The 2010 vintage in Brunello di Montalcino stands as one of the benchmark vintages of the last 30 years for this ever-evolving, growing appellation. A near perfect growing season across the widely varying elevations with relatively warm temps during the maturation phase and ideal diurnal swings created incredibly ripe fruit with impressive phenolic maturation. As the wines approach age nine I thought it an ideal time to check in on a sampling of the wines to see how they are developing in the cellar. Among the initial sample set, two of the six bottles were sadly flawed with TCA (also known as “corked”): La Poderina and Pian dell’Orino Versante. I replaced the La Poderina and substituted a Gianni Brunelli for the Pian dell’Orino. Still, a disappointing start to what was slated to be a fabulous evening, but the replacements pulled through.

Prior to the tasting the bottles were SO’d for the day, then double decanted five hours prior to the start of the tasting. The results were uniform across the sample set, evidence of a truly profound vintage with impressive aging potential. Those who own these wines will be amply satisfied with your purchases, this is a vintage to own in spades. There may still be some 2010’s available in the market, so if you find some, buy them el pronto. This was an impressive showing for 2010 Brunello di Montalcino!

2010 Le Ragnaie, Brunello di Montalcino (RT95+) The most high-toned, feminine wine of the night showing a light translucent ruby/garnet hue. With its gorgeous, spicy nose, a foundation of ripe red cherry layered with vibrant white flowers and hints of Tuscan underbrush lead to mentholated smoky notes. The palate shows sweet, round fruit with bright acidity and ripe, round tannins punctuate the long finish. Built for the long haul, this was one of the most taught wines of the night. Drink 2024-2040+

2010 La Poderina, Brunello di Montalcino (RT94) Showing a medium ruby/garnet, notes of dark cherry, hints of truffle and ripe scrub berries and underbrush underpin its terroir-driven bouquet. The palate is rich, full figured and decadently ripe with a chocolatey richness, excellent palate texture and ripe, firm tannins. A luxurious, traditionally crafted Brunello, I’m a long-time fan of this producer and love the house style. Drink 2022-2035+

2010 Costanti, Brunello di Montalcino (RT95) With its medium-light ruby/garnet hue, the Constanti reveals their classic house style showing dark ripe brooding fruit centered on masculine black cherry, hints of goudron, sous bois and an accent of violets. The palate is beautifully sublime with soft, round spicy fruit, excellent fresh acidity and ripe sweet tannin to bring out the long finish. A highly enjoyable vintage for this iconic winery. Drink 2022-2037+

2010 Biondi-Santi Tenuta Greppo, Brunello di Montalcino (RT94+) This classic wine from the iconic Biondi-Santi winery shows a medium-light ruby/garnet hue, with a captivating bouquet built on exquisitely balanced mentholated red cherry, cedar, high tone florals and a streak of minerality. With time in the glass a sublime umami character finishing with a hint of salinity emerges. The plate delivers elegant, finesse-driven fruit with a succulent, sappy finish, artful acidity and sweet, ripe tannin. A superb, classy expression of Sangiovese Grosso. Drink 2022-2040+

2010 Il Marroneto, Brunello di Montalcino (RT96+) An outstanding showing for Il Marroneto, the multi-dimensional bouquet soars from the glass showing depth and dimension with complex notes of mentholated black cherry, black truffle, underbrush, leather and a spicy punctuation mark! The palate shows magnificent balance with rich, ripe fruit, fresh acidity and perfectly ripe tannins leading to an impressive, long finish. Everything aspect of this wine is perfectly executed! An extremely motivational bottle, this is a study in magnificence! Drink 2025-2045+

2010 Gianni Brunelli, Brunello di Montalcino (RT94+) A classic medium ruby/garnet hue leads to a typical bright bouquet headlined with sour cherry, Tuscan spicy underbrush, balsam, fresh white flowers and a hint of salinity. The palate is light, elegant and refreshing with lovely stimulating acidity and ripe tannin wrapped around a core of complex red fruit. The components hint at a long-lived future for this alluring bottle. Drink 2022-2037+