Brunello (meaning little “brown one”) is the dialect used to describe the Sangiovese Grosso grape grown in and around the medieval hilltop village of Montalcino, which is situated in the heart of Tuscany about 25 miles south of Siena. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG can only be 100% Sangiovese Grosso, and must be aged a minimum in oak barrel for two years, and bottle for at least 4 months. It can only be released five years after it vintage/harvest date. Not to be confused with Rosso di Montalcino which is also 100% Sangiovese Grosso, but can be released one year from its vintage/harvest date. For more information please refer to the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino.
The 2015 and 2016 vintages of Brunello di Montalcino are without question the two finest back-to-back vintages in the modern era and ready to compete with the legendary benchmark 2010 vintage. Only time will tell, and the debate will continue. Don’t miss collecting any of these vintages for your cellar.
San Filippo estate was founded in 1977, but purchased by Roberto Giannelli in 2003 and completely retooled and renovated. Since then, San Filippo has become one region’s brightest stars as its Brunello di Montalcino is consistently awarded with highest ratings. Last vintage, the 2015 San Filippo Le Lucere Brunello di Montalcino was awarded by Wine Spectator with the #3 rank in its annual Top 100 Wines of the Year 2020.
“Plenty of balsamic aromas preview this red, settling into a core of macerated cherry and plum fruit, framed by juniper, thyme, Scotch broom, tar and iodine. Racy and harmonious, with a solid layer of tannins underneath. Best from 2024 through 2047.” – 97 points, Wine Spectator —B.S.
“A serene and intensely structured Brunello with cherry, cedar, walnut and dry-earth aromas with some burnt-lemon undertones. Full-bodied, yet with very fine tannins that are extremely polished and beautiful. Goes on for minutes. A gorgeous young wine. Try after 2023” – 96 points, James Suckling
“The San Filippo 2016 Brunello di Montalcino offers a slightly exotic personality with smoked cedar, mahogany or teak followed by dark fruit, pressed blackberry and plum. The wine ages in large oak cask for two years. This is a robustly textured and muscular Brunello with full-bodied intensity that transcends both the bouquet and the mouthfeel. There’s a lot going on, especially in terms of the wine’s smokiness and spiciness, and there is good acidity and tannic structure to frame it all. Production is 15,000 bottles.” – 93 points, Wine Advocate (Monica Larner)
San Filippo is situated about 2 km down the slopes from the hilltop village of Montalcino in what is considered the “Rodeo Drive” of the hallowed southeastern sub-zone, where a who’s who farm their vineyards including the historic Biondi Santi (first Brunello!) , Cerbaiona, and La Serena. The property consists of 22 hectares of which 11 are under vine; 100% Sangivoves Grosso, planted to high density spacing, and all organically farmed. San Filippo is most noted for its famous and very prized 2 hectare Le Lucére vineyard which sits with an ideal north east exposure on marl limestone deposits and sandy-clay at an optimum 300 meters above sea level. Years ago, Giannelli hired famed oenologist-consultant Paolo Caciorgna who still oversees the wine making with a non-interventionist approach.
Harvest typically takes place within the first ten days of October. Crushing is almost immediate, and fermentation begins in temperature controlled stainless steel tank within the first 8 hours of maceration, and continues for approximately eight days while pump over and punch downs are performed. The wine is then transferred to large Slavonian oak cask where malolactic fermentation is completed. After about 40 days the wine is racked into barrique and oak casks where it is matured for 24-28 months. The wine is refined in bottle for at least ten months before release.
Also available see 2016 San Filippo Le Lucére Brunello di Montalcino