Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Brunello 2015 Vintage in NewYork

Marchesi Ferdinando Frescobaldi with author Daniel Bellino Zwicke


The 2015 vintage is a historical year for Brunello di Montalcino that nobody should miss. The wines show impressive precision of vivid fruit, fine tannins and freshness in acidity despite their ripeness and richness which makes them some of the most exciting in years.

Aside from high tannins and acidity, traditional Brunello di Montalcino wines are often described as earthy with aromas and flavors of sour cherry.  

The diverse soils of the Montalcino region most certainly will add earthiness to the wines, but other traditions enable these large brown grapes to fulfill their potential.  Maceration, the process of leaching color, flavors and tannins from the skins to the juice, is much longer in these wines, adding rich, dark color, flavor and age worthy tannins.

Recording an exceptionally high level of excellence of the grapes harvested, the 2015 vintage was awarded 5-stars at the simple ceremony held last Saturday morning, traditionally the second and final day of Benvenuto Brunello event held every year in Montalcino. The last time a vintage was assigned 5-stars was in 2012 and 2010 before that during this decade. Both 2011 and 2013 were awarded 4-stars by the experts’ panel. The disastrous 2014 had managed only 3 stars, even though a few journalists had felt it was being slightly generous.

"The producers had been waiting for such a flawless vintage for many years. As a beaming President Fabrizio declared in Italian, ‘Our Consortium members are extremely satisfied with this grape harvest. This is the vintage par excellence that they have been waiting for a long time."

The Colombini family has been harvesting grapes from their Montalcino vineyards since 1790.  Still run by the family, the Barbi winery balances old traditions with modern technology such as a cold maceration process called “cyro maceration” that is intended to enhance the aromas of the wines.

From elevated vineyards with rough topography, this is a warm, friendly wine with a bouquet and flavors of sour cherry, a nice minerality, healthy tannins and, of course, a damp earthiness. 



Italian Cookbook Author Daniel Bellino Zwicke (M)

With Lamberto Fresobaldi and Marchesi Leonardo Frescobaldi

Brunello Tasting New York

Like every year, I am looking forward to my two favorite Italian Wine Tastings of the year, in          New York. For myself and any New Yorker heavily into Italian Wine, the two biggest and most important Italian Wine Tasting Events are # 1, the Benevenuto Brunello Tasting held each January in New York, and this years will be on Monday, January 28th, 2020 ..

The other great Italian Wine Tasting Event in New York is the Gambero RossoTre Bicchieri Tasting of Italy's Top Wines which are awarded 3 Glasses (Bicchieri) for the most esteemed Italian Wines of that particular year, in this case of 2020 ..

I love tasting all the wonderful Italian Wines, especially Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Chianti, Taurasi, and all of the great wines of Italy, but even more than tasting the wine, I love seeing my Italian friends who make wine, and also catching up with my New York Italian Wine Friends and Colleagues. So as usual, I'm gearing up fro these two great events as well as Great Wines of Italy by James Suckling on March 4th .. I'm all registered for all these 3 big Italian Wine Events, and I'm ready and rearing to go.

Me and Conti Cinzano

Tasting some of the Counts awesome Brunello

Col d' Orcia

Kevin Zraly 

Gotham Hall 2013

Benvenuto Brunello

Kevin gave an awesome Seminar on Brunello a few years back. 
The best wine seminar I've ever attended. Absolutely Awesome. I just love his style.




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