A dense, plummy style, offering supporting notes of tobacco, underbrush, earth and mineral. Ripe and balanced, with lively acidity and assertive tannins shoring up the finish. Needs some time, but the equilibrium is there. Best from 2019 through 2033. 833 cases made.
Ripe, lush and polished, this red is fresh and lively, showcasing plum, cherry, leather, spice and chocolate flavors on a sleek frame. Lacks cohesion on the finish for now, but should come together with age. Best from 2016 through 2032.
This is spicy in style, with vanilla, cedar and clove aromas and flavors accenting a core of cherry and tobacco. In the end, there's a purity to the fruit, but it needs time to find its balance. Structured and long. Best from 2014 through 2027. 420 cases made.
There's licorice on the nose, with some salt and ripe cherry, in this Brunello, which has very intense aromas that lead to a chewy, concentrated, full-bodied palate. A little rustic and overdone. But impressive nonetheless. There's lots of toasty oak--a little less new wood would make this even better. Best after 2013. 500 cases made.
Lots of blackberry, tar and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and a long finish. Chewy. Best after 2010. 330 cases made.
Supple and caressing, with plenty of violet, berry and cedar character. Medium- to full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. Best after 2005. 335 cases made.
Very fresh and fruity with refined tannins and a long finish. Medium- to full-bodied, silky texture. Another year of bottle age would bring it together. Best after 2004. 200 cases made.
Sweet, ripe cherry, spice, licorice and leather flavors course through the fleshy texture in this red. Balanced, with a dense matrix of tannins and fine length. Drink now through 2022. 3,500 cases made. Bruce Sanderson
A dense and powerful red with tight and structured tannins. It's full yet sleek and lean. Very firm and long. A beautiful wine with real greatness. Clarity in the bottle. Drink now, but will improve for years ahead.
A wine that shows so much on the nose with dried-meat, wet-earth and fruit aromas and flavors. Changes all the time. Full body, velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Superb depth and length. Drink now or hold for as long as you'd like.
Shows excellent aromas of plums and light coffee that follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a medium finish. A bit more on the finish would take it to a different level. Needs a year or two to soften.
This is very intense and rich with polished and velvety tannins. Full body, leather, berry and plum character. Hints of chocolate and meat. Drink now.
The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is just as magnificent as it was last year. Since then, the 2010 has acquired an extra dimension of finesse it did not show last year. Powerful yet weightless in the style that is typical of the wines of the north, the Riserva exudes energy, tension and depth. Sweet dark cherry, lavender, herbs, mint and tobacco shape this deeply expressive, virile Riserva built on class. The new oak, which was evident last year, has not subsided and is really only evident in the wine's mid-palate sweetness and texture.
Canalicchio di Sopra's 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva delivers the goods. A dark, enveloping wine, the Riserva is laced with black stone fruits, scorched earth, smoke, licorice and violets. As always, the style is intense and brooding to the core. In 2007, there is a little more raciness and early appeal to the Riserva than is often the case, but this remains a fairly muscular style of Brunello that will appeal most to readers who enjoy structured wines.
The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a big, broad-shouldered wine endowed with tremendous depth and richness. Black cherries, licorice, new leather and tobacco wrap around the palate in this dramatic, sweeping Brunello. Despite the wine's size, there is plenty of nuance and detail. The 2006 needed all of its 40 months in cask. This is a fabulous effort.
The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is terrific. Freshly cut roses, sweet red fruits, tobacco and licorice emerge gracefully from this refined, utterly impeccable Brunello. Sweet, elegant tannins frame the fruit beautifully through to the finish. The 2005 Riserva remains a typical, mineral-laced, taut wine from the northern district. Its potential for continued positive development in bottle seems excellent. The estate gave the Riserva 40 months in oak.
An absolutely compelling Brunello, Canalicchio's 2004 Riserva is magnificent from the very first taste. Rich and ample on the palate with silky tannins in support, the 2004 Riserva captures the very best qualities of a vintage in which the wines are sensual and finessed to the core. Still very, very young, the 2004 Riserva will drink well for another 20 years or more. Put quite simply, the 2004 Riserva is a knock out. This is a perfect example where the differences between the Brunello and the Riserva are more about stylistic and personal preferences rather than absolute quality.
The 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is in a beautiful spot today, now that the tannins have begun to soften a touch. Bold and broadly sketched, the 2001 Riserva shows the more voluptuous side of the year. This is a classic Canalicchio wine, but with a little more power, ripeness and richness than is often found. Black fruit, smoke, tobacco, licorice and game add the final layers of nuance.
