Sesti Brunello di Montalcino 2015
This Brunello emanates a sweet fragrance of faded flowers, warm spice, incense, and tea. A savory richness on the palate leads to a silken finish with just the slightest grip. Here is a Brunello that can, and perhaps should, be enjoyed in its youth—the elements are already in place, and the pleasure is palpable.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Sweet berries and dried flowers with cedar and hints of cigar box. Medium-to full-bodied with firm, creamy tannins and a fresh, vivid finish. A rather linear and polished 2015. Structured. Better after 2022, but already beautiful.
The Sesti 2015 Brunello di Montalcino offers rich texture and shapely fruit flavors with plenty of forest berry, cherry, spice and potting soil. This Brunello opens to a very smooth, almost glossy texture with tannins that have already integrated at the five-year point following the harvest. That aged smoothness and silkiness gives this wine immediate appeal. The oak feels well integrated within the more opulent texture of the fruit.
Aromas of scorched earth, underbrush and licorice lead the nose along with a whiff of eucalyptus. It's full bodied, offering dried cherry, prune, star anise and a hint of crushed herb alongside solid fine-grained tannins before a warm finish.
While helping out at neighboring estates Giugi observed that simplicity and careful attention were the most important factors in producing great wines, while chemical intervention skewed their delicate balance; so he determined to make entirely natural wines right from the start. He even took a pioneering extra step by applying his prodigious knowledge of the moon’s influence on living things to his vineyard management and winemaking. Today the family continues this thoroughly eco-friendly philosophy (although no official certification currently meets their personal standards), and Elisa’s primary concern is the materia prima, or raw material, that goes into the wine. The Sesti lineup includes a white Sauvignon and a Sangiovese Rosato born directly of necessity, since the family wanted something light and cooling to drink under the hot summer sun; they were forced to increase production when visiting friends and clients tried these wines and started placing orders. But their basic trio—the Brunello, Brunello Riserva “Phenomena,” and Rosso di Montalcino—provides traditional expressions of the appellation, robust and powerful yet refreshing, with great aging potential in the Brunellos.
Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.
The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.
Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.