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.
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.
James Suckling 100 points – “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.”
RP Wine Advocate 96 points – “….Pianrosso is distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone and 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 and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello). Instead, the single-vineyard Brunello shows an upright and direct approach with a 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.” ML (End of Jan 2020)
Wine Spectator 94 points – “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