Best Brunellos

just curious to get some thoughts on Brunellos

What is your favorite all time -
Best QPR -
Favorite bottle from a recent vintage and how long you think it should be aged -

I havent had enough well aged Brunellos but my answers are

all time - 2004 Talenti Pian di Conte
qpr - 2015 Cortonesi La Mannella
best recent - 2015 Cortonesi La Mannella (2030)

Thanks in advance

Take this for what it is. In the Brunello world I am a noobie. Last fall I had a blind tasting of 8 producers (most others were noobies as well). Our top pick was the 2014 Altesino. We had a few reserves in the mix as well but the most mature was an '06. Curious what some of the experts out there think of Altesino…

Altesino is a great producer but I was not very fond of the 2014 vintage. The best that I’ve had from them was the 2010 montosoli, I still have a couple more bottles which I’ll be saving for awhile.
Some of my favorite producers are casa raia, tenuta Nuova, valdicava.
I recommend trying to get half bottles and trying as many producers as possible as they’re all very different.

I suspect it would be difficult to make an overall qualitative decision based on the 2014 vintage. That being said, I tend to favor the more northern vineyards as global warming marches on, so Altesino is a good option for my money.

I am a know-nothing w/r/t Brunello, but we had a 2010 La Mannella on Friday night and it was delicious. Opened my eyes

Among the names you will find mentioned as the finest producers of Brunello are:

Salvioni
Cerbaiona
Soldera
Biondi Santi
Costanti
Il Poggione

-I’m sure there are a few others I am overlooking. Unfortunately of the 6 listed above only Costanti and Il Poggione sell for under $100

-Riserva bottlings are almost always a waste. Frequently over-oaked, over-concentrated or dried out. Generally very poor QPR

I like Terre Nere pretty well for value and correctness, it gets offered on last bottle pretty often. have had a couple of really delicious Casanova di Neris as well. Donatelli Cinelli I think also does a good job. Of course, the likes of Cerbaiona and Biondi Santi can’t be left out, but besides a couple of releases of the NV Cerbaiona those can be a little more unobtainable.

in general if I ever have a way to find out a producer is on the north side of the hill, there’s a better chance that I’ll like it than ones on the southern side, even though that doesn’t hold true for every one of the producers listed here even.

oh also edited to add another vote for Il Poggione.

I love the more midweight, non-riserva Brunelli from producers like il marroneto brunello, Altesino, Fuligni, Barbi. I agree with Tom re: riservas. It’s not universal of course, but I tend to prefer the regular Brunello from many producers. I haven’t had the opportunity to try the traditional ‘best’ like poggio di sotto, Biondi Santi, or Soldera. For <$50 you might try Lazzeretti. One of my favorites was marroneto but that is now closer to $70.

What was once considered the most overpriced wine in Italy has really come alive over the last 30 years. You would be hard pressed to find an estate that consistently releases mediocre wines nowadays. I don’t pay as much attention to the category as I did 5-10 years ago - but it’s a really open field of great wines -

My personal favorites -

Casanova di Neri
Mocali
Valdicava

Personal favorite is Fuligni, best value is Canalicchio - Franco Pacenti or Caprili, we sell previous 2.

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San Polo can also be a terrific bargain,.

In the early part of this decade I took a pretty deep dive into the wines of Montalcino. O’Keefe’s quite useful but opinionated book had just been published and the 06s were being released. I looked at CT this morning and found I have 152 notes from Brunellos I have drunk, mostly from that time period.

I am sure that the great paradigm wines that others have mentioned are fantastic but for the most part they have elluded me. The one great producer I have discovered in the last couple of years is Sesti from Castello Argiano. Very traditional wines that emphasis the floral side of Sangiovese. As of yet I have only had the 08 normal and the 03 Phenomena.

Overall the wine I love the most is Baricci. Again traditional and elegant. I have had a few different vintages and all were fantastic. I also love Agastino Pieri and I’ll Poggione. Both of these producers lean towards a bit richer fuller bodied Brunellos. They also seem very well priced.My highest scored Brunello was a Luce from 07 but I think I was a bit drunk after tasting over 40 wines at a Brunello tasting.

The one conclusion my decade of Brunello drinking led me to was, I prefer Chianti. There are so many great Chianti producers. I still have a case or so of different 06 Brunellos and look forward to drinking them. I moved on when everyone was pitching 2010 and then 2013 as the greatest Brunellos ever. They sounded a bit like the Bordelais, a region I lost interest in years ago.

Still I think the market has calmed down and a lot of these wines are decent bargains for now.

Caparzo a good value

IMHO

Quality: Nothing even close to Soldera but next level is Poggio di Sotto, Cerbaiona, Salvioni
Best recent: Soldera 14 (twice), Soldera 01 Riserva
Best qpr: Constanti, Il Poggione

great tips! More than a handful that I haven’t had.

I just added these 2 to my cart.
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2015
Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015

-Riserva bottlings are almost always a waste. Frequently over-oaked, over-concentrated or dried out. Generally very poor QPR

Tom Taylor & Mattstolz - Also thanks for the tip on riservas. Probably just saved me a fortune!

I use CT & WA to get an idea on when is the tail end of the wine. Is it common for Brunellos to be very drinkable after that or often a pretty steep drop off?

Agree on Riservas. Except older Biondi-Santi and Ciacci Picolomini ( a favorite of mine not mentioned above). (Perhaps newer Biondi-Santi, haven’t had any)

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+1 on piccolomini. especially the normale, but there are times when the Pianrosso is pretty excellent.

Casanova di Neri is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

I’d nominate Livio Sassetti’s Pertimali as one of the better ones, especially if you consider price. But this is a traditional producer and I have no interest in Californized, oaky, 15% alcohol “Brunello”.

The '99 Sassetti is drinking beautifully right now.

I’m a big fan of Lisini, and they are typically good value too.