In outstanding vintages, wine producers often try to delay the release of their top wines as much as they can: a disappointing practice for wine lovers and a frustrating one for wine writers.
When faced with an embargo there is little one can do. For those appellations with a pyramidal quality classification such as Montalcino, the second wines can sometimes offer an idea of the vintage, if not of the top wines themselves.
Scroll down for Aldo Fiordelli’s tasting notes and scores for 15 top Rosso di Montalcino wines
Rosso di Montalcino is the weather vane for Brunello di Montalcino, released at least a couple of years in advance.
Composed entirely of Sangiovese from the village of Montalcino, and springing from the same terroir as its big brother, Rosso di Montalcino is a dry, ruby coloured wine with good balance, reasonable body and plenty of fresh red fruits.
Minimum ageing of one year is stipulated, without any specific requirements for oak. Vintages such as the fresh and easy to drink 2018 (late released) and the supple yet more structured 2019 are coming onto the market now.