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2016 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino

2016 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino

96 WE

Featured Review
Classic Sangiovese aromas of underbrush, wild berry and new leather mingle with whiffs of camphor. Supremely elegant, the focused palate shows precision and great energy, featuring juicy red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and black tea set against chiseled, refined tannins. Vibrant acidity keeps it balanced while a salty mineral note lingers on the close. Fantastic showing. Drink 2026–2041. Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE

Critic Reviews

Classic Sangiovese aromas of underbrush, wild berry and new leather mingle with whiffs of camphor. Supremely elegant, the focused palate shows precision and great energy, featuring juicy red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and black tea set against chiseled, refined tannins. Vibrant acidity keeps it balanced while a salty mineral note lingers on the close. Fantastic showing. Drink 2026–2041.

Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE
The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino offers a pure and classic expression of the vintage with bright fruit tones, wild cherry, toasted nut, blue flower and forest floor. Whereas the other wines in the Poggio Antico portfolio undergo aging in smaller tonneaux, this wine is aged in large Slavonian casks instead. You taste the lift and brightness of the fruit, and it’s all quite lovely. Grapes are sourced across a 13-hectare site at a very high 500 meters in elevation. The name of this area is I Poggi, and the soils here are a bit lighter and rockier with both schistous galestro and limestone alberese. I love the delicate approach here, the intensity of those floral aromas, and the silky nature of the mouthfeel. Some 34,000 bottles will be released in January 2021. This classic Brunello really stands out.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP
A debut on the Place this year from a vintage hailed as one of the best in the last decade. Grapes come from a 30-hectare vineyard bought in 2017 by Belgian businessman Marcel van Poecke who has invested heavily in replantings and new cellar facilities. The texture and overall feel here are lovely - powerful and succulent bramble fruits fill the palate, gliding across the tongue while coffee grounds and dried herbs settle in the background giving structure and definition. This has an aerial quality with real finesse. (Drink between 2023-2035)

Decanter | 95 DEC
This is so aromatic and floral with cedar, dried roses, and black cherries. It’s full-bodied, yet so refined and tight with silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Tight and focused. Needs time to open, but shows beautiful finesse and focus. Drink after 2024.

James Suckling | 95 JS
Ripe, sweet plum, cherry and blackberry flavors are complemented by iron and tobacco accents in this suave red. Shows fine balance and texture, with well-integrated tannins and acidity and a long, mouthwatering finish. Best from 2024 through 2047. 3,000 cases made, 500 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 94 WS
The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a pleasantly fruit-forward and nuanced expression of the vintage. Pretty notes of black cherry, sweet spices, hints of cedar and tobacco form up in the glass. It’s soft and pliant in the mouth, finding symmetry through zesty acids, while displaying pure red and hints of black berries. A gentle tug of tannin lingers, along with mineral tones and violet florals. The 2016 should hold up well over the short term in the cellar, but I’d err on the side of caution and enjoy these sooner rather than later.

Vinous Media | 90 VM

Wine Details for 2016 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino

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.

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.

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


Producer Poggio Antico : Perched high upon the hill of Montalcino in the breathtaking Tuscan countryside, the vineyards of Poggio Antico race towards the skyline where the cone of the ancient volcano, Amiata, is visible to the naked eye. These privileged lands rest on the highest elevations of the “wine mountain” (Montalcino) where grape vines thrive under the Tuscan sun. The Poggio Antico estate, which covers an impressive 200 hectares is a secluded and strenuous microcosm of olive groves, vineyards and centuries-old woods. It is also the home to a slew of fantastic Montalcino wines that have become a trending force on today’s market.

Poggio Antico was officially formed in 1976 with the union of three properties located on one of the highest promontories of Montalcino: I Poggi, Madre and Le Martine. From its inception, the aim was not to create any Brunello, but the Brunello of Poggio Antico: a wine that encloses the extraordinary natural elements of the area. Throughout its history, Poggio Antico has embodied classic features, by exploiting the location’s legendary terroir and embracing traditional viticultural practices.

The 35 hectares under vine at the Poggio Antico estate are planted primarily to Sangiovese which brings to life its three DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) Brunello di Montalcino wines (which under the guidelines of the Brunello DOCG must contain 100% Sangiovese). Their foremost Brunello di Montalcino is produced according to the traditional method and embodies all the characteristics of the variety. The ‘Altero’ Brunello is a classic and contemporary expression that has garnered the interest of consumers world-wide. The Riserva Brunello di Montalcino is exclusively produced only during the best vintages, following a scrupulous grape selection. The wine is of outstanding structure, enhanced by a very long aging period in French and Slovenian oak barrels.

From the Rosso di Montalcino DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) comes a wine that is the youngest and most prompt expression of Sangiovese (100%). Its immediate readiness and palatability delivers a quality Montalcino wine to those with less patience and lighter wallet. Sangiovese undeniably reigns supreme in Montalcino, though this land offers hospitable conditions to a myriad of other (international) grape varietals such as, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, which are used to produce the labels of Madre and Lemartine. With Sangiovese as the backbone and blended with French varieties, Madre and Lemartine have the duty of pleasing a wide variety of palates around the world. A rose is also produced using 100% Sangiovese and rounds out the Poggio Antico portfolio colorfully. Brief contact with the skins enhances the fruitiness and fragrance of the wine and develops an opulent pink hue. Collectively, the vineyards of Poggio Antico produce approximately 130,000 bottles each year.

Without Montalcino’s tremendous terroir and topography, the wines would not have the luxury and allure that they very much do enjoy. Poggio Antico’s remarkable elevation unveils its ancient soils that surfaced from the seabed during the Cretaceous. These are mixed formations with a rocky and sandy core, featuring Galestro (friable marl of layered limestone and sandstone) and Alberese (compact clay and limestone) that perfectly harmonizes with Sangiovese, allowing this variety to express its finest personality through wines with moderate power and marked aromas. The vineyard elevation provides hilltop breezes which help dissipate fog and frost and dry the grapes after rain, helping to minimize mildew and other harmful vineyard hazards. Poggio Antico truly does have prized parcels of land atop the hill of Montalcino.

Today, the labels of Poggio Antico unveil the essence of Brunello, honed over centuries of adaptation and selection. Rigorous vineyard and cellar practices along with respect for nature (100% Organic) have brought the estate’s wines into the global spotlight; gracing the cellars and dinner tables of collectors and enthusiasts around the globe. Poggio Antico has developed a reputation for high quality, class and elegance and is considered to be among the very finest and most esteemed producers in not only Italy, but the world.

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