Some of the Brunellos getting high ratings from the critics are described as very big wines, tannic, very ripe fruit, etc. I don’t buy many Brunellos and would like to maybe order one 2007 in the modern style and another that is more traditional for comparison (may not open them for three years.)
If it’s traditional in style…it’ll need more than 3 years.
Biondi Santi is my thought…but you’d need to wait more like 10+ (I’m still cellaring my 2001).
Il Poggione. Consistent producer, readily available and easy on the wallet. You might find 06/07 on the shelf, but 08 is the current release I believe. You can drink them younger, and to me its even impressive, but… give one a shot and you’ll see what I mean.
Biondi-Santi, Lisini, Le Presi, Pertimali, Baricci
Two more off the top of my head: Barbi, Canalicchio di Sopra
Lisini is excellent, and the prices are reasonable since it hasn’t yet become a collector’s darling.
Don’t buy a 2007 from a traditional producer as the vintage isn’t a great one in brunello from a traditionalists point of view.
What’s your price range? That will determine how best to direct you (Biondi Santi is on the high end and lisini/col di orca/poggio antico white label on the low end).
Personally I’d go with Costanti - it’s a much better wine than the low end priced ones I mentioned and has very similar terroir and winemaking as Biondi Santi at half the cost. Get a 1999, 2001 or 2004.
In terms of traditional and consistently making the most of what the vintage gives them, I like Costanti, Canalicchio di Sopra, and Il Poggione.
Biondi Santi on the higher end and still worth it side. Talenti & Il Poggione on the way reasonable side and still sort of Biondi like. Montertine from Chianti is not to be missed either.
Slight thread drift but it is Italian. Would Conterno Fantino be traditional; not sure if they produce any brunello but I’m looking at purchasing Ginestra. Any input as to style, etc?
Il paradiso di Manfredi.
Surprised no one’s mentioned Soldera, which is the probably the most sought after of all. My favorite is Poggio di Sotto, though I think that might be a little darker-fruited than “textbook” red sour cherry Brunello.
And vintage-wise I’d look at 1999’s and 2001’s to get a sense of what these grow into. Those are still on the younger side–the 1985’s, 88’s, and 90’s are at peak now–but those years are hard to find with reliable provenance.
I think Poggio di Sotto is one of the best. If their Brunello costs more than you want to spend, get the Rosso. Even the latter is better than most producers’ Brunello. Also, Sesta di Sopra hasn’t been mentioned. I agree that '07 might not be the best vintage to look at to get a sense of these wines.
Why avoid a traditional 07? Too structured, not enough fruit?
They’re a bit flamboyant but still fun to drink. I really like 04 and 06. Wanted to buy some 05s from a few producers but they disappeared quickly. I own some 01s and need to revisit. I’m planning on buying some 08 Talentis.
Costanti is a good one, not sure how I left that off my list. Ditto the “Cerbs” and Sotto, but those are not worth the $$$ to me (Biondi-Santi is). I will have to dissent from the suggestions of Il Poggione.
There is not much of a premium for Brunello back vintages so there is certainly no reason to stick to the latest releases to explore.
Rick, I definitely would not consider Conterno Fantino traditional - certainly not like Giacomo Conterno, Bartolo Mascarello, Roagna, etc.
And I think the traditional/modernist categorization gets even hazier in a region like Brunello. Certainly wines like Soldera and Biondi-Santi are traditional, and wines like Siro Pacenti and Stella di Campalto are modernist, but there’s a whole continuum between those wines, and I think practices can change over time. Someone like Ciacci is probably in the middle; not sure how I would categorize Costanti, but I certainly like what he puts in a bottle.
Hard to get much more trad than Pietroso…
Slight thread drift: I know a few producers like Biondi Santi have been around a long time, but has most Brunello really been around long enough for there to be a “traditional” style, or are we just sort of using “traditional” to mean what we think of in places like Bordeaux and Rioja, where we think of it meaning less ripe, less new oak, more tannin, more acid, less intervention?
I’m mostly just asking the question for those who know the history better. Is it possible we’re sort of imputing a tradition and history that wasn’t really there to that much of an extent?