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Brunello di Montalcino 2019 releases excite buyers

Several merchants have reported strong buyer demand for ‘attention grabbing’ Brunello di Montalcino 2019 wines, despite some release price increases.

Critical acclaim has created a buzz around the Brunello di Montalcino 2019 releases not seen since the 2016 vintage, according to early reports from merchants.

Brunello enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice,’ said Decanter’s Michaela Morris in her recent Brunello di Montalcino 2019 vintage report.

Davy Żyw, senior buyer at Berry Bros & Rudd, said, ‘2016 was of course a watershed vintage for quality, but also [buyer] demand. Since then, we’ve had two good vintages – with the denser 2017 and the charming 2018, which we have had solid demand for, but not the same success as [with] 2016.

‘Brunello is back on track with 2019; it is a truly attention grabbing vintage.’

Fellow UK merchant Goedhuis & Co began offering Brunello 2019s in mid-February. ‘It’s been a really good start,’ said Charlie Whittington, Tuscany specialist and associate director, private clients.

He said the group had planned a relatively concise campaign, partly to gauge customer demand. We’ve released five or six growers [and] all of those have sold through,’ he said. ‘We’ve got two or three more to come.’

Brunello di Montalcino wines have a strong following in the US, and Andrew McMurray, head of retail and Italian buyer at Zachys Wine & Liquor, also reported high demand for the 2019s.

‘We currently have 85-plus different selections from the vintage and have seen some extremely brisk advance interest, with 5,000-plus bottles already committed to by clients on a pre-arrival basis.’ 

As well as critical acclaim, McMurray said high customer demand was also partly due to Zachys’ long-standing focus on Brunello di Montalcino producers, ‘year-in year-out’, and trips to the region to taste the vintage first-hand. 

‘[The wines] are showing very well at a young age, which reminds me very much of the immense appeal of the 2010 vintage when it first came to the market,’ he added. With some wines still to arrive on shelves, he said he anticipated a ‘second surge’ of buying in the coming months.

Zachys will hold a tasting of Brunello di Montalcino 2019 wines from 25 different producers in New York on 5 April. 

Brunello di Montalcino 2019 release prices

Initial data from Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade, suggested some Brunello di Montalcino 2019 release prices have risen year-on-year – but not all. 

Three examples in Liv-ex’s February 2024 Market Report were:

  • Poggio di Sotto 2019 | Release price: £1,790 (12x75cl in bond) | Up 17% vs 2018 release
  • Casanova di Neri, Tenuta Nuova 2019 | £925 | Up 16%
  • Il Poggione 2019 | £320 | Down 8.6%

Liv-ex also said some new releases were more expensive than corresponding wines from the top-rated 2016 vintage, which it said were still widely available on the secondary market.

McMurray said Zachys has seen release prices rise by between 10% and 20% year-on-year for Brunello di Montalcino 2019 wines, depending on the producer and its market context. 

For us, it was expected, coming off two [more] challenging vintages in Montalcino combined with overall increased production costs,’ he said. He didn’t expect this to put consumers off, though. ‘They will simply purchase in smaller increments, which we have seen so far.’ 

Despite some evidence of price rises, Goedhuis’ Whittington said, ‘I still feel there is still significant value to be had in Montalcino.’ 

He said more people were looking at Italy amid higher prices elsewhere, such as for Burgundy wines on the secondary market and for some Bordeaux en primeur releases.

Conti Costanti’s Brunello di Montalcino 2019, awarded the full 100 points by Decanter’s Michaela Morris, was £325 (6x75cl in bond) at Goedhuis & Co in the UK. In the US, Zachys offered the wine at $114.99 per bottle (future arrival). 

Berry Bros’ Żyw said the 2019 wines represent a ‘really strong opportunity’ for collectors. 

The wines cellar well and offer brilliant value versus other fine wine regions. 2019 is a strong vintage across Italy more broadly, in Barolo and with the SuperTuscans, which also keeps the visibility and demand of 2019 high.’

He added that Brunello 2019 pricing overall ‘remains largely flat with 2018 – despite the superior quality to 2018’.

Fans will have to wait longer for 2019-vintage Brunello di Montalcino Riserva releases.

Some producers work to different timetables, too. Biondi-Santi’s Brunello di Montalcino 2018 was due to make its market debut between mid-March and early April, a spokesperson recently told Decanter.


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