The Canalicchio di Sopra 2016 Brunello di Montalcino shows balance and symmetry with that difficult twofold delivery of power and elegance. This terrific new release shows dark fruit and tart cherry, but then unwinds slowly to reveal light spice, toasted nut, blue flower and crushed limestone. The wine affords a genuine sense of place with roots in the northern half of the appellation where the light is whiter and the nights are cooler. That brilliant luminosity appears in the pure quality of fruit and the sharp focus of the mouthfeel, driven by balanced tannins and acidity. The sensation it gives is compact and long, without too much extra volume or padding. This wine is like a contoured, chiseled and carefully polished marble statue that you would see in a Renaissance church. Production is an ample 44,218 bottles. ML
Luscious black cherry is the main theme in this racy red, accented by plum, licorice, tar and iron. This is dense, turning more austere as the tannins take hold of the long finish. Shows fine energy, balance and potential. Best from 2025 through 2048. — BS
A dusty, tannic red with plum, red berry and cedar, chocolate and walnut undertones. It’s full-bodied, yet reserved and tight with ultra fine tannins and a vivid finish. A pretty, polished red. Drink after 2022.
The 2016 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino is flat-out stunning, remarkably vibrant and an almost-ethereal expression. There’s an exotic citrusy tinge to its ripe black cherries, taking on hints of sage, cedar and allspice, all grounded by moist earth tones. It’s focused and remarkably pure with a noticeable inner sweetness to the red and hints of blackberry fruit, all cast across a silky, feminine frame. The structure builds like a crescendo, as minerals fade to youthful tannins. Juicy acids maintain perfect balance from start to finish, making for a surprisingly fresh expression yet with amazing length. There’s simply so much going on here, and there are promises of more good things to come. Eric Guido
Canalicchio di Sopra’s estate Brunello is a blend of plots from its home base in Canalicchio, as well as holdings on the Montosoli hill. The 2016 allies the restrained fleshiness of the former and the salinity of the latter with a balsamic dash. Scents of lilac and bay laurel turn to pure dark cherry on the palate, which is laced with liquorice and stone. Suave tannins maintain a grainy grip and there is no lack of mouthwatering acidity. Thrilling umami finish! Drinking Window 2023 - 2035
Tasted by Michaela Morris (at Vancouver, 22 Mar 2021)
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