2013 has produced some stunning Brunello di Montalcino. This week we will start to offer the new releases.
Here’s a preview of what to expect and why the 2013s are such compelling buys in our opinion.
Summary of 2013
– A classic style vintage of precision, elegance and wonderful balance. This is undoubtedly a very good year for producers of Brunello di Montalcino.
– The quality level of the top growers is outstanding. Many wines will drink relatively early but the most successful ones will cellar perfectly for 10-15 years.
– As the benchmark expression and the pinnacle of what Sangiovese can achieve in Tuscany, the prices for Brunello di Montalcino, in comparison to the likes of Bordeaux, are moderate and this region represents outstanding value for money.
– There will be little to no Brunello di Montalcino released next year. The 2014 vintage was wet and cool and isn’t deemed of sufficient quality for Brunello production. The vast majority of the growers will therefore declassify their Brunellos into early drinking Rosso di Montalcino.
The 2013 vintage
In contrast to the extreme warmth and heat spikes experienced in 2011 and 2012, 2013 saw a return to cooler, more moderate and even conditions. The vintage was marked by cool temperatures from start to finish yet the sun shone throughout. Very little rain fell after the early part of the summer but due to the cooler temperatures, this was destined to be a much later harvest. Many growers began picking 20 days later than normal to ensure their grapes had reached optimum ripeness.
The style of the wines
The overriding impression of 2013 is that this is a vintage of wonderful balance and elegance; the best wines display great energy and precision. The alcohol levels are lower than in 2012 and 2011 and the finest examples are classic and balanced and bear many similarities to the successful vintages of the late eighties. There is a delightful vibrancy and fine tannic structure that will allow the 2013s to age for 10-15 years at the upper end. Last week the sales team at Goedhuis blind tasted 20 samples across an array of growers. What is particularly apparent this year is that the success of the vintage was down the individual winemaker making crucial decisions at right times and in no small measure, the location of the vineyard sites. The best growers who have the luxury of several vineyards from which to choose, have exploited the cooler conditions and made an outstanding 2013 Brunello.