Ian D'Agata rates Brunello di Montalcino 2010 as one of the top three vintages in Montalcino of the last 50 years. See the top five Brunello di Montalcino 2010 wines from our panel tasting - all scoring Outstanding.

The Brunello di Montalcino 2010 was clearly a much-anticipated tasting by all three Decanter experts. ‘Primarily, because Brunello di Montalcino 2010 was possibly the most hyped vintage ever,’ said Michael Garner. ‘So I wanted to see if all the lavish praise was justified. and having tasted nearly 100 wines, there’s no question that it’s more than worthy.’

Ian D’Agata was in no doubt: ‘On this evidence, I’d rate 2010 as one of the top three vintages in Montalcino of the last 50 years, along with 1999 and 2001.’ Andrea Briccarello was equally enthusiastic: ‘The fact that we gave five Outstanding scores serves to underline its greatness. There were so many good wines, and very few disappointments.’

Montalcino experienced near-perfect conditions in 2010: not too hot or wet in the summer, with cold nights giving high acidity. The harvest was two weeks later than usual: ‘a huge advantage for the late-ripening Sangiovese,’ said Briccarello. Clearly, producers were blessed with excellent raw material. ‘So then it was just a case of how the fruit was handled.’ Garner concurred: ‘yes, most got their oak regime absolutely right in that respect. What makes the vintage so attractive is that the wines are so well proportioned. The fruit intensity is very pure, the acidity is pretty much perfect and the tannins have reached full phenolic maturity.’

The smiles on our experts’ faces said it all. ‘Sangiovese is a difficult grape to get right, but when you do it gives you an amazing array of flavours and colours,’ concluded Briccarello.
And D’Agata summed it all up: ‘This is a truly great vintage. Just look at the results, with nearly 70% as Highly Recommended or Outstanding. That speaks for itself.’