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Brunello di Montalcino 2013
05 July 2018

Whether, in saying these words, Riccardo Campinoti meant a great year or a year to buy large formats, we do not know. He probably meant both, given his excitement about the wines. Riccardo, owner of the red hot Le Ragnaie estate, is usually rather sanguine about such things yet 2013 he considers to be the best vintage he has made, superior even to 2010 or 2006. Many other producers echoed this sentiment. 2013 looks to be a very exciting vintage in Brunello. As a four star year it is less highly-rated than the five star 2012, according to Brunello’s Consorzio, but in our view, and that of many growers, the vintage’s best examples trump those of its predecessor.

Montalcino wines rarely struggle for power or density, so these cooler vintages, when handled correctly, can produce excellent results – adding a rare finesse and vibrancy to these naturally well-built wines. It was no wash out, either; after a cool and wet start to the season good weather dominated the latter part of summer. The 2013s show good intensity and great balance, suggesting excellent ageing potential. Of course not everything is great, many producers still pick too late, extract too much or, a new trend, pick far too early. However the best examples, which are in a majority, are so complete; they want for nothing. 2013s are certainly more discrete than the blockbuster but well-formed 2010s, though don’t be fooled, allow them time and aeration and they become hugely rewarding. These are as ethereal and gripping as Brunello gets.

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