Brunello 2019: Vintage Report

Brunello 2019: Vintage Report

"Buckle your seatbelts" declares Vinous' Eric Guido, because 2019 represents "an embarrassment of riches for collectors and fans" of Brunello di Montalcino. We've been hugely excited about this vintage since tasting the glorious 2019 Rossos, and the Brunello has very much lived up to the hype. Many of our growers have compared the 2019s to the cream of the crop from 2016 & 2015; in some ways a perfect combination of the two. Montalcino remains one of the best value fine wine regions in the world with very few exceptions, and this is a vintage any Brunello lover is going to want lots of in the cellar!

Discover Brunello 2019 En Primeur

Growing Season

Like Burgundy & Bordeaux, 2019 was a blissful growing season in Tuscany. A wet spring ensured there were plenty of water reserves for the vines to call upon during the balmy, dry Tuscan summer, during which temperatures remained significantly cooler than recent solar vintages. There was also some light rain in July and August to refresh the vines, and sunny weather continued into the September harvest.

Freak incidents such as hail have been the norm in recent years, though not in 2019. Conditions arguably could not have been better for growers, who were happy to pick beautiful bunches of Sangiovese during the harvest. The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner reports that “a common remark from vintners was how uniformly easy 2019 fruit was to farm and ferment. Their excitement was visceral and fueled very high expectations of the wines”.

The Wines

I’ve never tasted so many drop-dead-gorgeous young Brunellos from a single vintage” was the experience of renowned Italian wine critic Kerin O’Keefe, who declares that the “2019s are overall even better than the 2016s”. For Monica Larner at the Wine Advocate the 2019s herald the beginning of a “New Wave”, with growers experimenting and following a spirit of “iconoclasm”. Put simply, “if Brunello is your thing, I recommend that you buy and collect the 2019 village bottlings (or annata wines), selections and single-vineyard expressions”.

Guido was similarly enthused during his tastings of 2019, which “provides a blending of power and elegance in a way seldom seen while maintaining a lovely balance of acidity and structure”. In relation to other recent vintages he also rates 2019 above the lauded 2016, as what it adds “to the dark fruit and radiance of 2016 is energy and that crunchiness to the tannin”, and “the magic is in their acidity”.

Our growers have really knocked it out the park this year and we are delighted to be offering wines from:

Castello Romitorio
Castiglion del Bosco
Cava d’Onice
Le Gode
Patrizia Cencioni

Many of these number among the finest producers of the vintage and the wines were showing exceptionally well at our Brunello En Primeur Tasting. It was wonderful to have such an array of different expressions – higher and lower altitudes, more northerly and southerly terroirs. These really represent some of the best value fine wines available, with many top examples between £40-50 a bottle. Also impressive were the Rosso 2021s and 2022 – very much wines in their own right and exceptional value.

So, is 2019 as good as 2016 and 2015, widely considered the best modern vintages of Brunello? Yes, we think so. There is an extra level of freshness here which made the wines particularly hedonic, whilst also promising plenty of room for further evolution in the cellar. As Eric Guido concludes, “this is the vintage we’ve all been waiting for”, and we encourage you to stock up!

Back to blog