Since the first reports on the 2016 Montalcino vintage came out in November, the thirst for these wines has been unquenchable. Widely recognised as the perfect vintage, it delivers incredibly powerful and expressive Brunellos which as Eric Guido of Vinous has put it “capture your imagination” and are nothing less than “radiance personified”. Today we are delighted to offer three stunning expressions of this magnificent vintage, Silvio Nardi’s classic Brunello, as well as his single vineyard releases. The 2016s have become Nardi’s highest ever scoring wines, being praised by critics for their terroir delineation as well as for their elegance and character. With prices starting as low as only £28 per bottle these Brunellos represent fantastic value which becomes increasingly hard to find in this popular region.
A perfect introduction to Silvio Nardi’s portfolio is their classic Brunello di Montalcino, sourced from estate parcels located around the town of Montalcino. Monica Larner has awarded it an impressive score of 95+ points, admiring the intense aromas that “range from dark fruit and plum to soft potting soil and grilled herb. You get beautiful balance here, even more so when you allow the bottle to breathe for a few hours. A twofold delivery of freshness and tannic backbone gives the wine the DNA required to hold 10 years or more.” Eric Guido of Vinous is charmed by the complex bouquet of this wine and comments that “Floral undergrowth and rich soil tones give way to crushed black cherries with hints of brown spice (…) Remnants of licorice, mocha and tobacco linger, along with the slightest hint of heat, which doesn’t get in the way.” A wine of such class is rarely available at an attractive price of only £170 IB per case of six; an absolute steal for any Brunello lover.
However the real star of the 2016 show is with no doubt Vigneto Manachiara, a single vineyard expression which has scored as high as 97 points from Monica Larner and 96 points from Eric Guido. Coming from a plot on the eastern side of Montalcino with sandy soils at around 300 metres, this is a wine with a real personality. Eric Guido describes it as “fruit-forward and seductive. It’s exotic, showing spiced black cherries, hints of tangerine, sweet herbs and mocha. The textures are velvety, weighty yet pure, energized by vibrant acidity, as tart red and black berries saturate all that they touch, leaving a coating of fine tannins in their wake. The expression becomes dry and youthfully structured; yet intensity remains high throughout the finale, as this tapers off to dried fruits, baker’s chocolate and hints of licorice.” Monica Larner concludes that “It is no exaggeration to say that this vintage delivers “more Brunello” on all fronts compared to recent past vintages. This is a standout wine.” Expressive as it is, both critics agree that this wine is yet to reveal its charms and that it will evolve beautifully in the cellar.
Vigneto Poggio Doria, a cru expression from the Estate’s original northwest vineyards in Casale del Bosco, is arguably the most elegant out of this trio. Its bouquet, as described by Monica Larner “yields quite a bit of varietal purity with raspberry, wild cherry and a lingering rosemary essence. Dark mineral and campfire ash also appear. The tannins are a bit drier and tighter here, compared to the relatively softer and richer texture seen in the Manachiara, and my recommendation is to hold this wine a bit longer in your cellar.” Larner has granted this wine 96+ points, suggesting a long ageing potential. Eric Guido agrees that this wine is still in its adolescence, however it already shows plenty of character: “Crushed violets and roses mingle amidst an air of earthy minerals and undergrowth, with hints of pine and tart woodland berries adding freshness. Its textures are silky and polished, with a dense core of black fruits and spice carried over a medium-bodied frame by brisk acids. Tannins come in late in the game; yet they quickly firm up the expression, adding youthful tension as echoes of purple florals and cheek-puckering blackberry linger.”
Silvio Nardi boasts some of the most distinctive terroirs in Montalcino. Located in the northern part of the appellation, at high altitudes, the vineyards are especially vulnerable to weather conditions so consistent results are difficult to achieve. It takes a perfect vintage like the 2016 for all the elements to fall in place to produce wines of the highest quality which show elegance, depth and structure. Founded in the 1950s by Silvio Nardi, who was originally from Umbria and one of the first outsiders to invest in Montalcino, today the estate is run by his youngest daughter, Emilia Nardi. These Brunellos are often described as more approachable in their style compared to many of their peers and cater to international palates, as noted by Eric Guido: “Tenute Silvio Nardi continues to do what they do best, successfully communicating a diverse range of Montalcino terroir with an international sheen of sweet, spicy yet perfectly balanced oak… it’s impossible to ignore the extremely high quality of the wines and how they can bridge the gap for many New-World palates that are looking to explore Brunello.” Showing loads of style and character Nardi’s wines have become increasingly popular and sought-after in the last decade, thus we urge you to secure your parcel now to avoid disappointment.