The Brunello di Montalcino, DOCG since 1980, is produced in Tuscany about 40 km south of Siena, in the area of Montalcino. The wine takes its name from this Unesco World Heritage Site.
The Montalcino area is made up of about 24,000 hectares, although only 15% of these are dedicated to grape cultivation. The great Sangiovese variety, from which Brunello of Montalcino is made, is very sensitive to the land on which it is grown. Here in Montalcino several different geological typologies intersect, such as clay, tuff, and so-called original rocks, limestone and marl. These last two are found at the higher elevations. The higher location of the plants, together with a rich mosaic of variables, have determined the character of this Brunello, since its origin. The plants in the territory of Montalcino grow at elevations that range from about 120 to 650 meters above sea level. The cultivation area can be divided into four sub-zones, oriented according to the cardinal directions.
The most utilized method of vine training is that of spurred cordon. The Mediterranean climate tends to be dry, although some inflections of the continental climate are present. The nearby Monte Amiata often helps mitigate meteorological events of great intensity. In the cantina, the Brunello di Montalcino typically brings together several plots located in different areas of the cultivation zone to guarantee a wine not too homogeneous nor too distinguished by a single cru. Recently however, numerous agencies have developed a concept of viticulture that privileges wines obtained from a single vineyard, beyond the average geographical placement. The aging of the Brunello di Montalcino takes place in wood for at least two years during which the producer may choose the dimensions of the barrels. This is followed by 4 months in the bottle. In order to earn the distinction of riserva, the wine must be age for six years, subject to a period of at least two years of maturation in wood.
And finally the time has come to return to the 2015 vintage of Brunello. As I often say, there are no identical vintages, and this is also one of the marvels when making or dealing with wine. This 2015 vintage is marked by a great qualitative thickness. Perhaps it is not entirely homogeneous in the different areas of the Montalcino DOCG. In some cases, it reached historical peaks, while in others the releases are in line with the past ones. However, this is a vintage that displays density, thickness, a fruit of a beautiful tautness combined with excellent freshness, with undeniable qualities to develop, as demonstrated by these 2015 Riserve.