. On the full-bodied palate, baking spice, licorice and pipe tobacco notes accent a juicy black cherry core while firm, velvety tannins provide the framework. Drink 2020–2030.
This gorgeous wine opens with alluring aromas of sweet pipe tobacco, underbrush, new leather, truffle, plum and eucalyptus. Smooth and full-bodied yet elegant, the savory, juicy palate delivers crushed Marasca cherry, raspberry preserve, licorice and menthol alongside polished, enveloping tannins. Fresh acidity provides impeccable balance while an orange zest note lifts the finish. Drink 2023–2032. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Underbrush, tobacco, ripe berry and balsamic aromas abound in this delicious red. Smooth, fullbodied and savory, the succulent palate doles out Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and white pepper. It’s well balanced, with firm yet refined tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2021–2033. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Fragrant and loaded with finesse, this radiant, full-bodied red opens with enticing scents of ripe black-skinned fruit,iris,cake spice and a whiff of camphor. In the linear yet delicious palate,elegant tannins and bright acidity support succulent black cherry, plum and licorice before a lingering tobacco finish. Drink 2021-2029. Indigenous Selections – K.O.
Wild-berry, fragrant purple-flower and crushed aromatic herb aromas mingle with whiffs of tilled earth and new leather on this dazzling red. The stunning, savory palate boasts remarkable finesse combined with an age-worthy structure, offering succulent black cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and tobacco alongside taut, refined tannins. It's impeccably balanced, with bright acidity. It's already tempting, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2021–2033.
Aromas of red berry, camphor, rose and botanical herb lift out of the glass. The elegant, structured palate offers raspberry compote and licorice alongside polished tannins. This is one Rosso for moderate aging. Drink now through 2023.
Violet, wild-berry and botanical-herb aromas lead the nose on this savory red. The bright juicy palate doles out ripe Marasca cherry, wild blackberry and white pepper set against taut tannins.
Intense aromas of berry, iris, underbrush, botanical herb and camphor shape the enticing nose. Firmly structured, the taut, full-bodied palate offers juicy black cherry, raspberry, licorice and tobacco set against tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2025–2035. - Kerin O'Keefe
Enticing aromas of ripe wild berry, iris, camphor and sunbaked soil take shape in the glass. Full bodied and enveloping, the smooth, delicious palate doles out juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry jam, licorice and tobacco while firm velvety tannins provide support. It boasts concentration and structure but also balance, thanks to the fruit richness and freshness. Drink 2023–2030. - Kerin O'Keefe
Vibrant and delicious, this textbook Rosso has enticing aromas of woodland berry, rose, tobacco and a whiff of eucalyptus. On the smooth, savory palate, polished tannins and bright acidity accompany succulent wild cherry, raspberry compote and licorice. Drink through 2023. - Kerin O'Keefe
Fragrant, full bodied and refined, this opens with aromas of new leather vanilla, baked plum and camphor. The palate shows an enviable combination of structure, finesse and length, doling out raspberry jam, ripe black cherry, vanilla and licorice enveloped in firm, refined tannins. KERIN O’KEEFE
Aromas of red berry, camphor and tobacco meld with rose in this fragrant, full-bodied red. The smooth palate is concentrated yet elegant, featuring raspberry jam, cherry marinated in spirits, licorice and coffee bean alongside a backbone of firm, velvety tannins. Drink 2023–2031. KERIN O’KEEFE
Red-berry, wild-rose, crushed mint and dark-spice aromas are front and center on this fragrant red. The full-bodied palate is concentrated but also boasts finesse, offering layers of raspberry jam, smooth licorice and tobacco alongside a backbone of enveloping, velvety tannins. You'll also detect the warmth of alcohol but the succulent fruit stands up to it. Drink 2024–2036. KERIN O’KEEFE
This delicious, bold red offers inviting aromas of fragrant blue flowers, spiced plum, forest floor and pipe tobacco. Full and enveloping in feel, it delivers a great depth of juicy black cherry, black raspberry, licorice and baking spice flavors framed in velvety tannins. Drink 2025–2032. Indigenous Selections. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
This full-bodied red starts off with aromas of leather, forest floor and camphor. Enveloping and structured, the palate shows a weightless concentration, featuring dried cherry, licorice, tobacco and a hint of orange zest framed in velvety tannins. Drink 2024–2029. – Kerin O’Keefe
Underbrush, scorched earth, camphor and pipe tobacco aromas shape the nose. Full-bodied and densely concentrated, the firm, muscular palate features dried cherry, licorice and marinated prune framed in tightly woven, close-grained tannins. You'll also notice the warmth of alcohol on the close. Drink 2026–2031. - Kerin O'Keefe
tre stelle rosse - 93/100
Varied aromas, in this phase dominated by sensations of red fruits, fresh or in syrup. the gerenousness of the vintage also manifests itself in the mouth. Ample, but always elegant thanks to a finish of teh sweet and savory spices of cinnamon and cloves.Powdery tannins.
