During the days 21 and 22 February, in Montalcino, for the journalists, the tastings of the Montalcino red 2018, the Brunello di Montalcino 2015 and the 2014 or 2013 reserves were held, the latter for those who put it on the market in 2020.

As usual I went, together with Sergio Antonini to Pescina, in the municipality of Seggiano, at the foot of Monte Amiata, to my friend Roberto Rossi, owner of the restaurant “Silene”, with a Michelin star.

We were there on Friday and Saturday for dinner and for sleep. Roberto Rossi’s cooking is particularly pleasant. Friday morning we went to the event in Montalcino and we tasted both the Brunello 2015 and the 2018 red wines, sitting at a table in the salon dedicated to journalists. After tasting three Brunello 2015s, I realized what that vintage had been like and what I would have expected, more or less, to taste the following wines.

2015 was not an easy year and the general line gave wines with pleasant and various aromas and a good taste balance between alcohol and freshness, as the acidity covered the alcoholic mass, not burning the central part of the tongue . The only and not simple problem of this vintage was the tannins. The latter had the problem of dryness. Given that I feel the tannins on the upper gum when tasting the wines, in general, I felt sweet tannins, initially silky or velvety, then felt the upper gum dry and sometimes even burn it slightly. Dryness means that the tannins have not matured well. The ideal is to be able to harvest when there is a gustatory balance between alcohol and freshness together with the right maturation of the tannin. It can happen that if you wait for the right maturation of the tannins you risk that the wine has an excess of alcohol and therefore that the wines are not well balanced.

2015 reminded me of the Montalcino vintages 2007, 2008 and 2009 in which the same problem of dry tannins arose. The same problem also occurred in Bordeaux in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013.

As for the 2018 vintage of the Montalcino reds, I also felt a little dryness of the tannins. We will see what we will feel with the Brunello 2018.

Certainly important years in Montalcino will be 2016 and 2019.

Returning to the Brunello di Montalcino 2015, in many wines I have smelled the scents of toasted peanuts, a perfume that I particularly love and which, from what oenologists I respect tell me, means that the perfect maturation of the grape seed has been achieved.

I must say that the average level of wines has been good and satisfactory.
In my opinion it was not an exceptional year, but a good year.

The Brunello di Montalcino tasted by me, which I liked the most were:

Salvioni – La Cerbaiola 97/100, Col D’Orcia 95/100, Il Marroneto 94/100, Argiano Vigna del Suolo 94/100, Argiano Riserva 94/100, Ridolfi Donna Rebecca 94/100, Le Chiuse 93/100, Il Poggione 93/100, Poggio di Sotto 93/100, Mastrojanni 93/100, Giodo 93/100, Argiano 93/100, Casanova di Neri 93/100, Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, 93/100, Le Ragnaie 92/100, San Polo 92/100, Tassi di Franci Franca 92/100, Tenute Silvio Nardi 92/100 e Ferrero 91/100.

Of the reds of Montalcino, among those I tasted, what I liked most was the Marroneto 2017, 92 + / 100, which I found, as usual, despite the unhappy year, with a very pleasant drink. It is a wine that you drink the more, the more you would like to drink it.


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