The 1995 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is quite a bit fresher than the straight Brunello bottling. As always, the wines of this era here show an element of rusticity, but within that context, the Riserva is quite pretty and expressive. Still vibrant, the 1995 Riserva will drink well for another decade or so.
The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is one of my favorite wines of the year. It gets as close to Brunello perfection as vinously possible. Fruit is sourced exclusively from the estate's oldest vines in the Vigna Vecchia Mercatale vineyard, the oldest Canalicchio cru. The vines were planted in 1987-1988. They are in their prime production years right now. This is first time the Riserva is made exclusively from that site. The depth of this wine is extraordinary. The wine starts with a playful offering of red fruit and cherry. Like many of the wines from this vintage, the bouquet takes a while to arrive at full intensity.
That margin should shorten as the wine continues its cellar aging and evolution. Yet, the slow start to the bouquet is ultimately what drives your interest in this wine. The mouthfeel is exceptional with tannins that are both silky and firm at the same time.
My visit to Canalicchio di Sopra was one of the most complete and satisfying of the Montalcino region. Francesco Ripaccioli offered a tasting of his current releases and a fascinating look at Brunello from the Vigna Casaccia from 2013, 2014 and 2015 (before malolactic fermentation). With the memory of that tasting firmly in mind, I enjoyed a second tasting of his new wines at home. The Canalicchio di Sopra 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is among my top five favorite wines of the vintage joining in the company of Il Marroneto, Casanova di Neri, Pian dell'Orino and Salvioni.
Tasted next to the 2006, the 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva comes across as relatively soft and easygoing. Ripe, silky tannins provide the framework for layers of expressive fruit in a sophisticated Brunello with plenty of early appeal. I suggest drinking the 2007 while the 2006 ages. Both are fabulous. The 2007 spent six months in 750-liter French oak barrels followed by 36 months in cask. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2022. Canalicchio di Sopra is one of my favorite properties in Montalcino. The wines are consistently outstanding, have plenty of personality and also age beautifully.
One of the truly exciting wines of the year, the 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva boasts superb richness, power and depth from start to finish. Cloves, violets, incense, plums, black cherries and menthol all explode from the glass in a virile, towering Brunello endowed with massive structure. Fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated, this drop-dead gorgeous Riserva has more than enough stuffing to drink well for two decades. The estate gave the 2006 Riserva 42 months in oak, all of which it handled beautifully. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031. Canalicchio di Sopra is one of my favorite properties in Montalcino. The wines are consistently outstanding, have plenty of personality and also age beautifully.
he 2005 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is terrific. Freshly cut roses, sweet red fruits, tobacco and licorice emerge gracefully from this refined, utterly impeccable Brunello. Sweet, elegant tannins frame the fruit beautifully through to the finish. The 2005 Riserva remains a typical, mineral-laced, taut wine from the northern district. Its potential for continued positive development in bottle seems excellent. The estate gave the Riserva 40 months in oak. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. This is another solid set of wines from Canalicchio di Sopra – Ripaccioli, an estate that continues to ratchet up quality in a meaningful way.
The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is built on a core of elegance and refinement rather than the sheer power that typically characterizes the estate’s wines. This is a sensual, layered Brunello that only gradually reveals its seductive charm. Sweet, silky tannins support a core of ripe dark fruit all the way through to the sublime, delicate finish. Readers looking for a blockbuster 2004 Riserva should look elsewhere, but those in search of the elegant side of Brunello will find much to admire here. That said; the wine gained quite a bit of volume and depth with air, so it will be interesting to see where things go from here. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. Canalicchio di Sopra - Ripaccioli seems to be making better and better wines with each passing vintage. The estate’s Rosso and Brunellos are sourced from vineyards in the Canalicchio and Montosoli districts, both on the northern side of Montalcino, and are aged predominantly in cask.
There is something rustic yet deeply satisfying about Canalicchio di Sopra’s highly idiosyncratic Brunellos that makes them compelling to drink. The intense 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is loaded with black cherries, earthiness, tobacco and spices. A dark, brooding, powerful wine, it isn’t especially approachable today, but it should offer terrific drinking with another year or two of bottle age. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.
The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva made a terrific showing thanks to its all-embracing personality. There’s a real sense of abundance and generosity here that starts with the wine’s richly textured mouthfeel and darkly concentrated appearance. The aromas have certainly moved into the third and final stage of their evolution with smoked bacon and saddle bag but there’s enough pressed fruit and crushed flower to keep it from feeling one-dimensional. The mouthfeel is lean and elegant with surprising focus and clarity. Decant the wine three to four hours prior to serving. Drink: 2014-2028.
