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A Perfect Storm of Greatness: 2019 Brunello from Ciacci Piccolomini

Stylized image of Ciacci Piccolomini, Brunello di Montalcino, 2019



This is a must-have vintage for fans of Ciacci Piccolomini

—Eric Guido, Vinous

You can tell that a producer is great when their “off” wines are truly delicious. Ciacci Piccolomini made great Brunellos in 2018 and 2014. They make a truly delicious humble Rosso di Montalcino. Piccolomini passes this “greatness” test with flying colors.

But today, we don’t have to put Ciacci to the test. We have a not-so-humble Brunello di Montalcino to offer you, and it is from the very much exalted 2019 vintage.

Greatness in Brunello di Montalcino meant, for generations, vines located in the original heart of the DOC in and around the village of Montalcino itself. But starting in the 1970s, a group of producers started to discover that just to the southeast of Montalcino, in the commune of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, you could make some very special, and especially elegant, Brunello.

The soils here are more complex than in Montalcino, with much of the vineyards covered in a mix of calcareous marl and shale that is so distinctive to the village that it is called “Castelnovo marl”. A nearby river provides cool, fresh air at night, helping to navigate the DOC’s propensity towards heat. This is how a producer like Poggio di Sotto, perhaps the star of the village, is able to produce their achingly elegant Brunellos.

And it is, of course, also one of the keys to Ciacci Piccolomini’s success. The others are hard work — this is a winery that maintains their vines meticulously — and a fairly traditional approach in the cellar, with long aging in traditional wooden casks (botti).

It’s a “must have” vintage as Eric Guido puts it in the quote above, and we would also add “can drink” — it will keep, for sure, but is so inviting right now that there’s no reason to feel like you need to keep your hands off. Enjoy!

Ciacci Piccolomini, Brunello di Montalcino, 2019 $67.99



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