Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016

Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016

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100 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, February 2022

The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a stunning wine and an archetype of classic Sangiovese from Montalcino. I could drink this wine all day if it weren't so expensive. This Riserva is extremely fine and nuanced with the thinnest of fibers that wash over the palate like fine silk. Certified-organic fruit shapes aromas of cassis, cranberry, peony, tea leaf, orange and rusty nail. The aromas are tight and contained, yet they become increasingly expansive and expressive as the wine opens in the glass. It has contained power and, most importantly, a relatively moderate 14% alcohol, which makes all the difference in terms of balance and elegance. 8,000 bottles were made.

These wines from Maria Iris and Claudio Tipa (of ColleMassari) renewed my faith in the enormous potential of Montalcino. I wrote about the "soul of Brunello" in my introductory article and played around with a definition of what that means. You could read my words, or just pop your nose into a glass with any one of the wines reviewed here, and that spirit would be revealed to you. Not not only did these wines (particularly the Poggio di Sotto 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva—a wine I can still taste in my mind) renew my faith, they sparked my passion. I can't wait to get back to Montalcino. Poggio di Sotto is an estate that spares no expense (all the wines are now organic, and the estate has old vines up to 45 years old and is home to 120 biotypes of Sangiovese), so it would be rather tragic if the wines weren't so good. However, these are better than good. I think they are a new benchmark for the region.

- Monica Larner