Fruity aromas of cassis, blackberry and cherry jams. The mouth, the fruity components makes it more alcoholic, accompanied by notes of oak and sweet-savory spices. A balsamic finish lightens the sip, giving it dynamism. Flavourfull tannins, already well blended.
Aromas of red - red like the strawberry and sour cherry that dominate on the nose, recurring precisely in the mouth, taking off with a sweet and slightly round dimension that recalls strawberry, and then tapering off on the tonality of pomegranate and rhubarb. A spicy complexity with a touch of star anise. Powdery tannins.
Vinified in steel and cement, followed by aging in big barrels (up to 30hl). Four years of maturing in a strong vintage such as this does not strip the fruit of its brilliance, as demonstrated by the aromas. Here, the fresh part of cherry dominates with respect to its jammy version. In the mouth, the register does not change, even if, still in the sip, we also find aromatic herbs, spices, and tobacco.
Intense and complex aromas of red-berried ripe fruit. Cherry, in particular. It tastes rich, hot and full-bodied on the palate, with a good sharpness. It is characterized by soft tannins and a special finish where aromatic herbs and tobacco can be definitely considered the main characters.
This is a rich Sangiovese in a vibrant, passionate version, like a Foscolo poem. Its nose is intensely iodated, enveloping the spirit of cherries and caper blush fruit. Its mouth reveals fustian flavours and is also full-bodied, whereas its finish is capable to be not only clear-cut and dry, but also persistent. Absolutely great.
A full, ripe and round grape blend showing a great thickness for a cornerstone in the appellation. Spicy nose displaying notes of alcohol-infused cherries, a trace of Taggiasca olives. The mouth is velvety, ample and fat. A charming finish that reveals all its sharpness as well as a superb persistence.
A cornerstone for the appellation. Spicy nose with alcohol-infused cherries, an officinal trace of fresh marjoram; then, “taggiasche” olives. Taut and crunchy mouth with an excellent thickness. Savoury tannins closing on fruity notes.
Another great interpretation from the Bianchini family, always from the well-known Vigna Pianrosso. Balsamic nose from cherry jam, a trace of eucalyptus. Salty closing of caper. Thick mouth with savoury tannins. At the end, a balsamic taste.
A wine from cru of about 12 hectares born to be great. 36 months in Slavonian oak from 20-62 hl, at least 8 in bottle. Sour cherry, balsamic touch of Valdostan mint, black pepper leaf, undergrowth at the nose, juicy, dense mouth, with iodized and refined tannins, persistence and precision. Breathtaking finish.
Even in troubled vintages highlights the great craftsmanship of home. Nice fruit tension to the nose, blackcurrant, salty touches of caper, then laurel and nutmeg. The mouthfeel has density and tension, sapid tannins and a fruity finish.
The ‘basis’ of Ciacci Piccolomini house, another excellence of this winery. Great tension to the nose, red currant, nuances of laurel and eucalyptus. Juiciness and tension to the palate, brackish tannins, fruity-balsamic return on the closure.
A certainty of the denomination for Bianchini family’s winery, located a few steps from Castelnuovo dell’Abate. Very faceted nose, red currant, then marjoram and iodine touches, such as taggiasche olives. The sip is juicy-brackish, with fruity-officinal return and very long persistence.
Da uve sangiovese, matura a lungo in botti di rovere di Slavonia da 20-30 hl. Rubino con riflessi granati. Note di sale rosa e nero, oltre al fruttato rosso e a note evolutive della classicità. Fase gustativa potente con tannini ancora giovanili, croccanti e una trama media che marca le progressione. Un Brunello austero, estremo nella sua classicità, che necessita di una profonda conoscenza della storia aziendale e del vigneto per essere apprezzato in pieno.
