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Brunello di Montalcino 2015: 20 to try

Plentiful fruit, fine tannins, opulent textures and fresh acidity - discover the top-scoring 2015 Brunellos from the Decanter World Wine Awards...

Making up more than 5% of the Platinum medals awarded at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 (just 178 wines out of 16,518 were awarded this top accolade), it’s fair to say wines from Tuscany impressed the experts at the 2020 competition.

On judging wines from Central Italy at DWWA 2020, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW commented, ‘Tuscany is always a pleasure. We’ve had standouts – some beautiful Cabernet blends, some Brunellos, some Chiantis, some Chianti Classicos – we’re privileged to have some lovely wines.’


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Looking at results from Tuscany in more detail, the wines from Brunello di Montalcino stand out with Tuscany’s sole Best in Show medal and two Platinum medals – all 97 points, and all from the 2015 vintage.

‘There is much to celebrate in 2015, including plentiful fruit, ripe and supple tannins, sumptuous textures and an immediate drinkability’ reports Michela Morris in her Brunello di Montalcino 2015 vintage report.

Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Argiano, Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – Best in Show, 97 points

Scores and tasting notes from the top-scoring Brunellos at DWWA 2020 are consistent with Morris’ vintage findings, with Best in Show winner – Argiano’s Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – receiving poetic acclaim:

What’s often forgotten in the general hubbub which surrounds Brunello di Montalcino is that this DOCG circumscribes the area of Tuscany where Sangiovese ripens more amply and more beguilingly than anywhere else – though of course, this is a grape variety whose resource is such that differences of the ripening spectrum based on site do nothing but add to its nuance and appeal. If you want to get a fix on the sheer, disarming loveliness of that ample ripeness, try this wine…’

Aged for a minimum of two years in oak and four years overall before release, Brunellos from the 2015 vintage were released to the market just last year, with many approachable and ready to drink now or over the next decade.

Tasted and rated by the expert DWWA judges, discover the top-scoring Brunello di Montalcino 2015 wines from the 2020 competition…

Brunello di Montalcino 2015: 20 to try

Argiano, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Best in Show, 97 points
What’s often forgotten in the general hubbub which surrounds Brunello di Montalcino is that this DOCG circumscribes the area of Tuscany where Sangiovese ripens more amply and more beguilingly than anywhere else – though of course this is a grape variety whose resource is such that differences of ripening spectrum based on site do nothing but add to its nuance and appeal. If you want to get a fix on the sheer, disarming loveliness of that ample ripeness, try this wine: glowing, almost exotic fruits, with a little incense spice creeping into the mix, then glowing, soft-textured flavours which brim with summer’s end and autumn’s plenty: ripe plums and berries, autumn leaves, some wild mushroom fragrance and the dark spices which hint at Christmas to come.

Argiano, Vigna del Suolo, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Platinum, 97 points
Classy and complex, with a core of black cherries boosted by layers of porcini, salami, liquorice stick, herbs and iron hints, leading to a restrained, long finish displaying lingering acidity.

Giodo, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Platinum, 97 points
Fine-grained, long and beautifully restrained, with a fine veil of coffee over direct sloes, dark cherries and dark chocolate, with complementing notes of tobacco leaves, graphite and mint.

Belpoggio, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Gold, 95 points
Powerful and concentrated but elegant. Fine-grained tannins and brisk acidity provide the framework and allow red berries, cherries and plums to shine, ably complemented by more elemental earthy, herbal and salt elements.

Cantina di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Gold, 95 points
An excellent wine: polished, refreshing and expressive, possessing scents of red cherry compote, fresh cranberry and rose, with a fine-grained palate packed with flavoursome red berries, black plum and sage.

Tenuta La Fuga, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Gold, 95 points
Beautifully complex, tense but also gentle, with firm tannins underneath textured layers of black chocolate, coffee, dried leaves, crunchy black cherry and date.

Tenute Donna Olga, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 94 points
Elegant and long, with supple tannins and a floral quality to lovely fruit, revealing red cherries, coffee, herbs and chocolate.

Celestino Pecci, Poggio al Carro, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 93 points
Aromas of cured meat and wood spice; a touch coy before a full-bodied palate of creamy oak, cranberry and ripe plums.

Luciani, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 93 points
Concentrated, long and warm, with barrel and bottle ageing delivering appealing complexity and flavours of dried red berries, walnuts, caramel biscuit, earth and mushrooms.

Ridolfi, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 92 points
Modern and polished, with fresh acidity and fine tannins combing around notes of cherry jam, plum, dark chocolate and coffee, with a savoury, cleansing finish.

Abbadia Ardenga, Vigna Piaggia, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Powerful yet lifted, with flavours of morello cherry, black tea, dried figs, earth and orange peel, powered by high-wire acidity. Calls for another glass.

Carpineto, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Crunchy, floral dried red berries, strawberries and red cherries, with added complexity from notes of liquorice, cinnamon and lemongrass before the juicy finish.

Centolani, Pietranera, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Toasty Sangiovese fruit, with alluring tones of dark chocolate, mushroom, sweet spice and cigar box. Long and displays great use of wood.

Il Grappolo, Sassocheto, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Toasty oak, flowers, damson and a hint of parsley on the nose, then a fine-grained palate showing persistent cherry, cassis, sweet vanilla and tobacco leaves.

Martoccia, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Fine-grained and fresh, with an abundance of ripe red and black fruits, tobacco and clove on both nose and palate, with a savour mushroom tinge at the end.

Ruffino, Greppone Mazzi, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Bold and rich, with a nose of fig, plum, vanilla and fir, then an opulent palate reminiscent of Black Forest gateau, plus toasted oats, spice and tobacco.

Scopone, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Antique shop aromas alongside ripe red cherries and leather, with bright, crunchy fruit on the palate partnered by espresso and dark chocolate.

Tenuta di Sesta, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Open and complex, with a layer of creamy oak underneath flavours of strawberry jam, plum, coffee, lobacco leaves and sweet spice on a smooth palate.

Villa Poggio Salvi, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 91 points
Impressive purity, with tannins which are just beginning to resolve and support notes of black cherry, forest floor, black tea and lovely wild herbs.

La Togata, Carillon, Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Silver, 90 points
Settled, complex and concentrated, laden with ripe plums, bramble fruits, cured meats and hints of parsley and juniper, with vanilla and clove emerging on the long tail.


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