Some commentators are suggesting that 2015 and 2016 are the two finest vintages ever to be bottled from the vineyards of Montalcino. It’s the sort of hyperbolic statement many would consider rash given the youth of the wines, yet what is beyond doubt is that these two harvests, quite different in character, will both give immense pleasure in the years to come; in the case of 2015, relatively soon, whilst the ‘16s will cellar for many a long year.
If the ‘15s were a bit like the ’19 burgundies - i.e. ripe and fleshy, yet pure and beautiful - the 2016s are more direct, more focused, more classically built.
And it’s interesting to note that amongst growers as well as observers there is a lack of consensus as to which is the better. Of course, Montalcino vineyards offer an assortment of soil types, altitudes and aspects and there is a great deal of stylistic variation from sector to sector and vineyard to vineyard, each expressing this single grape variety – Sangiovese (here called Brunello) – as individual iterations. Reminds one of those other multifaceted wine-producing regions where mono-varietals dominate. Burgundy, for example…
Indeed, the wines of Montalcino often remind me of burgundy: like the warmer, wilder cousin who has spent time in the sunnier parts of the globe. Both can be extremely beautiful, too.
N.B. Do not overlook the Rosso di Montalcino in this offering. They generally see less in the way of oak ageing than the brunelli, but offer a massive dose of Montalcino character for a fraction of the price of their more “senior” siblings.
N.B. In an extensive list of 199 different 2016 and 2015 Brunellos compiled by Audrey Frick, the 2016 Pietroso Brunello di Montalcino is the second top rated wine amongst the 2016s.
2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Pietroso
£222 in bond per 6 Drink 2023-2035
“The estate vines are entering their prime production years, and we can expect more great results from this estate in the future. The vineyards are located in the northwest of the appellation and are up to 25 years old in age, planted in schistous Galestro soils with lots of rocks and pebbles at 350 to 450 meters in altitude.” robertparker.com
2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Romitorio
£252 in bond per 6 Drink 2024-2035
£261 in bond per 3 magnums
2016 Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta, Romitorio
£216 in bond per 3 Drink 2025-2037
Always one of the most popular wines of our Brunello offerings, Sesti makes wines that are vital, wild and delicious. The rosso here is an outstanding bargain.
2019 Rosso di Montalcino, Sesti
£99 in bond per 6 Drink 2021-2025
2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Sesti
£285 in bond per 6 Drink 2023-2033
£594 in bond per 6 magnums
2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Phenomena, Sesti
£395 in bond per 6 Drink Drink 2023-2035
N.B. A very few magnums are available
"...these are some of the best wines I have ever tasted from Salicutti, one of my favorite estates in the appellation.” robertparker.com
2016 Brunello di Montalcino Sorgente, Salicutti
£285 in bond per 6 Drink 2022-2029
2016 Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione, Salicutti
£375 in bond per 6 Drink 2024-2038
This is among the greatest estates in the entire commune, producing wines that have been compared to Musigny. Super-elegant and complex, they are the essence of Castelnuovo dell’Abate where are to be found, south of the town of Montalcino, some of the commune's finest vineyards.
2018 Rosso di Montalcino, Poggio di Sotto
£275 in bond per 6 Drink 2021-2027
2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio di Sotto
£725 in bond per 6 Drink 2025-2039