The newest releases from one of Italy’s best-loved regions are nearly upon us so many are beginning to wonder what kind of vintage we have on our hands with Brunello 2014. There are a number of mixed feelings around so far with the biggest headline aguably coming from regional heavy-weight Biondi-Santi announcing that they will not be bottling a 2014 Brunello di Montalcino (likely to the benefit of the Rosso di Montalcino!).
However this year as in any other challenging vintage in any given region around the world, the key is adaptation and management. Sometimes you just get unlucky and things don’t turn out as you hope, which may well have been the case at Biondi-Santi, but from what we have read and tasted, it’s not all bad news.
“Sometimes you just get unlucky and things don’t turn out as you hope... but from what we have read and tasted, it’s not all bad news. ”
According to Jancis Robinson the vintage started off well enough with “early budbreak and quick and generous fruit set,” things hit a rough patch with cooling temperatures and frequent hailstorms. Fortunately the weather turned in favour of those who weren’t already devestated and fine conditions through late summer and early autumn actually made for a healthy harvest.
From our own experience we have found those wines we have tasted to be a touch more delicate and refined in character than most vintages of Brunello. There’s almost a Burgundian/Pinoté character to the wines that we find quite captivating and expect that while they’ll be drinking relatively early they will be thoroughly enjoyable for their balance and beautifully pitched aromatics. Structurally they’re quite soft with generous red fruit profiles.
For lovers of Brunello this is a change of style from 2013 but one well-worth buying as it will represent an almost unique, thought still high-quality vintage in the canon of this most iconic appellation of Tuscany.