Sunlight streaming through vines in a vineyard

~ The Madre Vineyard on the Caprili Estate ~

The Caprili estate spreads over an area of 58 hectares in the southwest territory of Montalcino on hillsides that slope toward the Orcia and Ombrone rivers.  Founded in 1965 by Alfo Bartolommei the estate recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary.  Despite that relatively short existence, it’s a premium producer that boasts some of the best terroir in the zone.

Back in July of 2015, I sat down with winemaker Giacomo Bartolommei to discuss recent vintages and current events at Caprili and Montalcino.  Today, we’re re-visting one of those vintages, 2009.

Large wine barrels in a wine cellar

~ Large Barrels in the Caprili Wine Cellars ~

2009 was a very hot, difficult growing season in Montalcino. Many wineries reduced production drastically and some didn’t bottle Brunello at all. Premium cuvees were absent and vintage success was dependent upon a vineyards site specific location. In December 2014, when I published my Annual Brunello Report on the 2009 vintage,  I made the following observation:

“Many of the wines we tasted for this report show very ripe levels to their fruit.  Some exhibited an almost roasted character and many were over 15% alcohol.  Conversely, many recent Napa Cabernets I’ve enjoyed recently have alcohol levels of 13.5% -14%.  If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.”

Italian man strolling a country road near vineyards

~ Alfo Bartolommei patrols the vineyards regularly ~

That knowledge is what makes the subject of this article impressive.  The 2009 Caprili Brunello is a deep violet color clear to the rim of the glass.  The aromas are impressive with crushed cherry, orange and brown autumn leaves, and fresh tobacco.  On the palate, the wine is well balanced with lively floral tones, ripe but fresh crushed berry flavors and a noticeable flinty undertone to the back palate that is very enjoyable.  The heat from the vintage is represented in this wine, but it’s deftly handled and supported by refreshing acidity.  I see no reason to cellar this as it’s enjoyable now.  Drink while your 2010s mature.  92 points. About $40.

Bottle of 2009 Brunello wine and wine glass

~ The 2009 Caprili Brunello fared very well in the heat of the vintage ~

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