Best Brunello Producers – from a Tom Hyland blog

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Best Brunello Producers

July 22, 2009


Plaque hanging outside the offices of the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino

Plaque hanging outside the offices of the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino


A few weeks ago, I wote a post on Brunello di Montalcino (read here) in which I discussed ths wine’s characteristics and makeup along with listing some of the finest producers. I thought readers would be interested in learning what some of the top authorities in Italy as well as this country think about Brunello, so I asked several experts in this field to provide me with a list of whom they believe are the finest producers of Brunello.

I asked for a list of ten, letting them know they could add brief comments if they wished. One contributor gave me twelve names, saying he couldn’t get his list down to just ten, while another gave me his list of his top ten followed closely by another ten. No problem- the more the merrier – and it shows you how many excellent producers of Brunello di Montalcino there are.

So without further ado, here are the lists:


Jeremy Parzen – Author of dobianchi wine blog and co-author of vinowire blog. Italian wine writer, educator and marketer, currently living in Texas.

“Based on what I feel are indicative, traditional expressions of Brunello, available in this country… 

  • Le Presi
  • Il Poggione
  • Poggio di Sotto
  • Salvioni
  • Canalicchio di Sopra
  • Paradiso di Manfredi
  • Campogiovanni
  • Collemattoni
  • Caparzo
  • Fornace


Alfonso Cevola – author of On the Wine Trail in Italy blog and The Blend blog. Italian wine writer and marketer, currently living in Texas.

  • Altesino- cellar worthy
  • Angelo Sassetti – ultimate contadina
  • Argiano- stylish and elegant
  • Costanti – another classic their 2004 reminded me of their 1964
  • Fattoi- great pruners and dog trainers
  • Il Poggione – Love these guys
  • Lisini – classic archetype
  • Poggio alle Mura (Banfi) – their ‘71 was so great
  • Poggio San Polo –  new young winemaker and energy


Tom Maresca – America’s leading writer on Italian wines, having contributed hundreds of articles on the topic for more than 25 years. Lives in New York City.

  • Banfi: great quality-to-price ratio
  • Barbi: very traditional house
  • Biondi Santi: self explanatory
  • Casanova di Neri: elegant
  • Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona: big, structured
  • Donatella Cinelli Colombini: very true to Montalcino character
  • Col d’Orcia: great finesse
  • Fuligni: a pace-setter in recent vintages
  • Lisini: the essence of Montalcino
  • Nardi: great strides in recent years
  • Poggio Antico: more and more, intensely Sangiovese
  • Il Poggione: superb vineyards


Charles Scicolone – Author of the blog Charles Scicolone on Wine. One of America’s leading authorities on Italian wines. Wine writer and restaurant consultant. He lives in New York City.

  • Fattoria dei Barbi- Some where between traditional and modren but I think more traditional
  • Biondi-Santi -Traditional and one of the best
  • Caparzo – Some wines in Traditional style, others modern
  • Casanova di Neri – use of botti, small french oak barrels and tonneau
  • Col d’Orcia
  • Il Poggione
  • Constanti- I think he is still traditional
  • Poggio Antico- They changed their style went modern with the 2001 vintage -loved the wine before this
  • Mastrojanni – in between
  • Pian delle Vigne- Antinori

“ I really liked the 2004 Brunello from Banfi- I think it is the best Brunello they ever made. 

“It is difficult to tell the modern from the traditionalist except for Franco Biondi- Santi.

“In most cases the “traditionalists” are using more modern methods and the modern producers less small oak. Some make one Brunello in a traditional style and other in a modern style.

“I find Brunello to be very confusing. That is why I like my Brunello to be 1990 or older.”


Franco Ziliani – Author of vinoalvino blog and co-author of vinowire blog (with Jeremy Parzen). One of Italy’s most important wine writers and arguably the most influential in the country. Lives near Bergamo in the province of Lombardia.

  • Case Basse
  • Il Greppo Biondi Santi
  • Il Colle
  • Poggio di Sotto
  • Giulio Salvioni Cerbaiola
  • Lisini
  • Col d’Orcia
  • Fuligni
  • Gianni Brunelli
  • Capanna

Plus others like:

  • Il Poggione
  • Caprili
  • Gorelli Le Potazzine
  • Le Macioche
  • Sesta di Sopra
  • Il Marroneto
  • Uccelliera
  • Pian dell’Orino
  • Salicutti
  • Mastrojanni


And finally, my choices (in alphabetical order):

  • Biondi-Santi
  • Caprili
  • Col d’Orcia
  • Fuligni
  • Il Poggione
  • Le Chiuse
  • Pian dell’Orino
  • Poggio Antico
  • Poggio di Sotto
  • Sesta di Sopra
  • Talenti
  • Uccelliera

2 則評論在 Best Brunello Producers – from a Tom Hyland blog.

