Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016
WA98: Here's a wine I am very excited to taste, given the phenomenal performance of this vintage in the annata version released last year. The Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse di Sotto 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva reproduces that same brilliant intensity and deep inner brightness, only this Riserva has seen one more year of aging, and it shows more spice and thicker textural heft as a result. This wine is penetrating and layered with a harmonious playlist of red and purple fruits, spice, tar, cola, licorice and grilled herb. The tannins are more austere in the case of this 2,993-bottle release, and you'd do well to age it longer before popping the cork. I love the spontaneous radiance and energy captured by this estate, especially in 2016.
VM97+: The deep, sensual 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva wafts up with spice-dusted cherries, sweet herbs and hints of flowery undergrowth. It fills the senses with rich yet tart black raspberries and exotic spice, along with a hint of citrus that sends sparks across the palate, creating a pliant yet nicely chiseled effect. The 2016 tapers off like a black hole of structure, turning quite savory but with a coating of fine tannin that seems to devour the coating of primary fruits beneath it. Masses of tobacco and brown spice linger. The sheer density, amazing minerality and balanced acidity make the 2016 Riserva an extremely exciting wine.