If you are a wine lover passionate about Italian wines, you should have heard the buzz surrounding the vintage 2015 of Brunello di Montalcino. After almost one year since its release in the market, some of you are maybe wondering how really are performing the Brunello’s 15. Some of you may have tasted them already in January/February during the Anteprime (preview), some of you may have already made your orders, but it is well known that things change from the previews. Fall time and beginning of winter are for sure the best period to taste red wines with a structure like Brunello, so I have decided to taste again some of the 2015 to have a more clear overview of the vintage.
How did it go? Some surprises for sure and some confirmations, some unexpected evolution and some significant changes. Read the below to see what happened.
Before getting into each bottle, let’s analyze the general aspects of the vintage. The 2015 has been considered a five star vintage, one of the best lately, but overall considered very warm and dry.
Coming on the heels of the difficulties of the 2014 vintage is without any surprise that many pundits and producers claimed the 2015 as “the vintage of the century”, that with hindsight could have been a long shot, especially considering that in 2021 there will be the 2016 release, which has been generally a way more balanced vintage.
If you know a little bit Montalcino you can easily imagine that with all the variations between altitudes, soils, micro-climates, wine-making styles, not all the sub-areas perform the same, so there have to be made some distinctions.
Harvest time is the major decision of every vintage. In this specific case it has been the greatest challenge: deciding when to pick the grapes, avoiding the Sangiovese to overripe, was pivotal. Of course, in each vintage one of the most important decision throughout the year is deciding when to start the harvest and the difference, also of few days, has turned into varying results into the wines.
The risk of picking the grapes too ripen is to have in the glass a stewed fruit, and an unbalanced mouth, too high in alcohol and too low in acidity. Many wines have 15% or even 15.5% alcohol in the label, and sometimes also when less alcohol, it was still too present as the acidity was pretty low.
To draw some conclusions, the average quality of the wines has been pretty high, maybe higher than other vintages but with few excellences that were probably what people were really expecting from this vintage. Generally speaking the wines are more ready than what we should expect from a Brunello and will probably reach their highest expression in 8-10 years.
Here in this article I would like to share with you my favorites from this controversial vintage.
Il Marroneto – Madonna delle Grazie 2015
If I would have to choose a colour to describe this wine would be White. White is the colour symbol of integrity, of pureness, of Good in its eternal fight against the evil. The colour symbol of perfection which key is not in immobility but in an ever-changing status.
Marino Colleoni – Brunello 2015
Marino’s Brunello for me is pure red. Yes red, the colour of wine for excellence, of its most sincere expression. But also the colour of passion which sometimes can be impetuous and sometimes soft and gentle.
Le Chiuse – Brunello 2015
Le Chiuse for me it’s blue, the colour of Noblesse. A well educated gentleman that expresses his elegance and his noble bearing at every sip. He is young and strong now but he is going to grow as a great man, without loosing these characteristics.
Podere le Ripi – Amore e Magia 2015
Amore and Magia it’s absolutely purple, because it’s my favorite colour at all. A colour that changes at every sip, and always surprise you. It represents sacrality and the one of wine over any other kind of drink. A mouth-filling, velvety wine like the clerical dresses.
Cupano – Brunello 2015
The colour for the Brunello from Cupano is gold. Gold is the symbol of richness, a richness that can be inherited or can be built with mastery. I always use this word when talking about Cupano (mastery) because in my opinion having the small oak so well balanced and integrated into the wine, giving structure and richness (in fact), but soften at the same time, it’s something that you can’t inherit, you have to build it with experience.
Pian dell’Orino – Vigneti del Versante 2015
Vigneti del Versante it’s light-blue, that light-blue of the clear sky in a summer sunny day. A wine that speaks directly to your body sending peace of mind, serenity and positiveness, given from it’s generous fruit, balance and integrity.
Fuligni – Brunello 2015
The Brunello from Fuligni it’s black, a true classic. Everyone says that matches with everything but it suits perfectly only with few things. He has good and bad things about the classics, he might not be everyone’s choice but for those who like him, he will never disappoint.
Argiano – Brunello 2015
The Brunello from Argiano will be yellow colour. The colour of sunshine and light. It comes from the Southern area which benefits of a lot of sunlight indeed, that usually is not a good point in a warmer vintage like 15, but the elegance and the balance of this wine are surprising, better performance than other wines which comes from cooler expositions.
Poggio di Sotto – Brunello 2015
A colour for the Brunello from Poggio di Sotto should be brown, like the earth. Wine is a way for the vines to communicate the place where they come from, the traditions of Montalcino and the tradition of Sangiovese. A wine that expresses faithful to itself and a true sense of place.
Baricci – Brunello 2015
The colour of Baricci may be orange. Orange is a colour that makes everybody agree, I have never heard someone that does not like orange (or Baricci). Sometimes bit raw and not extremely expressive but hides a talent which can be discovered with time.
Ciacci Piccolomini – Pianrosso 2015
The colour of Pianrosso is silver, it may be more available than other precious metals but this doesn’t subtract the charm from it.
Gianni Brunelli – Brunello 2015
The Brunello from Gianni Brunelli should have the colour of discoveries: green. Very clear and intense, a wine that you can appreciate from the first to the last sip, it never stays still but in its movement it has always a very bright message.
Feel free to let me know in the comments which were your fav Brunello 2015, if you agree with me or not. I am going to share an overview of Brunello 2016 previews soon, subscribe here if you do not want to miss my next article.
2 thoughts on “Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – my hot spots”
I love this description, no marks, no numbers, true feeling and expression of your sincerity… Valuable !!!
Argiano was the deception to me… My Pinot/ Nebbiolo palate is not so much into those riper styles…
Gianni Brunelli is a great example of balanced, easy drinking from the area…
Ciacci I have loved some vintages if them… Nice place too
What do you think of Romitorio, a pretty new one on the scene ??? I liked the wines I tried so far
Hi Stan, please accept my apologies for the delay in reply to your comment and thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my article.
I agree with you overall, regarding Castello Romitorio I find their wines very clean and correct but not extraordinary emotional in my personal opinion.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at my email address to chat about Montalcino ! Have a lovely day