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Brunello is always a favorite, but 2016 is considered the region’s best vintage ever, and wine lovers and collectors are clamoring to fill their wine racks and cellars with these lauded Tuscan bottles. The longer the bottles from the 2016 vintage are on the market, the scarcer they’ll become. We all know scarcity drives up the price, so NOW is the time to secure the critically acclaimed 2016 Brunello di Montalcino.
When it comes to deciding whether or not to buy wines from the vintage, James Suckling makes the decision easy for you when he says, "If you ever wanted a Brunello for your cellar, buy the 2016 vintage."The critics are raving about this specific 2016 Brunello Riserva from La Fiorita, and it deserves your attention.
La Fiorita is owned by American-born Natalie Oliveros whose Calabrese Nonna exposed her at an early age to basement winemaking. In the early 2000s, her basement training came in handy when she began collaborating with the winery’s then-co-owner Roberto Cipreso on a series of Italian wines. She’s now the primary owner of La Fiorita and, along with the talented winemaker Vincenzo Pirrone, is raising the already respected reputation and quality of La Fiorita, shifting the vineyards toward organic viticulture and modernizing the cellars with the addition of a two-level gravity-fed cantina .
La Fiorita does not craft a Riserva every year. Produced from the best grapes from just one of the winery’s four vineyards, Pian Bossolino, it’s made only in the best vintages. 2016 was a 5-star, 99-point vintage, deserving of a Riserva if ever there was one. The estate produced just 3,100 bottles of this energetic and balanced wine from the vintage where temperatures, sun, and rain came together perfectly.
Aging: 24 months in Slovenian oak cask, 4 months in steel before bottling, 18th months in the bottle before release.
Tasting Notes: 100% Sangiovese. Cherry, leather, menthol, and tobacco on the nose. Ripe fruits on the palate, medium-bodied, velvety tannins, and fresh acidity.
This cherry- and raspberry-flavored red is underlined by a saline note, with floral, eucalyptus, thyme, and tobacco notes joining the party as everything plays out on the lingering, tightly wound finish. Shows energy and finds balance in the end. Best from 2026 through 2043. ~95 Wine Spectator
Enticing aromas of menthol, ripe dark-skinned fruit, new leather, and sandalwood lead the way. Boasting a heady combination of power and finesse, the full-bodied palate doles out ripe black cherry, raspberry jam, licorice and tobacco framed in firm, velvety tannins. Fresh acidity keeps the richness in check. Drink 2024-2036. ~95 Wine Enthusiast.
Sweet berries and cherries with orange peel and hints of sandalwood. Medium to full body with firm, integrated tannins and a fresh, vivid finish. Firm tannins, but together and so delicious already. Give this two or three years to come around even more. Try after 2023. ~95 James Suckling.
A single vineyard expression from Pian Bossolino, La Fiorita’s Riserva was picked on 10 October. It comes across as very ripe in its aromas of wild black cherry and exotically spiced plum. Traces of smoke interject. There is a stony undertow on the mid-palate countering the boisterous mix of red and black fruit. A full-bodied, southern Brunello, this is well-proportioned and elegant in tannins. It finishes delectably sappy. Among the many overhauls this estate has made in the last few years, La Fiorita began working with renowned consultant Maurizio Castelli in 2016. ~94 Decanter.
La Fiorita's 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva leaves a lasting impression that is due to the purity and the depth of aromas in part but is also due to the very high 15% alcohol. A little less alcoholic heat would be more conducive to the delicate and lifted aromas of Sangiovese. Fruit for the Riserva comes solely from the Pian Bossolino vineyard. This wine is instead all about brawn and muscle; as a result, you're best off serving it with a creamy dish like steak smothered in mushroom sauce. ~93 Wine Advocate.
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