The anticipation for the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino vintage has been enormous, with an exceptional amount of purity and precision even witnessed in the humble Rosso di Montalcino, inspiring debate as to whether this vintage would be the obvious successor to the superb 2010. In the words of Eric Guido of Vinous, “Do the 2016s live up to our expectations? Oh, yes; they certainly do” and in her report last week, Monica Larner made the apt comparison, “I’d put the two vintages on similar standing, with 2010 defined by the sheer purity of the fruit and 2016 expressed more amply in terms of linearity, complexity and depth.” Today we are very pleased to be able to offer one of the finest releases in any vintage, the 2016 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino, which James Suckling has awarded a near perfect 99 point score, admiring ‘The complexity and beauty to this is really something with cherry, walnut, tobacco and cigar-box character. Sweet cherries. It’s full-bodied and deep with super intensity and power. Layered and beautiful. Really refined tannins.’ Eric Guido of Vinous has been equally effusive in his praise, awarding the wine 95 points, “with its vivid display of crushed raspberries, lavender and clove. Further depths are found with each swirl, adding mentholated herbs and flowery undergrowth. It’s dense and dark-fruited, enveloping the palate with notes of black cherry, plum, exotic savory spice and minerals. This is soothing and pliant in spite of the 2016’s youthful state, balancing brisk acids and fine tannins to create a push and pull of structural tension. The symmetry here is spellbinding.” We are pleased to release today at just £195 per case of six IB, an excellent price considering it is  one of the finest efforts in an extraordinary vintage.
Castiglion del Bosco is one of the most historic estates in Montalcino, with a lineage dating back 800 years as well as being one of the 25 founding members of the Consorzio del Brunello. In fact, it was while residing at the Castiglion del Bosco estate in 1888, that Ferruccio Biondi Santi managed to isolate the Sangiovese clone, subsequently inventing the denomination of Brunello di Montalcino. The 1800-hectare picturesque estate was eventually purchased in 2003 by Massimo Ferragamo, son of Salvatore and Chairman of their North American headquarters, who has fell in love with both the wine and estate upon visiting. Since purchasing the estate Ferragamo has invested heavily in the vineyards and winery, as well as converting it into one of Italy’s most expensive resorts, including a golf course designed by British Open champion Tom Weiskopf. Salvatore Ferragamo made his money creating one of the most expensive fashion brands in the world, conversly the wine offers some of the very best value in Brunello.
The Castiglion del Bosco grapes are selected from the Estate’s south facing Capanna vineyards, located 350 metres above sea level and surrounded by forests. The terroir is characterised by clay shale, gravel-pebble and of course ’galestro’, the famed terroir found in the best Tuscan vineyards which provides the wine’s unique aroma, complexity and structure.  All grapes are sorted by hand, before  vinification with indigenous yeasts in their gravity fed cellar. In order to capture the tension and precision of the fruit from this cooler site, the estate ages the wines for 24 months in French oak rather than the traditional larger Slovenian oak barrels used more commonly throughout Montalcino.