In de wijngaard wordt uitsluitend met de hand gewerkt. Ook het oogsten van de druiven geschiedt met de hand. Alleen als de kwaliteit aan de eisen van de Fuligni familie voldoet wordt de Brunello di Montalcino gemaakt. Indien de kwaliteit niet aan de eisen voldoet, worden de druiven gebruikt in de Rosso di Montalcino. Na het zorgvuldig persen van de druiven ondergaan zij hun vergistingsproces in grote stalen vaten. De verdere rijping van de wijn geschiedt voor 30 maanden deels in grote eiken vaten en deels in barriques. In de wijngaarden zijn de stokken aangeplant in een dichtheid van 3.300 stokken per ha en 5.000 stokken per ha. De opbrengst van een plant is maximaal 1 fles.
Comment James Suckling:
I still remember the words of Roberto Guerrini, the wizard winemaker and part owner of the small estate of Fuligni, when speaking about 2016 and 2015 in the summer of 2018: “I am almost speechless when I try to talk about these two vintages. ”If you ever wanted a Brunello di Montalcino for your cellar to age for decades, then buy the 2016 vintage when the wines come out in the market in January 2021. The 2016 vintage marks the second great year in a row for Brunello di Montalcino following the sensational 2015, which is currently on the market. Indeed, I tasted 212 Brunello di Montalcino 2016s in my tasting room in Hong Kong and the young sangioveses certainly do have a lot of tannins. In fact, I have never seen so much tannin in a young Brunello and I have been tasting young vintages from Montalcino since the early 1980s. I honestly wonder if the wines have much more tannin than 2015 or they just don’t have as much fruit to cover up their phenolic structure. But the 2016s are very impressive. In my tasting of 2016s, I kept writing at the end of the tasting note, “try after 2024” or “better after 2025.” These drink recommendations are certainly longer than the 2015s. The 2015s are much easier to drink young but they have the structure and concentration to age for decades just like the 2016s. The slightly hotter growing season during the summer in 2015 gave the wines that added level of ripe fruit in addition to the ripe tannins. As I wrote in the fall of 2018 in Tuscany after tasting a few hundred barrel samples, the 2015 grape growing season was clearly hotter with less difference between the heat of the day and the coolness of the night. So the wines tend to be very fruity, sometimes even exotic. In 2016, there was greater diurnal temperature variation, which explains why the acidities are a little higher in the wines and the characters slightly less opulent. But don’t get me wrong, there’s a subtleness to the top 2015s that make them irresistible.
“These are clearly two great vintages,” admitted Carlo Ferrini, the well-respected consulting enologists who has his own small estate in Montalcino called Giodo. I rated both his 2015 and 2016 wines 100 points. “They are terrific young Brunellos.”
If you missed buying some 2015 Brunellos, you are going to want to buy some 2015 Riservas. They are usually a smaller production (fewer bottles) and selected from particular vineyard parcels or barrels. That’s how producers justify their higher prices and longer maturation before release. I only wish they were obviously better quality than the “normale” bottlings. But I still enjoy the category of Brunello. The 2016 Brunellos will also be a great buy but plan on aging them much longer than the 2015s before opening. And their more intense tannins suggest they may ultimately live longer than the 2015s, but who’s counting? I am currently drinking the legendary 1997s and they are still fresh and beautiful.To better understand just how good 2016 and 2015 are, I analyzed my scores from the tasting this year and all the 2016 normale Brunellos and 2015 riservas were rated 90 points or more. This highlights how Brunello has arrived at an incredible quality level and the small names as well as the great are making some of their greatest wines ever. Fifty percent of the wines from both vintages were rated 95 points or more.
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