Da uve sangiovese, maturato in botti. Rubino tendente al granato, olfatto classico su note di erbe medicinali, ciliegia, mora e un tocco balsamico. Fase gustativa elegante e armonica con il tannino giovanile che non scalpita. La beva ha così una buona progressione e il finale è saporito e persistente.
Da uve sangiovese, maturato in botti. Bel rubino brillante, olfatto scevro da note verdi, con la ciliegia fresca, anche bianca, la visciola, un leggero sottobosco e il tabacco. Bocca sorprendente con trama media, un tannino molto arrotondato e un'acidità ben distribuita. Il finale è saporito e succoso.
Da uve sangiovese, matura per oltre 3 anni in botti da 30 hl. Rubino intenso leggermente granato. Olfatto classico con frutto giallo e rosso, una forte componente di cuoio, tabacco ed erbe officinali. Trama gustativa fitta e progressiva con un tannino vigoroso ma ben amalgamato. Il finale è intenso, saporito e in ottima corrispondenza olfattiva.
Da uve sangiovese, matura 3 anni in botti di rovere di Slavonia da 20-30 hl. Rubino con riflessi granati, ha un olfatto con le classiche note di sale rosa e nero, oltre al frutto rosso e a sentori evolutivi della classicità. Fase gustativa potente con tannini ancora giovanili, croccanti e una trama media che marca la progressione. Austero, estremo nella sua classicità.
Da uve sangiovese, maturato in botti per due anni. Rubino tendente al granato, estremamente classico all'olfatto con erbe officinali e sottobosco estivo, un tocco di tabacco e infine il ricordo di ciliegia. Fase gustativa giovanile un po' sul tannino ma comunque progressiva ed intensa.
Da uve sangiovese, maurato in botti per un anno. Bel rubino cupo, con olfatto intenso su note fruttate rosse e nere e sottobosco autunnale. Bocca ricca e saporita, di trama fitta, tannini giovanili e finale intenso.
Da uve sangiovese, matura in botti grandi 36 mesi. Rubino intenso brillante. Olfatto accattivante, con frutti rossi, ciliegia, marasca, leggermente speziato. Bocca saporita, trama gustativa fitta, tannini estremamente equilibrati. Acidità sostenuta e una progressione succosa ed elegante al contempo. Il finale è di grande persistenza e ampiezza.
Da uve sangiovese. Matura 36 mesi in botti da 30 hl. Rubino con tendenze granate. Olfatto molto classico su note scure, sottobosco, tabacco e cuoio. Trama gustativa fitta, progressiva, con un tannino scalpitante e un finale saporito, salato, leggermente evolutivo.
2 Faccini DoctorWine
Tasted blind. Mild ruby with orange tinges, already showing development. Sweetly perfumed and ripe nose with a hint of autumn leaves and what looks like oak. Soft fruit palate with mellow notes, but becomes rather tannic on the finish. Already looking older thant it is and lacking a little in vibrancy (WS)
Tasted blind, just ruby with organge tinges. Quite closed on the fruit right now, showing only savoury notes. Supple and quite ripe and sweet fruit that is almos a little singed. Quite developed already. (WS)
Veste rubino con riflessi granato. Naso ricco incentrato su polpa di ciliegie, ribes rosso, smalto, catrame, rosa appassita, cenni boisé, vaniglia, sottobosco, incenso e cioccolato fondente. Protagonista al gusto un tannino elegante che spalleggia l'acidità; buona progressione con gradevole ritorno di frutta e tartufo. Riposa per 24 mesi in botte grande, seguiti da 8 mesi in bottiglia. Fagiana lardellata al tartufo nero.
Rosso rubino trasparente. Apre su sentori fruttati di ciliegia, viola, resina, alloro e note salmastre; seguono polvere di caffè, gomma e cera. Grande spinta acida e tannino che domano l'alcol; lunga persistenza con un finale rinfrescante e fruttato. Matura in botti grandi per 8 mesi, quindi affina per altri 4 in bottiglia. Rosticciana di maiale.
