Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino (BdM) is a multifaceted wine. It is a fine wine produced in a small region, with big potential, that embodies both elegance and complexity. As a result, it has drawn the attention of those looking to buy en primeur wines.

Unlike the Super Tuscans, who are produced mainly with Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this prestigious wine is strictly made from 100% Sangiovese, which is locally known as Brunello.

It is not the grape alone that propels BdM to the pinnacle of the fine wine world. But also the subtle expression of terroir and the nuance of vintage variation that tells its own Montalcino saga.

On November 21st, an En Primeur tasting event took place in London to preview the latest vintage of Brunello. It was also a global gathering of wine lovers and buyers to embark on an exploratory journey through the celebrated 2019 and 2018 vintages, unravelling the contemporary expressions curated by Montalcino's vintners.

Brunello di Montalcino as a Fine Wine hosted the EP tasting in London (Photo: Krystal Wen)

Brunello di Montalcino is the new fine wine icon

Montalcino is a boutique, small-scale wine region, compared with many other fine wine regions around the world. Approximately 220 BdM producers are working on the 4,800-acre (1,900-hectare) registered land.

Unlike many other regions, the size of the permitted BdM area has not increased in the past decade. Hence, the production volume of this Sangiovese-based wine is relatively stable, between 9 and 11 million. This also contributes to the establishment of its fine wine status, as the demand for BdM is increasing globally.

Brunello di Montalcino Vintages

The Consorzio created each vintage’s commemorative tile to show the reference year and the number of stars assigned in the Town Hal of Montalcino. (Photo: Wine Consortium Brunello di Montalcino)

2019 BdM Vintage

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5 star)

Outstanding vintage

The vintage kicked off with a very cold and slow start in April and May. There was no significant rainfall in June and July, except for a couple of days at the end of July. It had a very dry August, and some rain in the first week of September. Temperature was moderate, between 86 - 95°F (30-35°C). This was ideal for obtaining the perfect phenolic and technical maturity required for these full-bodied red wines.

2018 BdM Vintage

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 star)

Excellent vintage

The vegetation started with a cold and wet April. Followed by abundant rainfall and high temperatures in May. The ‘high temperature’ theme went on, and lasted from June until the middle of August before it suddenly dipped to below 53.6°F (12°C) occasionally at the end of August. As the rain came back in September, the temperature picked up but then dropped quickly. This led to uneven ripening of the Sangiovese grapes and possibly some unhealthy grapes.

Tasting notes of a few highlights in the BdM EP tasting


The Tenuta Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2019 is beautifully balanced and full of mysterious evolving dark spices. The dark cherry and plum introduction leads to bay leaves and tobacco nuances which repeat on the palate.

The inviting baking spices together with juicy black berries aromas were lifted elegantly by the mouth-watering acidity. It is mid-weighted with very fine and short-grained tannins. There is no doubt this is a great wine to enjoy now. A wine that can be comfortably aged for another decade.


The 2018 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio all’Oro has a great deal to offer. The wine is like a pandora box. The juicy primary fruits black cherries, plum and cassis are the first layer that hit the nose and the palate. Followed by the multiple layers of velvety tannins is cushioned by the refreshing acidity.

The aromas are so dense and intense in the mid palate. From fresh blueberries to dry roses, fresh rosemary to dried bay leaves. The wine opens up in the glass. It can take 5 to 7 years to develop further and has a huge potential to rest in the cellar for a few decades.


The Máté Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2018 is an outstanding wine with multi-faced characters. The candor of ripe cherries, wild berries, and orange zest began to shimmer as it blossomed in the glass. The 36 months aging in French oak barrels contribute to the cinnamon and smoke tertiary aromas, which provides a silver lining.

The layered fine-grained tannins and the mid-palate roundness is wonderfully tied together by the mouthwatering acidity. The wine is both fresh and complex, powerful and light to sip. It can be drunk now, and has a potential to age for another couple of decades.

Why you should try Brunello di Montalcino

Longevity, rarity, and high quality, Brunello di Montalcno has it all. With its small production, and increasingly high demand, this Italian Wine could also be a good fine wine investment. Visit VinoVoss and find the Brunello di Montalcino to drink or to cellar.

By Krystal Wen

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