Mission Codename Fortitude
Brunello - we love every form. From the lighter, ethereal, and feminine to the brawny, overt, and masculine.
But we REALLY love the 96 POINT kind.
**The 43% OFF variety. **
And anything hailing from the righteous 2016 vintage, which Wine Advocate rated the BEST EVER.
Fornacina has been pumping out classic Brunello for nearly three decades and it helps to have one of the area’s best winemakers on board as a consultant - Attilio Pagli. While Antonio Galloni’s Vinous compliments his humility “Unlike some of his peers who allow their egos to take center stage, Pagli prefers to remain in the background, yet there is no mistaking that over the years the presence of his experienced and steady hand has helped fashion unique wines.” it is evident that what he touches turns to gold, as in Valdicava, Salvioni, and San Giusto a Rentennano.
Back to this wine. It definitely sits squarely in the hulking, brooding, masculine camp with a punchy, turned-up style. Yet it still retains those traditional roots, having been aged in the large oak barriques rather than small French Oak barrels. Oozing with dark black fruits - blackberry and blackcurrant, black cherries, and tobacco. Flanked with savory smoked meats, freshly laid tar. It’s deep like space and intense like a political discussion at Thanksgiving. Enjoy this bad boy with some pappardelle alla cinghiale (or if braised boar isn’t available, swap some braised short ribs).
The majority of this comes from the estate vineyard adjacent to Conti Costanti, and the remainder from another prized site in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in the middle of a neighborhood shared by the famous like Casanova di Neri, Ciacci Piccolomini, and Uccelliera. No wonder it’s so amazing!
A leader in modern Italian winemaking, Pagli’s influence even extends all the way to Argentina, where he helped put their entire wine industry on the map. After all, it was Pagli who ventured there to help Nicolas Catena level up their formidable winery in the early 1980s.
Simply marvelous stuff, and one we’ll be drinking with abandon over the coming winter months. You should too. Sadly, we got less than we hoped for so if you want some, move quickly.
96 Points – James Suckling
“This is a ripe and full red with complex aromas of cedar, cloves, tobacco and dried mushrooms. Distinct, earthy quality underneath ripe plums and licorice. Layers of chocolatey tannins. Black truffles, too. From organically grown grapes. Better after 2024.”
Blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherries, and tobacco
Deep crimson with bright cherry accents brightly radiating to wrap the glass up from within
Oozing with dark black fruits - blackberry and blackcurrant, black cherries, and tobacco
It sits squarely in the hulking, brooding, masculine camp with a punchy, turned-up style
Flanked with savory smoked meats, freshly laid tar, long and complex as Brunello can be
Pappardelle alla cinghiale (or if braised boar isn’t available, swap some braised short ribs)
What the Winery Says
2016 Brunello di Montalcino
- Consulting winemaker
- Attilio Pagli
- 100% Sangiovese Grosso
- Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany
- Galestro and clay
- 48 months
- 100% neutral Slavonian oak tonneaux