2012 Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Annata

Year: 2012
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 94
James Suckling: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 96
Red Wine


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"The supple texture is pervaded by cherry, currant, graphite, tea and underbrush aromas and flavors. Firm tannins and vibrant acidity provide support as this cruises to a long aftertaste. Not imported in the U.S. Best from 2020 through 2033.–BS " (WS)

"It's always such a pleasure and an honor to be in front of a bottle of Biondi-Santi. These wines deliver a sense of history and tradition that puts them into a very elite group of Italian icons. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Annata shows a medium garnet color with pretty ruby highlights. The bouquet emits dark fruit, cassis, balsam herb, tar and cola. This vintage shows the classic aromas that are associated with the venerated Il Greppo estate, but there is a little less focus and sharpness here compared to a great vintage like 2010. Instead, this wine is more veiled and opaque in terms of its aromatic presentation. The mouthfeel is lean (too lean in my opinion) and you don't get the same chiseled acidic determination in this 2012 vintage. You'll need to wait a few years more before it begins to show its potential. Following rigorous tradition, this wine is aged in large Slavonian oak casks for three years. Some 50,000 bottles are produced.

Last year was a big one on the Biondi-Santi timeline. In April 2016, rumors that this historic Tuscany estate was being sold overtook the Vinitaly trade fair like wild fire. At the time, Italian newspapers reported that the winery and vineyards at Il Greppo were the focus of an intense bidding war between the Prada fashion group and the Bernard Arnault investment group. No concrete details ever followed and the chatter slowly subsided in the months to follow. However, lingering doubts remained. It became clear that an ownership shakeup was imminent. Biondi-Santi has been in family hands since its founding at the end of the 19th Century. Reports of bank debt and disarray had dogged the estate since the death of Franco Biondi Santi in 2013 at the age of 91. In December 2016, Franco's son Jacopo Biondi Santi announced that a partnership deal had been signed. Jacopo and his family sold a majority stake to France's Européenne de Participations Industrielles (EPI). The Paris-based holding company is owned by Christopher Descours. It owns the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagne brands. Jacopo remains president of Tenuta Greppo and his son Tancredi will continue in his active role. Both father and son remain in control of winemaking. I am disappointed to see that Biondi-Santi continues to operate without an importer in the USA and wish them luck in finding the right fit now that the events of 2016 are behind them." (WA)

"Bright red. Fresh, complex aromas of sweet red berries, pomegranate, sour red cherry, orange peel, violet and brown spices. Bright and juicy, with building density and multilayered flavors of sour red cherries and raspberry, complicated by a hint of peach. Finishes long and clean with strong mineral and floral nuances. This is an extremely fruity and remarkably ready to drink Brunello for this property, known for tough as nails wines when young that normally require lots of patience. Still, despite its obvious upfront charm, this has real structure and depth and will age well.Easily one of the top three Brunellos of the vintage." (VM)

"Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better than 2020. " (JS)

"Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022–2035." (WE)