2007 Brunello di Montalcino, 95-point Vintage

Wine Enthusiast gets a first chance to score the newest Tuscan wine releases.



It’s been decided: The 2007 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino is a lovely expression of variety and territory—a true celebration of this austere yet sophisticated red wine from southern Tuscany. Wine Enthusiast Magazine was among the first to blind taste through the new vintage and found it to be indeed one of the most exciting vintages since the start of the millennium.

Following an intense tasting of some 250 wines at the local vintners’ association headquarters in Montalcino, W.E. awarded the 2007 vintage 95 points on our 100-point scale. The 2006 vintage earned 93 points last year, and both vintages were given a maximum five stars by the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.

“It’s a nice problem to have,” says Paola Gloder, manager of Poggio Antico. “Two great vintages, both on sale at the same time, with Brunello di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.” Riserva wines are released one year after Brunello di Montalcino. The 2006 Riservas are now headed to the market.

So what sets 2007 apart? The strong cola or menthol-like notes of licorice, dried ginger, cured meat and white pepper, or as the Italians refer to these characteristics, note balsamiche. These delicate and compelling aromas are unique to Sangiovese. It’s a pleasure to find such harmony and consistency in a single vintage.

“Between the two vintages, I prefer 2007,” says Giacomo Neri of Casanova di Neri. “We had a very dry summer, without much rain, and temperatures that were warm but not exceedingly so. These conditions created these beautiful balsamiche aromas that are so evident in 2007.”

The 2006 vintage was characterized by higher acidity and long aging potential. But overall, the wines are sharper, linear and more austere. On the other hand, the 2007 vintage is softer, rounder and more opulent, and shows incredible aromatic intensity. It also delivers firm structure and power for long cellar aging. Sangiovese Grosso is a naturally acidic variety, with freshness that's very well balanced in 2007.

Check out Monica Larner taste through the impressive 2007 Brunello di Montalcino in this behind-the-scenes video blog!

 

Here is a selection of the top-rated 2007 Brunellos, with abbreviated reviews. All reviews are available in the Buying Guide.

 

97 Capanna 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Extremely bold and dark with exceedingly Brunello-like extravagance and opulence. Inky darkness and loads of aromatic momentum in the form of blackberry, cherry liqueur, spice, leather, tobacco, rum cake, dark cinnamon, vanilla bean and bitter chocolate. Impressive complexity. Soft, ripe and generous on the close, but not overdone or overripe. Well-contained and balanced. Cellar Selection.
abv:
15%    Price: $55

97 Luce della Vite 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with an opulent, generous style that is packed tight with black cherry, cassis, black currant, cola, leather and pipe tobacco. This is a plush, rich and deeply texture wine with intensity and long staying power. It shows dense tannins with a touch of youthful astringency. Solid mouthfeel. Age 10 more years. A real crowd-pleaser. Cellar Selection.
abv:
NA   Price: $NA

96 Corte Pavone 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with dark concentration and balsam notes of cola, humus and eucalyptus. Despite the thick extraction, the berry aromas are petite and delicate: wild berry and forest fruit. Nice juxtaposition between the bold masculine side and the elegant feminine side. Mouthfeel is bold, plush and powerful. Cellar Selection.
abv:
14.5%   Price: $NA

95 Casanova di Neri 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A big, opulent pleasure bomb with lavish layers, loaded thickly on top of each other. Chocolate fudge, dark cherry, blackberry preserves, rum cake, prune, exotic spice, pipe tobacco, cola, hummus and leather. Huge personality and intensity. Staying power too. All that density is backed by solid tannins and a steady firmness. Hold 10–15 more years. Editors’ Choice.
abv:
14.5%  Price: $50

95 Castelgiocondo 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with dark, inky concentration and bold aromas of pressed rose, black cherry, exotic spice, leather and unsweetened chocolate. Very nice balance and complexity. Very beautifully put together with ample intensity and silkiness on the finish. Smooth and firm. Elegant.
abv: 13.5%   Price: $NA

95 La Gerla 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Ripe fruit and red cherry with spice, cinnamon and woodshop. But there’s a pretty tonic, mineral tone that gives the wine an aromatic backbone and definition. Delicate and feminine in the mouth with elegant flavors of wild berry and blue flower that will surely grow in intensity as the wine evolves. Cellar Selection.
abv:
14%   Price: $50

95 La Mannella 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A gorgeous Brunello with bountiful and intense aromas of red fruit, blackberry, spice, leather and cedar wood that go on and on. Very well made, pristine, chiseled and sharp—but bold and generous at the same time. There’s a touch of bitter almond followed by softer tones of red berry and spice. Editors’ Choice.
abv:
14.5%  Price: $47

