10 years ago Brunello was a highly sought-after wine. Wine lovers couldn't get enough of it. But now, many wine-peeps seem to shy away. Why? Brunello went through scandal and produced wines that are too opulent and overdone for America's evolving tastes. And yet, the handful of exceptions continue to make some of the most profound, age-worthy and beautiful wines that we know. Gianni Brunelli is one of them. We've opened up 10-12 year-old examples for the hardest core fans of Northern Rhone, Burgundy and Piedmont, and they were shocked to discover how lovely, honest and elegant real Brunello can be.Partly, it's the style. Laura Brunelli -- who took over for her husband when he passed in 2008 -- really is one of a very small handful of producers that have maintained honesty and tradition throughout Brunello-gate. There is nothing but Slavonian casks at this estate, and certainly no Cabernet! Farming is organic and conducted with dedication and passion.One other trick to Brunelli's magic is blending, she has two sites that are very different. One produces a very aromatic Sangiovese; the other a grape with more structure and depth. Blend these together and you get Sangiovese heaven.
"The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino opens with a bouquet that is dark and captivating, reminding me of picking ripe strawberries right off the vine, as its pretty, dark red fruits mingle with earth tones and hints of floral stems, then spiced orange and sweet minerality slowly develope in the glass. On the palate, it floods the senses with textures like fine velvet, yet not heavy in any way, instead guided by brisk acids and minerals, carrying fleshy dark red fruits with hints of savory herbs and spice. As the textural experience comes to a close, it reveals a coating of round tannins, with sweet red fruits, spices and pretty floral tones lingering on and on. What a gorgeous expression of vintage character complemented by this house's classic style. Even in its youth, the 2015 Gianni Brunelli will have a lot of fans, but it should also do well over the next ten to fifteen years in the cellar. Drinking window: 2022 - 2036."
"In 2015, Laura Brunelli finished a much-needed new cellar that has enabled greater precision in the winemaking and helped lower the estate's carbon footprint. It is a pleasure to finally try this wine from bottle after tasting the components from botti. It has all the plump, fleshy fruit demonstrated during ageing but has also preserved and fused the captivating scents of sweet garden herbs, dark summer blossoms, tomato and earthy truffles. Mouthwatering red plum and black raspberry round out the palate and the tannins are pliable. It's just about ready to go and there's at least a decade of enjoyment to come."
"This elegant red delivers cherry, iron, leather and tobacco flavors, backed by a vibrant structure. Balanced, with firm, well-proportioned tannins and a long, mouthwatering finish. Best from 2022 through 2040." -James Suckling
"Rose, new leather, wild herb and darkskinned-berry aromas emerge from the glass on this fragrant red. Polished and balanced, the elegant, medium-bodied palate reveals Marasca cherry, star anise and ground clove framed in refined tannins and fresh acidity. It’s already accessible but promises good mid-term aging. Drink through 2027."
What importer Skurnik Wines has to say about this wine...
100% Sangiovese sourced from Podernovone vineyard at an altitude of 500 meters with south-western exposure, planted in 1998, and Canalicchio vineyard at an altitude of 250 meters with north-western exposure, planted in 1989Galestro, calcareous marly schists, and white clay soilsMaceration and fermentation occurs over 23 daysAged in 25-30HL Slavonian oak casks for 30 months prior to bottling