2015 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino

Year: 2015
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 95
James Suckling: 97
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Decanter: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.0%
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"Firm and tightly wound for now, yet features a solid beam of cherry and strawberry fruit, graced by iron, sanguine and leather accents. Lively acidity infuses this intense red with energy, driving the long finish. Best from 2023 through 2042. 3,127 cases made, 1,290 cases imported. -BS" (WS)

"This bottle marks the special 50th anniversary of this wine. A little red sticker on the front label commemorates the five decades that have passed since grandfather Primo Pacenti did his first harvest. The medium-weight Canalicchio di Sopra 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows a generous spread of forest fruit, licorice, blue flower, bay leaf, Provence herbs and fragrant wet soil aromas. There is a touch of earthy muskiness that some like to refer to as "foxy." Fruit for this Brunello represents a selection of clusters harvested over 10 hectares at 300 to 320 meters above sea level in two sites: Canalicchio and Montosoli. Canalicchio has clay soils for the structure of the wine, and Montosoli adds to the clarity of the aromas. All the vines are over 10 years old. Fermentation is in stainless steel, and aging spans 36 months in Slavonian oak casks. This wine from the warm and sunny 2015 vintage maintains its trademark crispness and freshness nonetheless. This vintage is available in bottles of various sizes, with more large formats filled to celebrate this 50th anniversary. It was bottled in May 2019 (37,520 750-millilter bottles were produced, not counting the large formats) and released in January 2020.

Canalicchio di Sopra has a couple of good reasons to celebrate this year. First, they are releasing a special 50th anniversary bottle of their classic Brunello di Montalcino. Second, they have a new wine on the market now. It is a single-vineyard expression with fruit coming exclusively from the Canalicchio subzone of the appellation. The vines were planted in 1990, and I have had the pleasure of following the evolution of this beautiful wine while it was still in barrel." (WA)

"The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino from Canalicchio di Sopra - Ripaccioli is superb. The nose is dark and mineral-inflected with a blast of crushed raspberry, cherry and darker blackberry fruits wafting up from the glass, as sweet florals, underscored by moist soil and hints of cedar amass. On the palate, silky, almost creamy textures, offset by a stunning mix of salty-minerals and acids with savory herbs, and inner earth tones tempted the senses for another sip. The finish is remarkably long, resonating on minerals and dark fruits, almost balsamic and spicy, as its tannic structure comes forward and reminds me that this Brunello is still just a baby. What a gorgeous expression of Sangiovese." (VM)

"Ripe berry and cherry aromas with hints of spices and cedar. Dried flowers, too. Full-bodied, dense and layered. Fantastic richness and depth. Long, long finish. Best ever. Try after 2022." (JS)

"Underbrush, truffle, wild-berry and scorched earth aromas come to the forefront, along with a note of roasted nut. The brawny palate evokes baked cherry, toasted hazelnut and licorice alongside the warmth of evident alcohol. Taut, close-grained tannins give it a firm finish. Drink sooner rather than later to capture the remaining fruit and freshness. -Kerin O’Keefe" (WE)

"Outer quote mark With this wine, Canalicchio di Sopra marks its 50th vintage of Brunello. It is a superb tip of the hat to founder Primo Pacenti by his highly capable grandchildren Francesco, Marco and Simonetta Ripaccioli, who now run the property. It expresses gradually and graciously both on the nose and the palate with wild flowers, forest berries and fresh earth emerging out of a sapid and minerally core. Brilliantly mid-weight but not lacking depth, this demonstrates brightness of fruit, delectable acidity, plenty of fine-grained tannins and a lingering finish." (DM)