2016 Fanti Brunello di Montalcino

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2016 Fanti Brunello di Montalcino

A red with dark cherry, plum and hints of milk chocolate on the nose and palate. It’s full-bodied with layers of fruit and velvety tannins. Flavorful, if a bit tight at the finish. Serious Brunello. Drink after 2024.

James Suckling | 95 JS
The Fanti 2016 Brunello di Montalcino comes roaring out with terrific intensity and balance. This vintage certainly marks a landmark for the Fanti family as I don’t remember a new release as confident and impactful as this. The wine is round and smooth, with layers of dark fruit, cherry and spice. These various aromas blend nicely, showing the right contrasts where necessary. This is a classic expression of the vintage with some of the extra texture and power (a shorter aging is done in a combination of barrique and botte, with the rest in bottle) that defines this estate located in the Castelnuovo dell’Abata area. Production is 45,000 bottles.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94+ RP
The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is sweetly spiced, hauntingly floral and seductive from the first tilt of the glass. A dusting of confectioners’ sugar gives way to bright cherries, candied orange, mint leaf and lavender to form an extroverted yet delectable display. It’s seamless and silky in the mouth, with a subtle twang of citrus and vibrant acids that energize the expression, ushering in ripe red hints of herbal-tinged black berries. Rounded tannins come forward through the close under an air of licorice and violets. The 2016 is already so easy to like for its primary intensity, yet it should really be cellared for three to five years for maximum effect. It’s a great value for age-worthy Brunello that overdelivers.

Vinous Media | 93 VM
The 2016 Brunello has aromatics of clove, orange zest, ripe cherry fruit and sweet floral aromatics. Subtle elegance characterizes the palate of the wine, with notes of black tea and cherry pit. Drink 2022-2036

Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD
Though light on its feet, this red evokes plenty of cherry, wild thyme, eucalyptus and tar flavors. A vibrant acidity drives the finish, while mature tannins mesh nicely, echoing the cherry theme. Best from 2023 through 2042. 3,750 cases made, 1,250 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 93 WS
Balsamic aromas of camphor and cedar mingle with new leather and forest floor on this full-bodied red. Firmly structured, the youthfully austere palate offers licorice, tobacco and cassis framed in tightly wound, fine-grained tannins.

Wine Enthusiast | 91 WE

Wine Details on 2016 Fanti Brunello di Montalcino

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Producer Fanti: Italy and its culture has been shaped by a long and traditional history of winemaking. It is a country that has deep roots of historic, ancestral ties to the first records of the craft. From Piedmont to Tuscany, Sardegna to Veneto, their winemakers have a historic tradition of grape cultivation and wine production that’s unparalleled by most countries. Wineries benefit both from inherited and learned experience that span the ancient Greek influence, to the medieval period and into the modern era. One such historic estate that lies in Tuscany is Tenuta Fanti.

The Fanti Estate dates back to 1800 and has remained in the faithful, dutiful hands of its family since. The family had been producing wine and olive oil in Tuscany for nearly 200 years, but it wasn’t until Filippo Fanti and his daughter Elisa took control of the estate in the early 1970’s and transformed the property from a sharecropping company to a winery. The cultivation of land from mostly olive groves to grape vines was a tedious but fruitful enterprise, which has helped to stamp the Fanti name on the market as one of the most successful and respected names in the world.

The 300 hectare property was redesigned and replanted in which 50 hectares were allocated to growing grapes, of which 80% of the plantings in the vineyards are Sangiovese or Sangiovese Grosso; a focus that reinforces the family’s commitment to the quality wine of the region and which is reflected in Fanti’s highly rated Brunelli. The Fanti land is laden with limestone and clay, optimal daytime sun exposure and a nighttime thermal drop, in which the viniculture is carefully orchestrated to mirror the flavors and aromas of both the grape and the territory.

Each parcel of land is carefully tended. The soil has a volcanic origin and is rich in “Galestro” and “Albarese” rocks, which possess low fertility and uniqueness of the terroir which restricts the vines to a limited production of grapes. However the restrictive nature, the grapes are intensely flavorful, and the result is a wine that is reflective of the territory in which it resides. The Brunello di Montalcinos produced by Fanti yield a low production but are highly sought after so demand is great. They have received great praise by enthusiasts and professional critics alike. This is due to the diligent efforts of Filippo and Elisa and their commitment to the respectful cultivation of land and the continued success of the family name.

