Berry Bros – 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Argiano – The best value

 

Much has been said with regards to the outstanding quality of the 2016 Brunello di Montalcinos, and there are no signs that the latest Argiano releases will buck the trend.

The Argiano estate dates all the way back to the 16th Century, with the construction of their majestic villa taking place in 1580. Over the course of the following centuries, the estate was passed through numerous noble hands, but fast forward to present day and the estate is owned by Bernadino Sani, who took control as recently as 2013 and implemented sustainable and organic agricultural methods of farming.

Since 2019, Argiano has gone ‘plastic-free’ and is the first estate to do so within Montalcino. They adhere to the ‘4 R’s’ for the environment: reduce, recuperate, recycle, and reuse. The culture and vision for Argiano is very much skewed to sustainability and biodiversity in the vineyards and cellar, to the extent that even natural insecticides are banned from the vineyards.

Bernadino Sani and Francesco Monari sum up the philosophy of Argiano by stating:

“We believe that the vine should not be designed to our liking but should be studied, understood, interpreted, and respected; we believe that it shouldn’t be manipulated, but allowed to express itself, to define a place, a climate, a harvest. This is what Good Agriculture means to us.”

The pride & joy of the estate is their flagship Brunello di Montalcino, derived from 12–60-year-old vineyards, comprised of marl, clay and limestone soils. The vineyards are a mere 22 hectares in size and lie at an altitude of no more than 310 metres. This trifecta of factors combine to produce a wine of significant elegance and purity, with wonderful freshness and length, and complexity in abundance.

Although the light-footedness of the wine is fairly untypical of the vintage, rest assured, there is a prevalence of power and structure to be discovered on the finish, all pointing towards a wine that will drink beautifully in a few years’ time but will cellar and improve for at least a decade, if not more.

Solid scores and glowing reviews from the major critics and publications make this an excellent value buy and there is no doubt in my mind that the 2016’s will be wonderfully beguiling and complex wines to enjoy in the years to come. At just over £160 a case in bond, this is easily one of the best value buys of the vintage to come out of Montalcino.

There is exceptional value to be found here, superb Brunello to enjoy from 2024 – 2040. Let me know if you’d like a case or two – or you can purchase via the web link below.

2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Argiano
£162 GBP per 6 bottle case in bond

“The 2016 Brunello from Argiano has a beautifully expressive and complex nose of rose petals, cherries, and Mediterranean herbs. The wine manages to be incredibly light on its feet with bright acidity and silky tannins complementing the palate of cranberry, black cherry, licorice, violets and just a hint of ground coffee. The quality reaffirms the need to ensure you have at least a case or two of Brunello from this excellent vintage in your cellar to enjoy. I look forward to tasting again once the wine has had some time in the cellar, which should bring those beautiful leather and chocolate notes that I love in aged Brunello. Drink 2024-2040+.”
Paul Keating, Private Account Manager

“The Argiano 2016 Brunello di Montalcino shows a lovely transparency to its appearance and follows with lifted red fruit aromas, cassis, wild cherry and blue flower. It is made with a simple approach, fermented in cement tank and aged slowly in oak, and the fruit comes from a 22-hectare site with limestone marl soils. It delivers a lightness and a weightlessness that is not often ascribed to this vintage. No worries, the power of 2016 comes through at the very end in terms of tannins and structure. This ample release of 115,000 bottles will be ready to drink after 2023 when the wine has had time to open and flesh out. Drink 2023-2040.”
94/100. Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate – Nov. 2020

“The 2016 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino shows sweet herbs and tobacco with hints of mocha and cedar spice box. It’s silky in texture, coasting across a medium-bodied frame while giving way to tart red berries, with grippy tannins mounting toward the close. A cooling wave of minty herbs and licorice adds much needed freshness, bringing the 2016 into balance throughout the youthfully structured finale. While this was hard to read and quite backward upon opening, it blossomed beautifully in the glass over time. Drink 2024-2034.”
94/100. Eric Guido, Vinous – Nov. 2020

“A very polished red with cloves and caramel, on top of black cherries, mushrooms and forest floor. Black olives, too. It’s full-bodied with polished tannins and lovely depth all the way through. Lightly chewy. Juicy black-cherries and savory black-olive character. Complex. Drink after 2025.”
97/100. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com – Oct, 2020

“The 2016 Brunello has lifted aromas of confected raspberry fruit, crushed roses, cedar, and sweet licorice. The palate opens with ripe red plum, cocoa, and dried herbs, with velvety tannins. The 2016 is an elegant wine with approachability and finesse. Argiano practices organic farming with a strong focus on sustainability and biodiversity both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Drink 2021-2031.”
94/100. Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com – Apr. 2021

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