95 Padelletti 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Here’s a bright and bold Brunello with loads of ripe cherry, inky density, a beautifully polished feel with crushed mineral and wet river stone. It’s a truly beautiful wine with stunning purity and intensity. All elements are balanced from the fruit to the spice to the ethereal balsam notes. The mouthfeel is bright, intense and packed with berry, almond and savory persistency. Age 10–15 more years. Cellar Selection.
abv:
14.5%   Price: $60

95 Podere Brizio 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Here’s a beautifully composed and well-constructed Brunello with bright berry tones of cassis and cherry backed by ethereal notes of root beer and eucalyptus. It shows a clean, tonic, crisp and structured sensation in the mouth—with a touch of bitter almond on the close—that revives and refreshes the palate.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $70

95 San Polo 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A stellar wine with incredible density, concentration and personality. Soft, smooth and supple until those still-young tannins appear on the close, giving the wine a firm backbone. Black fruit, cherry, rum cake, plum, black pepper and cured meat. A beautiful ensemble with deep, deep layers of beauty. Freshness too. Cellar Selection.
abv:
14.5%  Price: $75

95 Tenimenti Angelini 2007 Val di Suga (Brunello di Montalcino)
This attractive Brunello presents a wild, brambly side with aromas of wild mushroom, forest floor, small berry and crème de cassis. It boasts a beautiful, deep color and deep concentration with endnotes of spice, leather and dried tobacco leaf. The mouthfeel is solid, well defined and superbly structured.
abv: NA   Price: $61

94 Caprili 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
An austere and sophisticated expression with dried tobacco and spice, backed by prune and currant. The fruit is ripe and mature without being overtly jammy, chewy or too sweet. In fact, it presents a savory-sophisticated front with dark concentration and a finely tuned, polished texture. Firm and solid too. Good aging potential. Cellar Selection.
abv:
15%  Price: $55

94 Castello Romitorio 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Black cherry, plum, smoke, bacon, leather and a drying touch of crushed mineral appear on the nose. This is a concentrated and rich Brunello with a bold, slightly sweet-smelling bouquet. The mouthfeel is compact, tight and polished—but there is excellent persistency too.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $70

94 Citille di Sopra 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with inky-dark concentration. Bold berry notes and loads of dark, deep fruit. Plum, prune, blackberry, rum cake. Pretty dustings of dry mineral and balsam-like intensity. A bold and beautiful Brunello with power and determination. Well-structured and balanced but needs at least ten more years of cellar aging. Cellar Selection.
abv:
15%  Price: $60

94 Col d'Orcia 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with ethereal balsam notes of eucalyptus, hummus, dried fruit and dried mint. Beyond those elegant tones are sturdier layers of cured meat and savory spice. The wine shows bold concentration and thick power and firmness on the close. Let it age five more years. Drying mineral endnote.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $NA

94 Donatella Cinelli Colombini 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with an intense, dark garnet color. Shows lush softness and ripe blackberry fruit with perfumed notes of blue flower, plum cake and sweet spice. Feminine persona, but with power. Structured but with yielding tannins.
abv: 14%  Price: $50

94 Fornacina 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
This Brunello offers a bright, vertical delivery of aromas with lively cherry, cola, hummus, dark spice and pipe tobacco as well as savory tones of beef bresaola and even a touch of white peppercorn. Impressive complexity and workmanship. Elegant and streamlined on the close with a bright point of freshness. Cellar Selection.
abv:
14.5%  Price: $64

94 La Fortuna 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A distinctive nose with a vein of sweet spice that holds up the rest. You’ll find rum cake, cinnamon bun, Christmas spice and chocolate-covered cherry. It’s soft, plush and rich on the finish with a lingering note of sweetness that drives its cheerful personality.
abv: 15%  Price: $49

94 La Magia 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A brooding, masculine wine with tobacco smoke and cigar box. At the back are tones of dried fruit, blackberry preserves, crème de cassis and prune. Wonderful intensity and elegance with loads of personality. Spice, black pepper and bitter chocolate. Firm and determined on the finish. Good aging potential.
abv: 14%  Price: $50

94 La Velona 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Bold, plump and softer expression of Brunello with sweet berry fruit, chocolate fudge, cinnamon spice and almond marzipan. The wine’s appearance is dark and well extracted. Despite the grandeur of the nose, the mouthfeel is compact, tight and firm.
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

94 Máté 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A ripe fruit element that is perfectly contained and just short of seeming overdone or overtly jammy. It’s soft and round with loads of oak-driven spice, like cinnamon and ground clove, and plump tones of red cherry, blackberry and plum. What’s really nice here is the fresh density and overall supple texture.
abv: 15%  Price: $70

