2014 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Italy: Tuscany: Montalcino
An unusual promo for you today, dear Operatives, to interrupt that getting all too familiar Groundhog Day feel. Buy one, get first dibs on the 100-pointer 2015! Granted, 2014 was nowhere near a spectacular vintage in all of Brunello, as James Suckling reported; “of the 135 2014 Brunellos we tasted, none scored above 94 points” while Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate picked this 2014 as “a beautiful wine… one of the best interpretations you will find.”
Pale crimson to garnet, delicately alluring with just the right amount of bricking on the rim. There is so much going on with the perfume here! Dried red cherries, damson plums, savory herbs, cigar box, plus leather are only some of the parts of the complex whole. Superb balance and intensity rule the mouthfeel, sweet, round tannins complementing a core of bright cranberry and fig. With some time in the glass, orange peel and clove notes emerge on the finish, through the impressive length. For pairing, start the special evening with a sorrel soup, continue with a roast, bird, lamb, game, you name it, but make sure it’s abundantly seasoned with sage and tarragon.
Decanter magazine’s review below points out that Fuligni did not make a Riserva in 2014, so guess where all the sublime juice of the oldest vines from their top plots went? A-ha! Great Brunello under $50 does not happen without a good reason, so in this case, we have a gifted winemaker to thank, who conquered BIG through a tough harvest. Add the opportunity to land some of the perfect 2015 brethren of this upon release, and you cover two birds with one stone, a delicious 2014 to pile up on and enjoy at a super affordable price, while you wait for the monstrous 2015 to arrive and mature.
Without further ado, allow us to leave the closing marks to Antonio Galloni’s Vinous; “If one was speaking from a perspective of terroir, Fuligni would be grouped with producers in the northern reaches of Montalcino. It’s here that temperatures remain much cooler, which has helped a great deal, as the effects of global warming have become apparent in the region. Their vineyard is also prime real estate for the production of Brunello, with high elevations, south and southeast exposures, and a mix of marls, rock, and clay. It should come as no surprise that Fuligni is able to produce Brunello of such purity contrasted by a richness that comes from superior fruit, other than oak. The aging regimen includes a short stay in 500-liter tonneaux followed by two years in Slavonian casks. For me, Fuligni remains a reference-point producer within the region, as the wines excel expectations both when young and mature.”
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
93 Points – Decanter - “The grapes for this Brunello come from Fuligni’s oldest vines which typically go into the Riserva. In 2014, harvest was pushed back until mid-October in order to achieve full ripeness. The wine spent the first four to five months in small 5hl barrels to stabilise the colour, with the remaining time spent in traditional large botti. It opens with iron and savoury spice before revealing leather and tobacco leaf notes. There’s definitely some flesh to pad out the structure in this well-balanced example, with smoky incense notes on the finish.”
93 Points – James Suckling - “Some smoky notes with savory and sanguine aromas, as well as deeply spicy red cherries. The palate delivers an impressively concentrated core of red-cherry and red-plum flavor. The tannins are succulent and the depth is good for this vintage. Drink or hold.”
92+ Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - “What a joy it is to taste these new releases from Fuligni. The Brunellos in particular are both exceptional for their respective vintages. The wines capture a middle ground between modern and traditional styles that is immensely appealing. The Fuligni 2014 Brunello di Montalcino is a beautiful wine. To my mind, it represents one of the best interpretations you will find from this difficult vintage that caused so much unease. The Fuligni family shows a deft hand, resulting in a wine that offers more balance, intensity and depth than a good majority of its peers. It opens to a compact and streamlined style, but it follows through with an articulate set of aromas including cassis, red rose, camphor ash and aniseed. The mouthfeel is lengthy in flavor and freshness. This is a very traditional expression of Sangiovese in heart and soul. Drink 2020-2033.”
Pale crimson to garnet, delicately alluring with just the right amount of bricking on the rim.
So much going on! Dried red cherries, damson plums, savory herbs, cigar box, plus leather.
Superb balance and intensity, sweet, round tannins, with a core of bright cranberry and fig.
With some time in the glass, orange peel and clove notes emerge through impressive length.
Start with a sorrel soup, continue with a roast abundantly seasoned with sage and tarragon.
What the Winery Says
- Paolo Vagaggini
- 100% Sangiovese Grosso
- Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany
- Sand and clay
- Vine training
- Bush-trained on ungrafted rootstock
- 15 days at 75.2-78.8 °F, 15 days maceration
- 18 months
- 80% new and 20% neutral French oak