Cerbaia is a tiny estate, just 12 acres. The vines were planted in the ‘70s on northeast facing parcels, rooted in the famous Montosoli calcareous soil. Elena Pellegrini’s time at the estate has just begun and in her second vintage, she has produced an elegant rendition of Brunello.
The high elevation and mineral soil produce naturally tiny, thick skinned berries, perfect for making concentrated, structured wine yet with an aromatic complexity and finesse of tannin that usually reserved for wines at a much greater price.
Elena Pellegrini’s 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is fantastic in a vintage that seems to be hard to swing and miss in. Still this one rises above its competition with its ageworthiness, structure and impeccable balance.
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95 Points, James Suckling
An opulent Brunello, suggesting glacé cherries, strawberry ice-cream, peppermint tea and dried cloves. Full-bodied and very structured, muscling sturdy layers of tannins and rolling sheets of dark fruit into ironclad balls of flavor and texture. Long and fruit-driven on the finish. Drink from 2024.
93 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
This wine reveals a beautifully rich and saturated appearance as it pours from the bottle. The Cerbaia 2015 Brunello di Montalcino offers a pretty presentation of Sangiovese-driven aromas with small berries, underbrush, moist potting soil and blue flowers. All of these aromas are perfectly tied to the variety. In the mouth, Cerbaia’s interpretation is lean and crisp with medium weight and a long, silky mouthfeel. It does feel thin on the mid-palate and tapers out to a medium or short finish. Fruit comes from a 4.5-hectare vineyard with Galestro-rich soils.
Buy enough to have some now and also to resist the urge. You’ll thank me.
Heavy pasta dishes, rich stews and blue-veined cheese or Pecorino Cheese.