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2019 Brunello di Montalcino

2019 is a great year across Europe, and Brunello di Montalcino is no exception. The reviews surrounding the vintage are very positive, and the wines live up to their reputation in the glass. Eric Guido, writing up the vintage for vinous.com, says these are “world-class wines of the highest caliber and, in most cases, at reasonable price points.”

The growing season was easy for producers. Rain in May was helped by low temperatures that kept away disease. A warm late spring followed, and then a hot summer tempered by cool nights. There was a little more rain in September to top up the water table (and reduce rising alcohol levels) ahead of fine weather for harvest. The crop was abundant, so much so that controlling yield was one of the few elements producers had to handle with care. The weather was kind throughout the region, and the resulting wines reflect that, with no clear qualitative divide between the north and the south. “The entire region excelled”, says Guido.

The wines can be seen as a hypothetical blend of 2016’s vibrancy and 2015’s richness, “blending of power and elegance in a way seldom seen” according to Guido. He says there is “an embarrassment of riches”, where “the highs are exceptionally high”. Walter Speller, writing for JancisRobinson.com, says it is a year which “confirms who the true elite of Montalcino are”. James Suckling believes that the evolution of Brunello’s style in recent years “brings out the true character of where their sangiovese is grown.” He compares the vintage to “2004 and 1997 or 1998. The wines have the neoclassical character to them because of their agility and harmony.” He believes the wines deserve time in bottle before opening “about three to five years(…) unless you like the energy and structure of young Brunellos.” “Definitely a vintage to buy” he concludes.

We have put together a list of some of our favourite wines below. With rave reviews and reasonable prices, there is something for everyone in this stellar vintage for the region.