2016 San Filippo Le Lucére Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscana, Italy

2016 San Filippo Le Lucére Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscana, Italy



Note photograph from when we tasted at the winery in February of 2020 before labels were printed!!

Also available see 2016 San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino.

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.

Current Ratings:

“This red is laden with balsamic aromas and flavors of juniper, rosemary and rose, plus black currant and raspberry fruit. There’s an underlying mineral element, along with firm, mature tannins that enhance the overall elegance and finesse. Best from 2024 through 2045.  600 cases imported” – 98 points, Wine Spectator (Bruce Sanderson)

“This is rich and very linear at the same time, with cherry, tile, walnut and light chocolate aromas. Some mahogany. Very complex. Full-bodied, yet tight and reserved with a very, very long finish. Really gorgeous. Try after 2025. – 98 points, James Suckling

“This special selection of fruit from San Filippo is characterized by more intensity and concentration compared to the estate’s classic Brunello. In this vintage, I also discovered a greater level of Sangiovese purity and direction, thanks to tight berry tones, dusty mineral, spice and balsam herb. To the palate, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino le Lucére delivers succulent fruit and even a touch of sweetness, all powered by tannins, clearly driven by both the oak and the fruit itself. This wine ages in a combination of barrique, tonneau and botte grande for two years. This 14,000-bottle release will hit the market in January 2021. (2023-2042). – 94+ 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.