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2010 was a great, classic year for rioja, producing wines that will give great pleasure for many years to come.

The picture with the 2017 vintage in Montalcino is more complicated...or, at least, it was for the vignerons. Happily, there is no complication for the consumer, since a great many stunning wines have been bottled (of which a couple of the finest can be found below).

From a growing season that started in a yield-reducing frost and continued into a season of scorching temperatures and low rainfall have come wines that exhibit little evidence of these stresses. Walter Speller writing on describes 2017 as "a hot vintage that tastes cool" and goes on to opine that, "buying 2017 Brunello should generally be a risk-free affair, with a lot of enjoyable wines ready from the get-go."

Having tasted a slew of them, I entirely concur!


2010 Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva, Lopez de Heredia
£150 in bond per 6  Drink 2024-2045
Among the finest producers in Rioja, Lopez de Heredia bottles unashamedly traditional wines.
2010 was an excellent year in the region and this will give vast levels of pleasure for many years to come.


PS. 2015 Vina Arana Gran Reserva, La Rioja Alta has now been released. Read the full offer.


2019 Rosso di Montalcino, Lisini
£108 in bond per 6  Drink 2022-2026
"Aromas are dark and a touch rooty, of cola and black plums and there's a hint of something savoury like dried pine cones. This is very cool across the tongue. And it is structured right from the front with its swathe of uber-fine tannin. A very long thing, this. Juicy-fresh and dense and very cool. Superb rosso." Bowes Wine original note

2017 Brunello di Montalcino, Lisini
£240 in bond per 6  Drink 2023-2030
"Aromas here are elegant, even a touch floral, with red domestic fruits backed by something altogether wilder and darker. This is already complex to smell. Chestnuts and black cherry. Rich aromas with a hint of mint. There's delightful fluidity to this medium-weight wine that is backed by a fresh structure of upright tannins that are very fine indeed. This is a direct thing in the mouth; very, very long and with a sandy minerality to the structure. The deliciously dark fruit has a pastille quality that references the torridity of the vintage. Fabulous stuff." Bowes Wine original note

2017 Brunello di Montalcino, Máté
£180 in bond per 6  Drink 2022-2028
"Aromas here are cool and fresh, offering up cola and cake spices that nuance the black cherry fruit. It's a delicious thing to smell. This is just medium weight but offers superb intensity, especially at the end. Subtle and cool, with wisps of tannin in support. Persistent, fresh grip leads to that super-intense ending. "A delicious mouthful of juicy fruit.", according to Walter Speller on, on which site it was listed as one of the top wines of the vintage."Bowes Wine original note


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