  1. Absolutely wonderful blog! I can safely say that you're no.1 Italian wine lover (wish I can be a distant no.2 hehe) and this is no doubt the best Italian wine blog in Hong Kong!
    My list (don't care traditional / modern as long as it gives me pleasure) of memorable bottles:
    1. Biondi Santi Riserva 1981
    2. Soldera 1990
    3. Fuligni 1990, 1998, 1999 Riserva
    4. Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina 1997, 2000
    5. Cerbaiona 2001
    6. Col d'orcia Poggio Al Vento 1999
    7. Poggio Antico Riserva 1997
    8. Il Poggione 1995 Riserva, 1999
    9. Angelini Vigna Spuntali 1997
    10. Salicutti 1997
    [版主回覆03/29/2010 14:10:00]Such a wonderful surprise to hear from you again!  To follow your logic, you are Gullible #1 and I'm #2. 
    Honestly, I had relatively little experience with Brunelli.  It's certainly wrong to compare, but somehow I think Brunelli go to your senses, but Baroli get deep down to your soul. 
    Brunelli perhaps are too easy and seldom challenge you in the same way that a Barolo or Barbaresco does, with the possible exceptions of Soldera, which charms and Biondi-Santi, which intrigues.  In comparison, I find what I call "Super Sangiovese" like Flaccianello or Le Pergole Torte more intensely attractive.
    Strange that you did not mention Salvioni?  I think it's a Soldera for the masses.
    Had a bottle of 2004 Biondi Santi Rosso di Montalcino and a 2004 Canalicchio di Sopra BdM last night.  The Biondi Santi Rosso was better by a rather big margin.  Intriguing again! 
    Did you hear what the Italians say about BS's 2004 Riserva — it's a complete wine!  I beat myself hard several times but finally succumbed to it and placed a small order.  Which goes to show how gullible I am! 

  2. Charles Scicolone on  Poggio Antico- "They changed their style went modern with the 2001 vintage -loved the wine before this"  I just came across a Poggio Antico on my way home tonight. They have both Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino on the shelf. I picked the latter (not just on price, knowing that the former could be nicer but from my experience with Pegasos, RdM might not be the lesser wine) and I AM DRINKING IT NOW! I cannot help damning myself not drinking more of these beauties earlier. 
    [版主回覆11/03/2010 22:55:00]Several things here:
    "Rosso di Montalcino" requires only 1 year of aging before release; in Montalcino, this is treated like a second wine in the Bordeaux sense: usually made from younger vines and/or poorer plots.  In bad years, some producers would declassify grapes usually intended for Brunello into a Rosso.  It's like Chateau Latour would release their 1991 as a Les Forts!
    Some Rossos are really great: Biondi Santi is one.  Quite apart from the price, they are approachable much earlier.
    Soldera's Pegasos is a different thing.  Soldera doesn't care what the DOCG requirements are, he just releases his Brunello when he thinks it is ready.  Which means 5 years at least in normal years (vs DOCG requirement of 4), but in 2005 he thought the wine was ready after 32 months, which is 16 months shorter than the DOCG requirement for Brunello.  As a wine, it is ready; but for legal purposes he cannot call it a Brunello, but it is not of  "second wine" quality.  Hence it becomes an IGT with a special name Pegasos .  For all practical purposes, Pegasos is a Brunello, not Rosso.
    Now to come to Poggio Antico.  I think Charles is referring to an alternative Brunello that Poggio Antico also made, which is called "Altero" ("just for a change", I guess), and for this "Altero", they age it for 2 yrs in large cask, and 2 yrs in small barrels.  As far as I know, this is unique among all Italian producers.  I urge you to get both Brunellos for a comparison; then you can have a "fair" comparison of the two approaches.  I did it for 2004, and not surprisingly I'm in the traditionalist camp.
    Poggio Antico is a landmark wine for Sergio Esposito, and for a lot of drinkers, but I'm not convinced it's a Grand Cru, but I must say I have not had enough experience with them.


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