Our Score: 93
Conte Cinzano makes this excellent Brunello di Montalcino following the principles of biodynamic agriculture in the hills south of the village of Montalcino. The well-known Piedmontese family Cinzano bought the land in 1973 and in the subsequent 20 years extended their grape production to the present 200 acres.
The 2015 vintage presents itself at the nose with an attack of ripe fruits, dark cherries and potpourri, violets and carnation, a spicy note of vanilla and paprika, pine trees and herbaceous notes.
At the palate it is warm and smooth enough, with elegant tannins. The use of large barrels for the maturation after the first year in tonneaux (500 liters wood barrels), gives a traditional yet refined personality to the wine.
It can be enjoyed now or stay in the cellar for another 3 or more years. I suggest opening this bottle 2-3 hours before dinner.
Pairing: I suggest to drink it at dinner, and it is particularly great with aged cheeses and venison, pappardelle and wild boar ragù or a grilled sausage. Try it also with a cheeseburger.
Appellation: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG has to be made 100% with Sangiovese grapes alone, and made only within the Montalcino municipality area; it can be sold in the market from January 1 of its fifth year after harvest. Until that moment, the wine cannot legally be called Brunello di Montalcino (not even in the cellar): it is simply "red wine to become Brunello di Montalcino DOCG".
For example, the 2020 harvest will be sold starting January 1, 2025. During this long period of “becoming Brunello,” the wine should mature for at least two years in wood barrels and at least four months in the bottle.
The Riserva should age at least twelve more months—with six of them spent in the bottle.