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Some of the top Brunellos from the classic 2019 vintage

The Costanti family have held ownership of the Colle al Matrichese estate for over two centuries. The estate spans 10 hectares, positioned to the east of Montalcino village, near Casanova di Neri. Here, vineyards thrive at elevations reaching 400 meters, among the highest in the appellation. The soil, composed of crumbly galestro rock, proves ideal for cultivating superior Sangiovese grapes, particularly when paired with the varying elevations and favorable east-southeast exposure. The winery is 100% organic. Just up the road, at 420 metres in Montalcino’s northeast, the Fuligni estate expands over 100 hectares, 14 of which are vineyards. Under the leadership of Maria Flora Fuligni since 1971, along with her long-time right-hand Dr Daniela Perino - now the estate’s CEO - Fuligni is one of the denomination’s most consistent performers. Today the estate is owned by Roberto Fuligni, the nephew of Maria Flora.After fifteen years at the Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino, Giuseppe Gorelli went out on his own in 2017 and secured a lease on six hectares situated north of the town center. These vineyards, positioned in the coolest part of the DOCG at an elevation of 340 meters and oriented towards the northeast, produce sophisticated and exquisitely fragrant Sangiovese. Although only in his second vintage of Brunello, Gorelli is already on many critics' watch-lists.

In regard to the vintage conditions, Montalcino's vintners noted the exceptional ease of growing and fermenting the 2019 fruit. Despite chilling winter temperatures, the crucial months of the growing cycle, from June to September, experienced no extreme weather events like hail, frost, or excessive rain. Instead, the region enjoyed a hot summer with ample water reserves for healthy vines. Harvest started on time, towards the final weeks of September, extending into early October. The resulting 2019 wines exhibit a harmonious balance between acidity, concentration and tannins, which are delicately fine-grained and occasionally chalky.Many critics, including Eric Guido at Vinous, laud it as a classic vintage, one "we've all been waiting for". While many 2019s boast an inviting character already, they are also perfectly poised for cellaring and are certain to evolve gracefully over the next fifteen years or so.