(2018) One hundred percent Sangiovese Grosso from an historic estate, vines are up to 30 years old and the wine spends around 10 months in barrel. There's a nice translucent character in the glass and a lovely mineral-fine purity of cherry fruit on the nose, a little rounding creaminess, but very pure. In the mouth a touch of Sangiovese's herbal quality keeps it cool and fresh, along with the red fruit and firm, juicy tannins and acidity, this has energy and tang, but wrapped in a little plushness too and is very - very - drinkable.
(2017) Though Bindi Segrardi's Chianti Classico Riserva 2014 is a stunner, I really enjoyed the herbal, lighter character of this wine sourced from Bindi Segrardi's vineyards across the Chianti region. The nose has rhubarb, beetroot and basil, giving that vegetal, herby edge to the light tobacco and cherry fruit. On the palate it is medium bodied, with a nice silky texture, and plenty of sweet fruit is underpinned by a roughening edge of tannin, pert acidity and more of that herby character. A classic style, and please watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) Brunello di Montalcino may not be the most famous appellation of Tuscany - Chianti surely takes that crown - but for many Italiophiles it is home to the region's best reds, made from the Sangiovese Grosso variety. What's more, 2010 is generally held as one of the best ever vintages. No producer is stated for this, though a bit of detective work reveals its a respected large producer. There's a balsamic and meat-stocky character, some cedar, four years in barrel plus the bottle age showing as a light tawny on the rim. On the palate the sweet fruit of cherries and a gentle meaty smokiness, soft and giving tannins and good overall balance. It's not a Brunello for the long haul I feel, but delivers good, mature character right now.
(2014) A 50/50 blend approximately of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese which spends 14 months in French oak, one third new, and one third each one and two years old. Both the 2006 and 2007 vintages tasted here were warm years, '06 marginally warmer. This has ripe cassis, berries and blood, maybe a little cedar, with tobacco and earthiness. The palate is tannic, with a straightforward fruit at the core, earthy and spicy, but at this stage lacking a little generosity? Big tannins and good acidity, a little smoky and tight, but there is black fruit though outweighed at this stage. Denis is certain this is in a good stage of its evolution.
(2014) Creamier, mintier, and a fresher on the palate. There is a creaminess to this, with more lift and finesse, perhaps not the brooding power. The palate is much smoother and softer than the 2006, with still a tight and structured core of tannin and acidity, with a touch of greenness perhaps, but a more harmonious palate. A little sour lemon note adds a savoury element. Very different from the 2006, certainly does not have the structure and muscle, and whilst I'd prefer the softer appeal of this to drink now, it perhaps lacks a touch of mid-palate fruit weight and ripeness.
(2014) 100% Sangiovese, this is very shy on the nose, with a touch of smoke and lightly spiced berry fruit, but it does not give an awful lot. Dry on the palate, a touch leathery, a touch lean, with a certain elegance and some extract dryness but not the fruit plumpness that would really make it pleasurable. Given the hot vintage, might be in need of cellaring to tame the tannins as it is serious and savoury.
(2014) More oak present, and a much brighter fruit quality, a hint of cherry as well as spice and cedar. A hint of vanilla. The fruit is edgy and racy, with lots of élan, that cherryish edge and good weight and texture. Not a hugely complex wine, finishing on spice, but good drinking and balance. Perhaps a tiny touch of hollowness at the core.
(2014) Feels a little dank or diffuse compared to the 2009, without the clarity of fruit. There is a big dry extract core to this - too dry - with vinosity and vestigial sweetness, but it is pretty tough at this stage. Late on the palate a little glimpse of sweet fruit, but so dry and rather uncompromising. Cabernet dominates in this vintage, and Denis says it need considerable time.
(2013) There's a barnyardy and Bretty whiff from this, the colour medium ruby with some light on the rim. Cedary and vegetal in turns, it is very Old World in style, and though that bit of Brett is there, it seems appealingly savoury. Very dry on the palate, a lot of dry extract with tannins and savoury black fruit, good balancing acidity and a touch of smokiness. Bordeaux I presume, maybe St Estephe?
(2012) A little bit of age is obvious in the colour of this Sangiovese, which has a briary, damp woodland note to the aroma, some tobacco and quite discreet cherry-scented fruit. On the palate the sweetness and concentration of the fruit surprises, with tightly-defined tannins and a juicy red fruit tartness, a touch of tobacco and spice lingering into the finish. An enjoyable and balanced Brunello di Montalcino, in a food-friendly, lighter-bodied style.