You will recall my previous selection of the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino was the incredible Uccelliera, situated next to the Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona estate and also in the Castelnuovo dell’Abate about 6 miles to the southeast of the village of Montalcino. This sub-zone of the DOCG is definitely one of the “hot spots” for greatness in 2015.
“The 2015 vintage produced powerful Brunellos di Montalcino — broad, dense and packed with fruit and tannins. The best wines find a nice equilibrium, matching ripe fruit with lively acidities, elegance and harmony, and the complexity and richness to offset the firm tannins. The 2015 growing season saw normal heat and rainfall, which led to healthy fruit at harvest. A few areas excelled, notably north of Montalcino, around the Montosoli hill, and south of town and around Castelnuovo dell’Abate; higher elevations over-performed as well. These areas delivered the most complex and vibrant 2015 Sangiovese, capable of long aging.” – Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, Italian Editor.
James Suckling 98 points – ” 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.”
RP Wine Advocate 95 points – “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. ML
Wine Spectator 94 points – “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. —B.S.
Do you believe in fairy tales? In this case, Giuseppe Bianchini had worked as the property manager at Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona for many years, and in 1985 when the countess died, the estate was bequeathed to him because she had no direct heirs. Giuseppe passed away in 2004, but his children continue their father’s tradition of excellence, as they meticulously and organically farm their ideally elevated south facing vineyards. Without a doubt, this was an easy choice as Ciacci Piccolomini is one of the most sought after producers in all of Italy. Like the finest 2015 Brunello di Montalcino, there is a pin point balance in this extremely refined and elegant wine. The exquisitely knit tannins are pure magic. Cherries and spice and everything NICE. 95ES/TWC