94 Molino di Sant'Antimo 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Well stitched together with a broad, wide assembly of dark fruit, spice and cola-like aromas. The wine shows impressive integration because all its elements sing loud as a single chorus. Bold, plush, chewy. Ends with ripe fruit, rum cake, pipe tobacco and dark espresso bean. Firm and determined, great length. Editors’ Choice.
abv:
14%  Price: $40

94 Pietranera 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with dark concentration and ripe berry fruit with layers of plum, blackberry, dark chocolate, high- quality pipe tobacco, cherry liqueur, cola and underbrush. It offers a wonderful 360-degree portrait of Sangiovese Grosso. Tight structure, integration and loads of fruity intensity. Beautiful. Drink after 2018.
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

94 Poggio Antico 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A whiff of fresh flowers from a rose garden or a lavender field makes for a very nice first impression. Beyond that is dark fruit, black cherry, crème de cassis and black currant. Shadings of lead pencil, leather and tobacco fill in the rear. Soft round mouthfeel with cherry flavors capped by tight structure.
abv: 13.5%   Price: $NA

94 Poggio il Castellare 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Loads of balsam intensity with eucalyptus, ground ginger, cola, dried fruit and crème de cassis. This wine also adds a pretty floral note of red rose petal or potpourri that really steals the show. Loads of balance and complexity. Smooth, long finish, good momentum and persistency. Drink after 2015.
abv: 14%    Price: $NA

94 Scopone 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A pleasurable, opulent wine with rich tones of cherry and sweet chocolate backed by dense concentration and extraction. Plush, ripe, modern, soft and dense: a real crowd-pleaser. Soft, thick texture with loads of spice, dark fruit and staying power. Very nice.
abv: 14%    Price: $50

94 Tenuta di Sesta 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Sweet oak tones drive the first aromatic impression. Bright cherry, vanilla bean, sweet mocha and rum cake. But there are those pretty balsam notes at the back that will undoubtedly increase and evolve with age. Cellar this wine ten more years. Smooth, silky, firm finish.
abv: 14%  Price: $90

94 Tenuta La Fuga 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Gorgeous, beautiful Brunello. Dark concentration and excellent intensity. Loads of complexity that peels back slowly layer after layer as the wine evolves. Rock-solid structure and freshness that point to a happy cellar evolution. Aromas of dark fruit, cola, cured meat, balsam, dried herb, tobacco and leather. Cellar Selection.
abv:
14.5%  Price: $65

94 Uccelliera 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Austere, tight and sophisticated, this well-extracted Brunello shows dry aromas of crushed granite stone along with ethereal tones of dried ginger, black licorice and root beer. Inky appearance with chewy richness. The mouthfeel is round, chewy and packed with sweet fruit and spice. Pulpy and rich. Drink after 2015. Cellar Selection.
abv:
15%  Price: $NA

94 Verbena 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Here’s a gorgeous wine with a deep, inky color and super-sleek extraction that is elegant but powerful at the same time. This is a balanced wine, but it’s also a super-intense wine with loads of ripe fruit, spice and tobacco. It feels smooth and rich with a finely crafted texture that is velvety and supple.
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

93 Canalicchio di Sopra 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opulent tones of toasted espresso bean and soft chocolate fudge play a supporting role to bold berry and dried raspberry. Background floral tones of dried lavender and red rose. There’s a touch of earthiness too with button mushroom and forest floor. Tannins are nicely polished and firm. Streamlined, elegant.
abv: 14%  Price: $65

93 Capanne Ricci  2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Textbook Brunello nose from a warmer vintage. It grabs from a wide array of elements at its disposal, with balsam, cola and hummus, backed by ripe fruit and dark cherry. More layers appear as leather, earth and cured meat. Great complexity and balance and a proud representative of this territory. Closes elegant, fresh and clean.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $NA

93 Fanti 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
This fine and delicate Brunello shows soft elegance and sophistication in the form of cassis, wild berry, white pepper, root beer, toasted nut and smoky cigar tobacco. The mouthfeel is firm, clean and tonic with elements of tannic structure and fresh acidity that work well together. The oak element is still young and needs time to integrate.   
abv: 15%  Price: $70

93 Fattoi 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A Brunello with broad shoulders and a powerful bouquet that delivers bright, bold aromas of ripe fruit, dark spice, leather and dried tobacco. The wine’s structure and its dark fruit flavors move evenly over the palate with determination, smoothness and unity.
abv: 14.5% Price: $NA

93 Fossacolle 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Pretty savory tones and barbecue aromas are combined here to create a bold and determined Brunello. Ripe fruit, black pepper, rum cake, black currant and blackberry preserves all appear in the background. Silky-smooth and firm, Shows a clean, sharp, bold close.
abv: 14.5% Price: $48

93 Il Paradiso di Frassina 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
More spice and ripe fruit characteristics here. There’s a dark, savory note of smoked ham or bacon as well with back-end notes of cola and root beer. Warm, wintery personality. Streamlined but polished in the mouth.
abv: 13.5%  Price: $70

