1999 Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino


The 1999 vintage in Montalcino has always held a special place in my heart, and for very good reason; the cool and dry growing season resulted in structured wines with balanced acidity. The hard part was waiting for them to mature. I’ve been the victim of opening many a 1999 Brunello far too early. In fact, for the longest time I would describe these wines to friends as two-day wines, meaning that they always showed their best the second day after opening. However, much of that has changed. The majority of 1999s are now hitting their stride, needing only an hour or two to open in bottle and show their best. These are classic wines that justify all the hype that many of us bestow upon Sangiovese and Brunello.

The 1999 Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino found its way to my cellar from a collector in Italy. It had been perfectly stored since release and stood up in my cellar for a full month before opening. It lifts from the glass with all of the power and prominence of the 1999 vintage, presenting a classic display of rich black cherry, offset by leather, earth notes and balsamic spice, then evolves into a more perfumed expression with dusty dried florals. Silky textures wash across the senses, bringing flavors of tart cherry and plum, as saline minerals and a tug of cooling acids add verve and poise. The finish is long and dramatic, showing perfect evolution in bottle, with inner earth and sous-bois, yet also pretty red fruits and inner florals, as residual acids make the mouth water for another sip. This is simply gorgeous, perfectly mature and showing wonderful purity. 93/Drink 2020-2026.