I get the impression that the world has become a touch fed up with Bordeaux. The attentions of the world's collectors went to the heads of the Bordelais and, as a result, they thought ever-rising prices would be a sustainable way forward. The diminution of interest in their primeurs campaigns says otherwise.
And for some years burgundy looked pretty decent value next to their Médocian and Libournais peers. No more, alas. Whilst it's still possible to find something like value in the "lesser" communes and out-of-the-way corners, if one wants to drink Chambolle or Vosne on a regular basis one is certainly not going to be overly bothered by the current cost of living crisis.
It is to Montalcino that I now so often turn when wanting that blend of cerebral stimulation and emotional charge that only fine wine can bring. Sangiovese is among Italy's most ancient of grape varieties, a fact evidenced by just how far and wide its progeny are spread. And it is in Tuscany that it finds its wondrous apogee, with the wines of Montalcino sitting right at the head of the class.
The style of brunello changes as one moves around the commune, but there are many fine wine makers here producing wines of profound interest.
With the arrival of the new releases from Sesti I thought it a good moment to communicate our Montalcino holdings.
All in stock, lying under bond LCB Dinton Woods, available immediately.
2015 Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione, Salicutti - 1 case (6x75cl) available
£384 in bond per 6
"The character here is ethereal and fragrant, shedding any monolithic tones you might expect of a wine of this depth and persistence." Monica Larner
2015 Brunello di Montalcino, Il Marroneto - 2 magnums available
£132 in bond per magnum
"These results are graceful and gorgeous." Monica Larner
2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Máté - 2 cases (6x75cl) available
£450 in bond per 6
"...classic lines, powerful fruit and a good sense of inner elegance." Monica Larner
2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Sesti - 1 case (6x75cl) available
£285 in bond per 6
"Spectacular balance of ripe, sweet cherry, tangy acidity and really fine, long tannins. Amazing focus and energy."Walter Speller
2017 Brunello di Monalcino Riserva Phenomena, Sesti - 2 cases (6x75cl) available
£420 in bond per 6
"Embryonic and with near-perfect balance..." Walter Speller
2017 Brunello di Montalcino, Lisini - 3 cases (6x75cl) available
£240 in bond per 6
"Dripping with ripe cherries and plums, it is a seductive, rather fruit-driven wine shored up by luscious acidity."Decanter Magazine
2017 Brunello di Montalcino, Máté - 1 case (6x75cl) available
£180 in bond per 6
"A delicious mouthful of juicy fruit." Walter Speller
2018 Brunello di Montalcino, Lisini - 4 cases (6x75cl) available
£234 in bond per 6
"Lisini’s Brunello is one of the vintage’s more exciting and profound wines." Decanter Magazine
2018 Brunello di Montalcino, Casanova di Neri - 3 cases (6x75cl) available
£264 in bond per 6
"As is often the case, Casanova di Neri is a master at creating one of the region’s most balanced and enjoyable “entry level” Brunellos.” Eric Guido
2018 Brunello di Montalcino, Máté - 2 cases (6x75cl) available
£204 in bond per 6
"Long, mouth-filling, juicy and hedonistic." Walter Speller
2021 Rosso di Montalcino, Sesti - 6 cases (6x75cl) available
£108 in bond per 6
"Grip is sustained and juicy in this coolly determined wine. Very, very long and very lovely.” Bowes Wine original note
2021 Grangiovese, Sesti - 3 dozen available
£150 in bond a dozen
"The palate is wonderfully cool, medium weight with mild, nutty, integrated and clean tannins throughout." Bowes Wine original note
And for an utterly beguiling expression of Sangiovese from a tiny, organic estate just over the border in Umbria, you really should investigate the following:
2020 Porcamiseria, Terramonte - 5 cases (6x75cl) available
£90 under bond per 6
"It is very long and very delicious and it is the quality of the tannins here - super-fine like cashmere - that I find underlines its class. Lovely stuff and utterly different from Tuscan expressions of the grape." Bowes Wine original note