93 Il Valentiano 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A bold, plush pleasure bomb with thick layers of bright cherry and chocolate. Loads of tobacco, spice and new leather. Huge intensity and a bold, intense aromatic delivery. Fresh oak notes of vanilla and cinnamon shows first signs of integration. A bold, modern Brunello (with some tannic astringency).
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

93 La Poderina 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with dark concentration and syrupy aromas of cherry liqueur, blackberry preserves and cassis concentrate. The wine is soft, plump and chewy with a smooth, thick quality to its texture that makes it a natural pairing partner to succulent cuts of red meat.
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

93 Le Potazzine 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Here’s an austere, sophisticated wine with a pretty garnet color and finely polished aromas of cassis, wild berry, cola, wet river stone, barbecue smoke and bresaola. There’s good complexity and integration and this Brunello delivers very satisfying freshness and balanced acidity.
abv: 14%  Price: NA

93 Lisini 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Dark concentration with cherry liqueur, blackberry preserves, root beer, black currant, dried ginger and Spanish cedar. Stands out for complexity and persistency. Not much obvious fruit however, seems more elaborate and evolved. There’s an exotic Oriental quality to this Brunello that makes it very interesting indeed. Solid, shapely and velvety in the mouth.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $NA

93 Palazzo 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Shows sweet blackberry or cherry liqueur aromas followed by spice, leather and moist pipe tobacco. Coffee or dark espresso too. Well structured, firm and extracted with good intensity and staying power. Drink after 2018.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $NA

93 PianCornello 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Dark, inky and thick, this hearty Brunello begs for succulent meat or barbecued grilled steak. It opens with ripe fruit, blackberry, plum, prune and background rendering of spice, leather and cigar box. It shows a big, bold style with loads of soft density and opulence. Good structure too. Drink after 2015. Cellar Selection
abv:
14.5%  Price: $60

93 Poggio Nardone  2007 Brunello di Montalcino
There’s an exotic, almost Indian personality here with aromas of dark spice, clove and cardamom. Black fruit, prune and currant are also in clear evidence. Bold, black and inky thick. There are touches of blackberry jam and dried prune. It’s soft, round and long on the close with pretty freshness too.
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

93 San Polino 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Beautiful opening, dark concentration. Luscious dark fruit and huge aromatic intensity. Dark red cherry and crème de cassis. Inky black licorice, dried ginger and ground pepper. Defined and tight in the mouth with long mouthfeel and persistency.
abv: NA    Price: $65

93 Tenuta Carlina 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Opens with a deep garnet color with dark amber highlights. Loads of intensity here with ripe, syrupy fruit, blackberry preserves, prune and dark plum. On the savory side, the wine presents an even succession of leather, tobacco and cedar. It’s soft, generous and thick on the luscious finish.
abv: 13.5%   Price: $72

93 Tenuta San Giorgio 2007 Ugolforte (Brunello di Montalcino)
Sweet fruit, plum, prune and a savory element of spice and smoke. Loads of leather and tobacco as well. Deep rich, concentration and a plush, velvety feel. Oak tones must still integrate, but promises a nice future. Rich texture and consistency, smoky tobacco aftertaste.
abv: 14.5%  Price: $30

93 Terralsole 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Shows balance and integration with a dark, inky appearance. Blackberry, plum cake and cinnamon bun. Leather and tobacco as well. Chewy ripe mouthfeel showing plush fruit and a dusty, structured finish with loads of dried tobacco leaf.
abv: 14%  Price: $75

92 Cupano  2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Dark concentration and thicker extraction. Savory notes of cured meat, beef jerky, tobacco and leather. Fruit tones resemble dried strawberry, prune and dark plum, giving this wine a ripe, earthy feel. Closes soft, plush and spicy.
abv: 15%  Price: $110

92 Brunelli 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
A very dusty, dry expression of Brunello with evident tones of crushed stone, talc powder and riverbed. It’s so nice when a wine adds that mineral touch at the back of red fruit and spice, as this wines does. It gives the bouquet firmness and backbone. Cherry, blackberry, cola and rum cake are all there. The mouthfeel is structured, dry and compact.
abv: 14%  Price: $NA

92 Tenuta Oliveto 2007 Brunello di Montalcino
Bold and concentrated with a dark extracted appearance and inky tones of ripe fruit and spice. Savory notes as well with barbecue sauce and cured bacon. Thick and full in the mouth with textured tannins and a bold, upfront personality. Drink after 2018.
abv: 14.5%   Price: $59

Discover more Brunello di Montalcino ratings in the Buying Guide >>>>

Check out Wine Enthusiast's Italian Editor, Monica Larner, get a chance to score some 250 of newest Tuscan wine releases >>>>

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