The 2019 vintage has been extremely kind to Brunello di Montalcino, and I’m now seeing lots of prices being released, as the traditional launch date is January 1st. A near-perfect growing season, with the right amount of rain, no drought and no heat spikes has delivered concentrated wines but with a nuance, finesse and restraint that is very appealing. It’s quite possible that many estates have produced their best wines yet.
The very experienced & highly regarded Kerin O’Keefe, who covers Italian wine now exclusively for herself after leaving the Wine Enthusiast, is very positive indeed on the vintage – and believes it to be better than 2010 & 2016 (see her comments below). Monica Larner (Wine Advocate) & Eric Guido (Vinous) are also extremely keen.
These will all be shipping in Feb / March.
‘2019 has definitely lived up to its lofty reputation as an excellent vintage across Montalcino. I like the 2019s better than the over-rated 2010s… 2019s are overall even better than the 2016s. While there were some seriously stunning 2016s that boasted great elegance, a surprising number were brawny, extracted and showed excessive alcohol, unexpected given the near perfect growing conditions. The soon-to-be-released 2019s on the other hand show intensity, exuberance and great fruit as well as balance. The best also show restraint, finesse and aging potential. I’ve never tasted so many drop-dead-gorgeous young Brunellos from a single vintage. In 2019, many estates produced the best wines they have ever made.’ – Kerin O’Keefe (Nov 2023)