Fanti produces three fantastic Brunello di Montalcinos, which are all 100% Sangiovese as dictated by the strict Italian winemaking regulations. Their Riserva Vigna le Macchiarelle is released only in the greatest vintages, while the Brunello and Brunello Vallocchio are produced annually. A slew of other wines are produced on the property which include their Poggio Torto, which is a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The evolution of Fanti’s success has greatly benefitted by the ambitious and respectful care of the Fanti family which continues to release award winning wines that are recognized and traded in over 30 countries around the world.
Region Tuscany: Italian culture worships the concept of a shared meal, and their wines scream for a chance to be uncorked with your friends and family. The region's Mediterranean climate and hilly landscape combine to create a beautiful viticultural environment, where every chosen grape is brought to its full potential and transmuted into drinks worthy of gods. The vineyards are planted along the higher reaches of the hill slopes, creating a gorgeous view of the Italian landscape.

Once your lips kiss the wine, you're sent spiraling down a veritable whirlpool of pure flavor, touching upon notes of sensuous cherry, nuts, floral hints and undertones of honey and minerals. The wines can be as sweet as a fresh summer romance, and carry an air of dignity and elegance about them that can stimulate your intellect for months as you contemplate the seemingly infinite intricacies and details in the texture. Tuscany is an important part of Italian viticulture, and sampling their wines is the closest you can get to visiting this heavenly region and experiencing the culture.
Subregion Brunello di Montalcino
Country Italy: Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.

Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.

The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.

The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.

With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.

Type of Wine Brunello: As you indulge in some fine Brunello, and you gaze into the deep brown elixir, your tongue will almost pulsate with excitement, as rich flavors of black cherry, chocolate, black raspberry, and blackberry are woven together like a heartfelt poem. An earthy, leathery undertone provides excellent contrast next to all the fruit, rounding out the experience
Varietal Sangiovese: When it comes to Tuscan wine, Sangiovese is king. This mighty grape variety resides not only in Tuscany, but throughout Italy. The varietal is responsible for some of the greatest wines in the country, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the infamous “Super Tuscans.” Sangiovese is extremely capable of adapting to the various climates and terroirs of Italy but is quite at home in Tuscany, where it is believed to have been birthed.

Like most ancient grape varieties, there are many speculations about Sangiovese’s true time and place of origin. Some theories claim the Sangiovese grape dates back to the Etruscan era and cultivated mostly in Tuscany. Another theory is that it was cultivated by the ancient Romans. Sangiovese is believed to have been first documented in 1590 by agronomist, Gian Vettorio Soderini who talked about ‘Sanghiogeto” in an essay. There is no definitive evidence that ‘Sanghiogeto’ is the Sangiovese grape that is beloved and famous today; however, it is still considered by many to be the first appearance of the grape in written fashion. It wouldn’t be until the 18th century that Sangiovese would become well-known and started being planted all over the region. It was mentioned in l’Oenologia Toscana, written by Cosimo Villafranchi in 1773, in which he discussed the winemaking process of Chianti and the use of Sangiovese.

Today, Sangiovese accounts for 10% of all winemaking grapes planted in Italy. This statistic may not seem significant but taken into consideration there are 350 authorized grape varieties across 20 wine regions, it is quite remarkable. Due to its versatility, Sangiovese is one of the most diverse grape varieties used in winemaking. However, the grape can be temperamental and sensitive to the environment in which it is planted. It is very much similar to the Pinot Noir in this fashion. Wines made with Sangiovese grapes can turn out tasting extremely different, based on climate, terroir and process. While the varietal can successfully grow most places, it tends to grow best in hot, dry climates with terroir composed mostly of shallow, limestone soils. Famously native to Tuscany but Sangiovese also grows in many other winemaking locations in Italy, such as Umbria in Central Italy, Campania in the South and Romagna where the grape is known as Sangiovese di Romagna.

There are approximately 71,000 hectares of Sangiovese covering the earth’s surface, 62,725 of which reside in Italy (mostly Tuscany). Outside Italy, Sangiovese has grown quite popular in many winegrowing regions around the world, including the French Island of Corsica, where it ranks 2nd among all Sangiovese growing localities. It was introduced to Argentina in the late 19th century by Italian immigrants and remains successful in the region of Mendoza. Although Sangiovese was brought to America in the 1880’s, it was unpopular until the 1980’s when “Super Tuscans” caused a re-emergence of the grape in Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast. Sangiovese has also gained popularity in Barossa Valley in Southern Australia.

The thin skinned, medium sized, blue-black berries of Sangiovese produce medium to full bodied, dry and highly acidic wines with fruity and savory flavors of plum, cherry, licorice, leather, tobacco and dust. Sangiovese may be synonymous with Brunello, and vice-versa, but the world of Sangiovese is far more intricate than a single wine, a single village, hillside town or designated area of control. It is the exclusive varietal and shining star in Brunello di Montalcino and provides the backbone for Chianti and many of the great Italian wines, and has gained an outstanding reputation as one of the world’s great grape varietals.

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