I’m sure that the magnificent winemaker Patrizio Cenioni prefers not to go by the dubious honor of “most underappreciated man in Montalcino” but that is certainly the moniker for which he is best known. The brilliant winemaking mind has consistently wowed me throughout the years, every time I stop by his gorgeous estate to sink my teeth into his Brunellos, Riserva and Rosso di Montalcinos. Every bottle he pulls out is like a symphony, with every note of music carefully pieced together. He’s a bit of a romantic.
Patrizio is a slim guy who is probably in his late 60’s or early 70’s now, but hasn’t slowed down for one second. He has a gorgeous sprawling property located north of Montalcino in the area of Montosoli – widely considered the home to some of the very best crus of Brunello.
Almost every time I’ve visited, I’ve waited for Patrizio and his son, Amedeao to come back from the vineyards that Patrizio’s grandfather, Giuseppe planted throughout the 1950s. They’re so hardworking and humble, it’s always a great visit.
It’s been a while since I last saw those guys, but the wine I have today was one of the very best that I’ve tried. It comes from the 99-point 2015 vintage that James Suckling heralded as “one of the very best ever in Montalcino.” Of course as always, Patrizio’s Brunello comes very highly rated, but I’d almost prefer it wasn’t. Then we’d be locking into secretly one of the best Brunellos made each year, and we’d have more than five stinking cases to spread around.
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96 Points, James Suckling
Plums and dried flowers with violets and lavender and hints of sandalwood. Full-bodied, dense and fruity with a big and juicy palate, yet the round and firm tannins hold it all together and give it form. Drink after 2021.
95 Points, Vinous
“Bright deep red. Musky bracing aromas and flavors of red cherry and orange peel, tarragon and violet. Full and tactile, with racy acidity giving the wine’s deep flavors real cut and grip. Finishes with lingering saline nuances on the clean, refined back end. A Brunello that is very true to type; this will also age extremely well. Capanna has always made excellent, solid traditional Brunellos, but it strikes me as being an estate on a real roll of late.”
95 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Brunello was aged for 40 months in classic Slavonian oak barrels and comes from the Montosoli area of Montalcino. It reveals a nose of anise, dried red cherry, thyme, and fresh flowers. The sunniness of the vintage is present without adding heft, followed by juicy cherry fruit on the mid palate, with fine grained, approachable tannin’s. Drink 2015 now or over the next 15 years.
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