From a benchmark vintage, the Biondi-Santi 2016 Brunello di Montalcino reveals a gorgeous appearance with medium concentration highlighted by shiny hues of garnet and dark ruby. The first thing you notice is the compact dark fruit and rather robust textural fiber and power presented here. You almost bite into this wine, and you taste some fine grain linked to the young tannins. That, with the fresh acidity that is the hallmark signature of this estate, guarantees long cellar aging, and I would put my money on this vintage for long-long-term longevity. The fruit is compact and supple with dried cherry, blue flower, iron ore and candied orange peel. There is tobacco, balsam herb and gardening soil in a supporting role, and the wine is beautifully fleshed out but also rich in this balanced growing season. It surely needs more time to come together with pinpoint precision, but the wine's elegance is a certainty. ML
Tasted from a freshly opened bottle without decanting or aeration: Lustrous mid ruby. A balsamic nose with hidden depth. Layered like an onion and with aeration finely perfumed. Compact, almost linear and transparent red fruit on the palate with a layer of bitter-sweet powdery tannins that are a little dominant right now. Shy, long, lingering fruit finish that demands much more time in the bottle. Like a decade, and probably more.
Day 2: A little monolithic and still not entirely open on the nose. Very slow for the cherry fruit to rise from the glass. Fantastic compact core of pure sour cherry and still-formidable tannins that have become more polished over the last 24 hours. Still embryonic and no signs of any oxidation.
Day 3: Still not entirely open on the nose but with a brooding intensity. Less balsamic and more fruit-focused than 24 hours ago. A ripe layer of fruit that is still embryonic and with now firm but polished tannins. Layered and concentrated. Fantastic balance.
Walter Speller - Feb 2022
Comparing 2015 with 2016, technical director Federico Radi says that the latter is more balanced and aromatic owing to overall cooler temperatures in July and August. It is certainly more in line with Biondi Santi’s angular, austere style and unmistakable in its class and potential. With the utmost restraint, flinty mineral notes make way for scents of dried leaves, forest wildflowers and fresh mint. Perfectly poised on the palate, this is midweight yet plumbs great depths, expressing pomegranate, fennel and orange peel. While its tannins have a certain rigidity and are decidedly linear in direction, they are not massive. It is a rather sneaky wine that needs a few more years in the cellar. Brilliantly succulent finish. Drinking Window 2025 - 2045
Tasted by Michaela Morris (at Mastrojanni, 19 Nov 2021)
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