Siro Pacenti Brunello Di Montalcino 2016

If I had to think of one way to universally describe the majority of wines from the 2016 vintage, I would offer that they are like a well-muscled black stallion in its prime. They are dark yet radiant, expressive, nearly explosive at times, yet pure, poised and structured. These are wines that capture your imagination. ERIC GUIDO, Vinous

I prefer the classic purity and linearity of the slightly cooler 2016 vintage to the more exuberant and texturally generous wines from the warmer 2015 vintage. MONICA LARNER, The Wine Advocate

Giancarlo Pacenti is by far the leading exponent of the modern school of Brunello di Montalcino. No other producer has succeeded in crafting wines of this much textural beauty and refinement. ANTONIO GALLONI, Vinous.com

Year after year, Siro Pacenti (run by the detailed-minded Giancarlo Pacenti) is one of the estates I most enjoy tasting during my annual trip to Montalcino. Talk about hitting the nail on the head. MONICA LARNER, The Wine Advocate

 

We continue to be thrilled with the 2016 Brunelli and today’s offer on the wines of Giancarlo Pacenti only adds to that excitement. While perhaps these wines have been underrepresented in Australia in years gone by, they are hot property overseas and Pacenti is regarded by many, including Antonio Galloni, as the “leading exponent of the modern school of Brunello di Montalcino”.

While the modern vs classic debate is often misrepresented as a dichotomy, in short Pacenti falls into the former through his adaptation of elevage in small French oak, only a small portion of which is new. While the folly of the modern Brunello producer can often be the imprint of the person over the place, Pacenti masterfully deliver rich and powerful wines that in turn echo a sense of time and place.

The sites Pacenti works with too are quite distinct. It is a tale of two cities (estates) at Siro Pacenti, one on the north side of Montalcino at Pelagrilli , a cooler site on clay soils which delivers a higher toned wine of fragrance and silky, supple texture. The second to the south, with vineyards planted in the 60s on rocky soils at the warmer Piancornello. The wine here is deeper, denser and more powerful and takes time to emerge. Together these two wines showcase the wonderful diversity that can be found, and shown by a skilled winemaker, in Brunello today.

Lastly, while Rosso di Montalcino doesn’t have the cache of the top Brunello wines, at Pacenti it is a most worthy investment. Galloni rightly notes that it is “One of the most consistently outstanding Rossos.” Not all Rossi are created equal and Pacenti’s is definitely in the leading pack and offers some sharp value.

It bears repeating too that 2016 is a vintage to buy, and buy in volume. While 2015 too received many accolades, Monica Larner puts it succinctly when she says that she prefers “the classic purity and linearity of the slightly cooler 2016 vintage to the more exuberant and texturally generous wines from the warmer 2015 vintage.” It’s a personal choice, but I tend to agree from what I have tasted so far.