The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a dark stallion of a wine that showcases both the depth and radiance of the vintage. At first, its bouquet is dark and earthy, yet quickly blossoms into an enthralling mix of musky red currants, wild peppery herbs, dusty rose and worn leather. While satiny in feel, it’s also sleek and lively, with a vibrant burst of sweet and sour citrus that enlivens its notes of tart cranberry and pomegranate, all wound tightly in a web of saline-minerals. Violet and lavender tones arch across the palate over a core of silky tannins that nicely frame the experience, as a hint of balsamic spice slowly tapers off. The 2016 is one of the most deep and balanced Brunellos that I’ve ever experienced from Biondi Santi. If this is the Annata, then I can only imagine what the Riserva might bring to the table. Something of note is that in 2016, production was down by 15% following the abundant 2015 vintage and the dry conditions in the early part of the season.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2038
Robert Parker 97
From a benchmark vintage, the Biondi-Santi 2016 Brunello di Montalcino reveals a gorgeous appearance with medium concentration highlighted by shiny hues of garnet and dark ruby. The first thing you notice is the compact dark fruit and rather robust textural fiber and power presented here. You almost bite into this wine, and you taste some fine grain linked to the young tannins. That, with the fresh acidity that is the hallmark signature of this estate, guarantees long cellar aging, and I would put my money on this vintage for long-long-term longevity. The fruit is compact and supple with dried cherry, blue flower, iron ore and candied orange peel. There is tobacco, balsam herb and gardening soil in a supporting role, and the wine is beautifully fleshed out but also rich in this balanced growing season. It surely needs more time to come together with pinpoint precision, but the wine’s elegance is a certainty.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050