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Allegrini 2018
A MATTER OF VINTAGE

Harvest estimates: quantity in sharp decline (-15%) but very high quality for Brunello di Montalcino

The President of the Consorzio del Brunello, Fabrizio Bindocci: “the analytical data also confirm it. It’s an excellent wine, I’d say perfect”

The real quality of a harvest and the ability of the producers to interpret it can only ever be seen in the glass. But the estimates of those who harvest the grapes are still of value, especially for those wines of high lineage that build much of their prestige on the goodness of the vintage. Barolo, for example, where the bulk of a very promising harvest is still in progress (as told to WineNews by wineries such as Conterno and Sandrone, Ceretto and Pio Cesare, Fontanafredda and Borgogno, Poderi Gianni Gagliardo and Marchesi di Barolo, and the Consorzio di Barolo e Barbaresco, in this video). Or Montalcino, the land of Brunello, where the Sangiovese harvest is practically in its final stages. And if in one of the most prestigious territories in the world one can still count the market, critical and price records set by the pair of formidable vintages 2015 and 2016, the sentiment for the 2021 harvest is decidedly positive: “according to initial estimates there has been at least a 15% drop in quantity compared to 2020 - comments Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino - and all producers have recorded a drop in production, but everyone agrees on the very high quality of the vintage. This is also confirmed by the analytical data. It is an excellent wine, I would say perfect”.
Another great vintage, therefore, in power, the one that will arrive on the market in 2026, while Montalcino prepares to welcome “Benvenuto Brunello”, that, from this year, moves into autumn, with edition no. 30 dedicated to the debut of the 2017 vintage and the Riserva 2016 scheduled in the Monumental Complex of Sant’Agostino from November 19th to 28th (where it will also be possible to visit Il Tempio del Brunello, an interactive museum signed by Opera Laboratori, leader in Italy in museum services, in the heart of the historical center of Montalcino, a perfect condensation of the art of a historically important territory in Tuscany and new video technologies applied, with virtual and real tastings and visions of breathtaking landscapes). “The 2016 vintage was already superlative and the 2016 Riserva is even better - underlines Bindocci - and the 2017 Brunello will reserve some nice surprises”.
Clear evidence of the goodness of a territory that, as already reported by WineNews, looks to the future of its precious Brunello vineyards, whose quotations oscillate between 750,000 euros and one million (in half a century, according to WineNews estimates, the revaluation of the Brunello vineyards has been +4,500%, for an estimated value of the Brunello vineyard, with a total of 2,100 hectares, of over 2 billion euros, according to the estimates of the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino for 2020). Hectares that, since 1997, have always been the same, numerically, and will remain so, because the Register of Brunello Vineyards is closed and there is no intention of reopening it, even if slowly the composition of the Montalcino vineyard is changing. Because several wineries, in order to counteract the universal climate warming, are “moving”, in part, some vineyards from the base of the pyramid-shaped hill in the center of Tuscany, a little higher than now. Obviously within the territory of the municipality (enlargement in San Giovanni d’Asso is not part of the Brunello specification, ed), as the specification states, and within the rules on planting authorizations. Many, according to WineNews rumors, still have planting rights in their portfolios that must be converted by planting vineyards by 2023, or they will be permanently lost. Obviously, no new hectares of Brunello can be planted and registered because, as mentioned, the Register is closed. What some wineries are doing, however, is planting vineyards that have all the characteristics to be so, starting with 100% Sangiovese, obviously, at higher altitudes than the already productive vineyards they own, to be claimed, today, as Igt Toscana. With the prospect, when the new vineyards will have the requisites to be registered as Brunello (100% Sangiovese, and being at least in the third year of vegetation to claim grapes for production in the order of 30% of the maximum foreseen by the regulations, which increases to 70% in the fourth year and 100% from the fifth onwards), of moving the company’s planting rights, exchanging the vineyard claimed as IGT with that claimed as Brunello and vice versa. A mechanism foreseen, clearly and logically, by the regulations, and that allows the company, once all the steps have been taken, to maintain unchanged the balance of its hectares claimed for Brunello di Montalcino, and, at the same time, to find itself with vineyards at a higher altitude and therefore, theoretically, with better medium-long term prospects given the climatic warming that is felt, in general, above all in the lower and less ventilated areas of the Montalcino “pyramid”. A slow transformation, and not a revolution, it must be said, that concerns only a few hectares of vineyards, and that requires, in any case, important investments, given that 1 hectare of bare land to plant as a vineyard, in Montalcino, is around 100,000 euros.
For a territory with a flourishing present, which puts it rightfully among the great wine territories of Italy and the world, it wastes no time in imagining its future.

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