Today, as we continue with the Brunello 2016 campaign, we are delighted to offer 2 stellar expressions of this outstanding vintage: Ciacci Piccolomini’s Brunello di Montalcino, as well as their prized single vineyard Pianrosso Brunello. This benchmark estate boasts its own distinctive style which becomes especially evident in great vintages like the 2016 and which Monica Larner describes as “delicate but also succulent with a rich and almost pulpy quality of fruit” adding that “here is a wine that shows spirit of place.” Elegant and classical, Ciacci Brunellos are exceptionally well-made wines at great prices.

Ciacci Brunello di Montalcino 2016 offers fantastic value, available today at the release price of just £174 per case of 6 IB or just £29 per bottle IB. It has received 95+ points from Monica Larner who admires “bold cherry, spice, crushed stone and balsam herb that come together in seamless fashion.” Eric Guido adds to this description emphasising the complexity and the robust structure of the wine: “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino from Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona places savory herbs, exotic spice and earth tones above ripeness of fruit. It’s decidedly dark and brooding on the nose, lifted by hints of fresh-picked mint and sage. There are depths of velvety textures in the mouth, offset by a tactile mix of tart wild berries, minerals and zesty acidity which adds vibrancy in spite of the tannic heft and primary intensity found here.”

Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso 2016, which has scored as much as 98 points from both Monica Larner and James Suckling, is a stunning single vineyard expression only produced in the best vintages. The vineyard is Ciacci’s prized terroir in the Stelnuovo dell’Abate zone, sited between 240 and 360 metres above sea level. “Pianrosso” means “red field”, a reference to the iron rich soils, hence the mineral notes in the bouquet. Pianrosso 2016, as described by Larner is “distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone or chalk. This adds a greater sense of focus and delineation that not only characterizes the bouquet but also applies to the way the wine hits the palate in a fuller and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello).” James Suckling highlights the “flavorful and juicy finish”which is reaffirmed by Eric Guido who comments on Hints of licorice and baker’s chocolate balance the Pianrosso’s salty minerality and fine-grained tannins through the long and dramatic finale. There’s beautiful symmetry here for a wine with such power. Place this in the cellar for ten years or more.” We are very please to be able to offer a very limited amount today for just £255 per case of 6 IB.

The Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona estate dates back to the 17th century when a palace known as “Palazzo” was built by Fabivs de’ Vecchis, Bishop of Montalcino. After the bishop’s death the estate was auctioned and in 1868 it was purchased by Countess Eva Bernini Cerretani, who later sold it to the Ciacci family from Castelnuovo dell’Abate. Following the marriage of Elda Ciacci to Count Alberto Piccolomini d’Aragona, the Bishop’s Palace became the Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Palace. Incredibly in 1985 Elda Ciacci bequeathed the entire estate to Giuseppe Bianchini, who has been the farmer at the property for years. Bianchini revolutionised the estate and winemaking, opening sales up to the international market. In 2004 on his passing his son and daughter Paolo and Lucia took over the estate.

Today Ciacci Piccolomini retains the historical Palazzo with its magnificent cellars, perfect for storing and ageing the wine. They have also built a new cellar, near the village of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, which is now the estate’s headquarters and where winemaking is conducted. The wines are fermented and refined in stainless steel and glass/concrete vats, temperature-controlled via cooling plates and jackets. The wines see more than 24 months in Slovenian oak barrels, followed by over eight months in bottleCiacci Piccolomini d’Aragona ranks amongst the greatest producers of Brunello di Montalcino and their 2016 vintage reaffirms this reputation.