Ammaliante alla vista di un consistente rosso rubino trasparente. Intenso e fine al naso con sensazioni di ciliegia, ribes, liquirizia e cacao; dopo qualche olfazione è possibile percepire anche una piacevole nota ematica. In bocca l'attacco è equilibrato e morbido. Ottima la trama del tannino integrata nella struttura del vino: non graffia ma accarezza il palato. Elegante alla beva, di notevole persistenza. Ottima conduzione del legno grande in fase di maturazione. Ideale compagno per una grigliata di carne.
Rubino compatto trasparente e di buona consistenza. Al naso si riconoscono sensazioni di rosa, viola e mora di rovo, con accenni balsamici, speziatura di cannella e caffè appena tostato. In bocca è solido e austero. La struttura si deve ancora assestare e lo farà sicuramente se si saprà conservare la bottiglia ancora qualche anno. Persistenza media con finale fruttato. Matura in rovere da 50 ettolitri per 24 mesi. Petto di piccione in casseruola.
Luccicante rosso rubino di buona consistenza. Profonda intensità e buona ampiezza olfattiva. In successione emergono sensazioni di prugna, cuoio, alloro, china, cacao; decisamente poliedrico. Alla beva è equilibrato. Bell'attacco tannico, setoso, non invadente e ben compenetrato nel corpo del vino. Chiude appena amaricante e ha una buona persistenza dopo la beva. In botte grande da 25 ettolitri per 48 mesi. Cinghiale in umido.
Manto granato luminoso, di grande trasparenza. In prima battuta presenta al nasotimidi riconoscimenti di cipria, incenso e prugna, allargandosi poi nel calice con richiami variegati che vanno dal mirtillo in confettura alla ciliegia sotto spirito, dal tabacco biondo alla foglia di tè e al bergamotto. L'ingresso in bocca è netto e deciso, centrato sull'acidità e sul tannino, già ben levigato. una lunga progressione gustativa chiude con richiami di arancia rossa. Matura in legno grande per 24 mesi e affina per un anno in bottiglia. Papero in umido.
Tonalità rubino vivace. Apre su ricordi di corteccia di china e humus, poi emergono sentori di lampone, ribes rosso, rosa damascena e bastoncino di liquirizia. Al sorso è succoso: domina la freschezza, protagonista per tutta la durata dell'assaggio, con tannini rotondi e sapidità calibrata. Riposa per 8 mesi in botti grandi, poi affina per 4 mesi in bottiglia. Bistecca alla fiorentina.
Preciso al naso e dal carattere esuberante mostra mille sfumature di rosso nel calice e sentori di prugne nere, cassis, foglia di mirto, radice di ginseng e bergamotto. Si esalta e completa grazie ai sentori di petali di rosa appassita e rosa canina. Corpo pieno, tannini setosi senza cuciture, che accarezzano il palato e accompagnano durante la progressione ed un finale vivace e di egregia qualità. Un capolavoro prodotto a Montalcino in un’annata straordinaria in Toscana. Meglio dal 2022.
Aroma caldo e maturo nei sentori con prugna rossa, cassis e mirto. Camomilla in sottofondo a donare complessità. Corpo pieno, tannino soffice ed un finale chiaro ed energico. Bevi ora.
Di elevato profilo sensoriale un rosso scarico nel colore che dona immenso piacere grazie alle mille sfumature nel calice. Delicato nella presenza di petali di rosa, fiori di ibisco, lavanda e ciliegia disidratata. Si arricchisce ulteriormente con note agrumate in sottofondo. Corpo medio-pieno, tannini di qualità imperiale ben estratti e sartoriali ed un finale morbido ed avvolgente che dona piacere immediato. Meglio dal 2021.
Sentori di prugna rossa, lamponi e ribes. Pietra bianca in sottofondo. Corpo medio, tannino dolce ed un finale semplice, ma armonico. Buono ora.
Wow, iconico esprime bellezza e precisione d’esecuzione nelle note di ibisco, gerani in fiore, ribes e melograno. La matrice secondaria si tinge di fiori di limone e buccia di mandarino. Corpo medio-pieno, tannini di egregia qualità morbidi ed integrati ed un finale succoso e centrato. Meglio dal 2021.
