Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015
|Region||Italy, Tuscany, Brunello di Montalcino|
The Uccelliera 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (with 9,600 bottles made) is a great achievement and is among my top favorite wines from Andrea Cortonesi tasted in the 20 or so years I have followed this estate. There is a lot of power here, thanks to that golden Castelnuovo dell'Abate sunshine, so I cannot liken this wine to some of the more ethereal and delicate expressions that I also love. Instead, this Riserva delivers brawn, dark fruit and muscle, but it does so with sincerity and honesty. You can't help but appreciate the complexity on offer. The wine offers plenty of dark fruit, but you also get licorice, balsam herb and crushed limestone. There is a lot of beauty to admire.
The 2015 Riserva is selected from the oldest vines of the estate and spent 42 months in French and Slovenian oak of various sizes. The nose is forward, with a somewhat modern sensibility, noted by vanilla bean and cedar wrapping around ripe, concentrated black plum fruit. The palate is full and opulent, with a more serious tannin structure, while its fruit is warming and speaks to the vintage without being overblown. Overall, this is a very expressive, ripe wine for those who love a slightly more luxurious style. It will need time in the cellar to harmonize with the oak and I believe it will benefit those who lay this down and allow it to settle into itself for 5-15 years.
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva shows the sun-kissed nature of the vintage in its bouquet, wafting up with masses of ripe cherry, strawberry and sweet spice. However, it takes on a much more austere character from there on out. It's silky and refined, boasting wonderfully pure red berry fruits and pretty inner florals; yet it quickly firms up, flexing its structural muscle with cheek-puckering tension. Subtle hints of balsamic, cedar and wild herbs linger on the long and almost-chewy finale. While I love the 2015 Riserva for its upfront personality, the extended time spent in wood takes away some of the magic found in the straight Brunello. That said, give this a few years to unwind in the cellar, and enjoy it over the short term.