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Brunello di Montalcino 2013, a classic year to wait for; the anteprima report

The week of Tuscan previews, anteprima, ended with the presentation of Brunello di Montalcino 2013 and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012. An appointment you do not want to miss. Even Sting came by and played some songs the last day. BKWine Magazine’s Åsa Johansson reports and picks her favourites among all the wines tasted.

The vintage 2013, which is rated four stars out of five, was a cooler year compared to the high temperatures Montalcino has become used to in recent years (with the exception of 1998, 2002 and 2005, which were also cool).

The wines from 2013 are therefore a “slimmer” version of Brunello di Montalcino instead of being powerhouses they have elegance and finesse with noticeable tannins and vibrating acidity. The alcohol level is also lower compared to warmer years and most wines end up somewhere between 13.5% and 14.5%. Many of the wines need time to express their full potential, but if you can be patient, these wines will enchant many dinner tables in a few years. Personally, I love this style of Brunello di Montalcino.

This is the one of the articles in the series on this year’s Tuscan anteprima season. Read more:

Benvenuto a Brunello di Montalcino

Benvenuto a Brunello di Montalcino, copyright A Johansson

Here are my favourites out of the 135 wines, which overall were of an exceptional standard.

Le Chiuse

Spicy with hints of medicinal herbs, dried roses, super-elegant tannins, a wine with class, a long, savoury and elegant finish.

Pietroso

One of the best wines I have tried in a long time. Here too, elegance is the keyword, with tense tannins in the background and with wonderful fruit, cherry and pomegranate filling the mouth, add elements of dried roses and saltiness which give an impressive complexity.

Sassodisole

Dark fruit, blue plums, long silky fine tannins, a Brunello where the fruit stands out. Very pleasant.

Col d’Orcia

From the southern and warmer part of Montalcino. Lots of fruit, spicy, soft and a touch of mint, long fine finish.

Argiano

Sweet tones, ripe fruit, cedar tree, round with bigger body, soft tannins, ready to drink now.

Armilla

Earthy tones, peppery, low-key at first but turns out to be mouth-filling with long tannins and a fine spicy finish.

San Polino

Intense deep ruby red colour, aromas filled with fruit and spice. The barrel tones are there but are balanced by the fruit. A broader and more full-bodied Brunello compared to others.

Le Ragnaie

Mediterranean herbs and mustard seeds are mixed with red fruits, cherries and raspberries. Savoury well-integrated tannins, lean, long finish.

Brunello di Montalcino le Ragnaie

Brunello di Montalcino le Ragnaie, copyright A Johansson

Mastrojanni

A well-made, classic and reliable Brunello, medium body, with white pepper, rose-hip and refreshing acidity. Savoury tannins. A safe bet.

Scopetone

Light-coloured sangiovese, light body, white pepper, lavender tones, elegant, delicate with low-key fruit, and an inviting fresh finish.

Åsa Johansson is BKWine’s person in Italy. She lives in Florence since the early ’00s. Asa writes regularly on wine and food in Swedish and Italian publications as well as online.

This post is also available in: Swedish

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