Maturo ed essenziale offre note di amarene sotto spirito, ciliegie disidratate, fiori pressati e buccia di limone arsa. In sottofondo l’eleganza del profilo mediterraneo arricchisce la matrice con sfumature di timo e rosmarino. Corpo medio-pieno, succoso e centrato offre dei tannini setosi ed un finale esile di avvolgente armonia. Meglio dal 2021.
Maturo e complesso regala note di gerani bagnati, incenso, sandalo e gocce di bergamotto. In sottofondo l’energia agrumata si regala nell’emozione del chinotto fuso a lime e fiori di arancio. Corpo pieno, succoso e centrato mostra un core solido e verace. Corpo pieno, tannini di notevole fattura rotondi e ben estratti nella matrice ed un finale dalla chiusura elegante. Meglio dal 2022.
Extremely brilliant and mature in the glass showing notes of raspberries, currants, ripe cherries, red flowers, calendula, hawthorn and linden. A lot of citrus dominates the secondary scene and blend with hints of tobacco in this young Brunello. Full bodied, silky tannins and a warm, enveloping finale that gives pleasure in every sip. Slightly hot and spicy showing a subtle alcoholic perception in the aftertaste. Better from 2022.
Extremely brilliant on the nose showing mixed floral and fruity scents reminiscent of hibiscus, agapanthus, marjoram, origano and wilted linden. The red prunes blend with hints of strawberry and cut cedar and dominate the secondary scene. Full bodied, extemely smooth tannins of a rare silky quality and a harmonic, balanced finale, beautiful in every sip. Better from 2022.
Warm and enveloping in its mature profile showing mixed notes reminiscent of red prunes, camphor, mandarin rind, hawthorn, chamomile and bergamot. Full bodied, fine grain tannins of incredible workmanship and a voluminous finale, admirably projected in its length and distension. Better from 2022.
Fragole e fragoline di bosco, lamponi e ribes sono i sentori principali di questo vino. Nel profilo secondario, fiori rossi, rosa canina e spezie come pepe bianco e pepe nero. Al palato, corpo pieno, tannini ben polimerizzati ed un finale morbido e suadente. Bevi ora o invecchia.
Aperto al naso mostra note di fragole, prugne secche, terra bagnata, datteri e funghi trifolati. Corpo medio, tannini rotondi ed un finale di piacevole bevibilità. Meglio dal 2024.
Maturo e ricercato mostra note di prugne rosse, caramello dolce, pepe bianco, cedro in pezzi e succo di limone. Tante erbe officinali descrivono la scena secondaria. Corpo medio, tannini mordenti ed un finale che avrà bisogno di tempo per distendersi. Meglio dal 2025.
Verlockende Nase mit Noten von Steinobst und Karamell, auch Kräutern; im Mund saftig, die Tannine punktgenau, die Säure vif, das geschmeidige Finale gut ausbalanciert. Überzeugt mit Kraft und Frische.
1° position on TOP 10 BEST OF BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG 2017
Verführerische Fruchtnase mit Noten von Wildblumen und Gewürzen, Macchia- und Tabaknoten; am Gaumen geschliffen, das engmaschige Tannin und die akzentuierte Säure in perfekter Balance, der Abgang elegant und ellenlang. Hervorragend gemacht, hat Potenzial.
Finissimo floreale, macchia mediterranea, ferroso e salino, tannino delicato con ritorni di olive e mandorle, molto rilassato ma sempre di ottima complessità, delicato etereo ma con trama tannica tambureggiante.
Macchia, carrube, elicriso e ligustro, candore vanigliato e spezia fine, sorso di rara piacevolezza in questa annata.
Camphor, forest floor, wild berry and dark spice aromas lead the way. Full-bodied and supremely elegant, the delicious palate delivers ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and tobacco framed in tightly woven, velvety tannins. Bright acidity keeps it balanced and lifted. Drink 2025–2038. 14.5% abv. Kerin O’Keefe November 2022 ©kerinokeefe.com
Forest berry, spice, hay and menthol aromas mingle with whiffs of new leather on this stunning, fragrant Brunello. A top-scorer vintage after vintage, the 2018 combines elegance and a full body, delivering dried cherry, blood orange, licorice and ground clove alongside firm but refined tannins. Bright acidity keeps it energized while a saline mineral note adds depth to the finish. Drink 2026–2038. 14.5% abv. Kerin O’Keefe November 2022 ©kerinokeefe.com