|~ Vineyards in Montalcino ~
(image courtesy of RebeccaWine)
It was January 2014. As I swirled around Gotham Hall in Manhattan wading through the figurative barrels of Brunello 2009, my anticipated focus of the day began to evolve. I was excited to get an early look at the most recent Brunello vintage coming to market but many of the wines were disjointed that day. Some had just been bottled. Many were only bottled in sample form for that event. Some producers didn’t even present their 2009.
As I moved around from table to table, my palate kept getting impressed by a wine I hadn’t planned on considering that day: 2012 Rosso di Montalcino. I have tasted many of these since and have many more yet to report on – but I am confident in saying now that this is the greatest vintage for Rosso di Montalcino that has ever passed my lips. Here’s a snyposis:
2012 Rosso di Montalcino
Tenuta Il Poggione: Alessandro Bindocci told me this is aged in 75% Cask and 25% barrique because of the structure of the vintage. The year was “hot, but very good overall and the rainy spring helped prevent stress on the vines during the hot summer.” This is a violet to dark ruby color with spice and warm bright fruit on the nose and palate. Lots of structure here indeed. This is a very tasty wine. 91 points.
Camigliano: This is a pretty violet color. Fresh and juicy on the nose and palate. Quite simply, just another outstanding 2012 Rosso. 90 points.
Belpoggio: A pretty, intense violet color. Lots of sweet ripe fruit on the nose and palate with spice and flowers. Cask aged. This is impressive. Long finish. 92 points.
Tenuta Brunelli: Violet color with flowers, wild berries, spices and tobacco on the nose and palate. Another delicious 2012 Rosso. Juicy and lively with good persistence. Very well done. 90 points.
Capanne Ricci: A bright ruby color with a fairly expressive nose of berries, spice and herbs. Bright fruit flavors on the palate and more than moderately tannic. A substantial, meaty rosso. 89 points.
|~ Sangiovese vines at Castello Banfi ~|
Castello Romitorio: Fresh and lively. This deep cranberry to ruby colored wine has pretty flavors and aromas of crushed berry, spices and fresh herbs. Balanced and boisterous on the palate. Another delicious 2012 Rosso. 90 points.
Castello Banfi: This is the estate bottling. Intense floral aromatics with wild berry and fennel notes on the nose and palate. Tannic, with balanced acidity. This is one of the best Banfi Rosso’s I’ve ever had. 90 points.
Talenti: Wow! An absolutely amazing, lovely perfumed nose of wild flowers, spices, berries and fresh earth. This is astounding. Pure, bright, juicy and focused on the palate this is the best Rosso I think I’ve ever had. 93 points. Stunning.
|~ The Entrance to Azienda Talenti ~|
Tenuta San Giorgio Ciampoleto: Another amazingly fresh, perfumed and floral rosso. This is loaded with flowers and wild berries on the nose and palate. Really delicious and well balanced. 91 points.
Uccelliera: Pretty violet color. Bright aromatics of pipe tobacco, freshly crushed fruit and flowers. Flavors follow on the palate. Another great rosso. Long finish with a nice anise note. Well done. 91 points.
Voliero: Gorgeous color and structured with a full body. Juicy and ripe with berries, flowers, earth and tobacco on the nose and palate. Complex and rather tannic. This drinks like a Brunello in terms of mouthfeel. Full bodied and long. From grapes sourced from the Northern part of the zone. 91 points, wow!
As I closed with my Benvenuto Report, I wrote the following:
I know this was a long report. Bookmark it – do whatever you do to keep it as a reference. Then go back and look at my notes for each of the 2012 Rosso di Montalcinos. They are simply, as a group, the best Rossos I’ve ever had. Hopefully the prices will hold steady and many of these will clock in at $19-$25. If they do, they are worthy to buy by the mixed case. They were perfumed, full bodied, and full of ripe, juicy fresh fruit. A vintage to watch for.
Be ready. These will start appearing on the market very soon. Stay tuned here as well, as we continue to feature more 2012 Rosso di Montalcino.
November 7, 2014