Allegrini 2018

The curtain is up on Brunello 2014, a difficult but very good vintage, a little like 2018

Benvenuto Brunello (Montalcino, February 15-18th). WineNews rumors have it that Alex Zanardi will sign the tile. First evaluations on 2018

Following Barolo and Barbaresco, the territory that gets the highest prices for their vineyards is Montalcino, hence Brunello. The denomination is just a little over 50 years old (DOC dates to 1966) and has been reevaluated at more than 4.500%, for values that range between 750.000 and 900.000 euros per hectare, and peaks reaching one million euros in the top vineyards on the hills of Montalcino, according to the latest trades WineNews analyzed. The merit, obviously, goes to one of its most celebrated wines, Brunello, which due to the prestige of its recent great years on the market, like 2010 and 2012, has reached increasingly remarkable average prices and market shares, among the world's finest wines.
The success should not be underrated, despite the difficulties of two not close, but not far away vintages. On one hand, 2014, which will soon be on the market, was a rough year that many producers responded to as best they could. On the other, there is 2018, and the first evaluations the Brunello Consortium has collected from the Technical Committee speak of more difficulties than expected, but the level of work in the vineyard and in the cellar were high enough to resolve even the most adverse conditions.
This is the common thread that connects narrating Benvenuto Brunello, in Montalcino, from February 15th to 18th, which closes, as usual, the long week of the Tuscan Previews. In the glass, as mentioned, it has been a challenging year. The first tastings reveal the confirmation of a trend, or of an increasingly evident reality; i.e., even when there are difficulties, the average quality is high, thanks to the ability to interpret complications in the vineyard and in the cellar, which is now more and more producers’ prerogative.
The newest harvest, 2018, is more difficult to judge, and the stars on the tile will celebrate its quality, as usual. How many stars? That is still an unknown while WineNews rumors have it the signature should probably be that of a contemporary hero, Alex Zanardi, pilot, paracyclist and TV host, who will be in the city of Brunello on February 16th.
The star will be Brunello 2014, of course, narrated as “Elegance to the test”, the concept around which the round table ”Super Wines and Super Prices - Brunello and the French” will rotate, on February 15th, including the journalist Federico Quaranta, managing director of Tenuta Biondi Santi Il Greppo, Giampiero Bertolini, where Brunello di Montalcino was created in the late nineteenth century, winemaker of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre, Lorenzo Pasquini and Jerome Gautheret, correspondent from Italy to Le Monde and owner of Maison Louis Latour. On February 16th, the encounter, ”The story of wine on TV”, together with personalities of the Italian small screen, Marcello Masi and Rocco Tolfa on Rai2 and Gioacchino Bonsignore on Tg5, and Monique Soltani of the American broadcaster Wine Oh TV, while Luciano Ferraro, editor-in-chief of the daily, Corriere della Sera will moderate both events.
Going back to the glass and the 2018 vintage, Patrizio Cencioni, president of the Brunello Consortium, who a few days ago called the Technical Commission to a tasting, opened to the wine journalism world as well, said, “it is a very satisfactory vintage, and one can already perceive it will be on average great quality, the result of excellent work in the vineyard and in the fermentation phase, stable and completed malic wines, which allow us to trust the final result”. Paolo Vagaggini, winemaker and one of the foremost experts on Sangiovese and Montalcino, interprets it differently and speaks of “an average vintage that has created some difficulties, but still it is the result of excellent work in the vineyard as well as in the cellar, despite the severe weather. His advice is to carefully evaluate the development in the cellar, and if the conditions to produce a great Brunello are not clear, push Rosso di Montalcino, especially because excellent vintages will soon be on the market, and many are already, so it is not a good idea to underrate this kind of quality asset. Rosso”, concluded Vagaggini, “is not a low-tier wine; it is simply different, it plays on freshness. A vintage that expresses more immediate tannins can produce definitely pleasing Rosso di Montalcino”.

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