The 1998 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is dark in color, ripe and full on the nose with abundant sensations of caramel, chocolate, and tar, and a rich, firm, ample palate which features plenty of grip and authority on the finish. Drink: 2005-2016.
The 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a wine that totally took me off guard. I associate Canalicchio di Sopra with a classic, so-called “traditional” style that puts an emphasis on the smallest details like delicate nuances and lithe sensations. This wine is obviously born from a very different mindset, a more powerful vintage. Bold and broad-shouldered, it is packed tight with pressed cherry, anise seed, tar and black licorice. It changes tune slightly in the mouth where it walks with quieter footsteps. This wine is at its peak performance right now and may fade fast. I recommend a shorter decanting. Drink: 2014-2019.
Canalicchio di Sopra completes three rounds of bottling for this wine (in October, January and March). I tasted samples of the 2014 Rosso di Montalcino from both the first two rounds. This vintage saw a big Rosso di Montalcino production, as much of the fruit that may have been selected for the Brunello was put here instead. The wine is really very good and should offer great value for those looking for a delicious taste of Sangiovese in this difficult vintage. It is thick, bright and loaded with cherry and blueberry flavors. Considering the many challenges of the growing season, this estate has created a wonderfully fresh and forthcoming red wine. Monica Larner
The 2013 Rosso di Montalcino shows soft tones of red cherry, wet earth, raspberry and blanched almond. There's a great sense of tightness and energy here that you don't get with many of the other Rosso wines of this warm vintage. The wine is aged one year, in both French and Slavonian oak respectively. There's isn't much heft in the mouth, but you get just enough to pair with egg fettuccine with butter and grated Parmigiano. Monica Larner
The 2012 Rosso di Montalcino is representative of an estate that has always taken great care to safeguard this often overlooked relative of Brunello. Having said that, the 2012 does not quiet live up to the fabulous 2011 Rosso - a wine I found immensely enjoyable. This is a deep and nicely saturated Rosso with ripe notes of spice, dark cherry, blackberry and distant hints of smoked bacon that fill in the rear. It's relatively straightforward (it macerates on the skins for 15 days and later ages for 12 months in oak cask) with soft layers of fresh fruit. Drink: 2014-2018. Monica Larner
The estate’s 2011 Rosso di Montalcino is endowed with serious complexity and character. Tobacco, savory herbs, mint, anise and underbrush are some of the many aromas and flavors found in this Rosso, a wine that stands out for its personality. Rosso is often sold as a mini-Brunello, a label that unfortunately applies to only a small number of wines. Not here. This is a Rosso of unusual pedigree and distinction. I imagine the 2011 will drink well to age ten, perhaps beyond. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021. Antonio Galloni
The 2009 Rosso di Montalcino is a gorgeous wine bursting with dark red fruit. It shows plenty of harmony and fine overall balance. Sweet spices and flowers linger on the warm, radiant finish. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2017. This is another solid set of wines from Canalicchio di Sopra – Ripaccioli, an estate that continues to ratchet up quality in a meaningful way. Antonio Galloni
The 2008 Rosso di Montalcino is one of the better versions in this tricky vintage. A gorgeous bouquet bristling with Sangiovese aromas leads to red cherries, tobacco and earthiness. There is a plumpness and juiciness I find very attractive here. Some of the wilder, gamier notes typical of Sangiovese come through from time to time, but that notwithstanding, this is a lovely effort. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2013. Canalicchio di Sopra - Ripaccioli seems to be making better and better wines with each passing vintage. The estate’s Rosso and Brunellos are sourced from vineyards in the Canalicchio and Montosoli districts, both on the northern side of Montalcino, and are aged predominantly in cask. Antonio Galloni
The soft, herbaceous, seductive 2000 Rosso di Montalcino is easy to drink as well as appreciate. It will not make old bones, but for enjoying over the next 2-3 years, this is a round, fruit-driven, cleanly made, charming Rosso. Robert M. Parker Jr.
Canalicchio di Sopra is high on my shortlist of favorite producers in Montalcino. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is a sumptuous wine made according to carefully considered criteria. Every step of the winemaking process represents a selection of sorts, culminating in an expression of extremes. The precision, the focus and the pristine nature of the aromas cannot be exaggerated. It is such a pleasure to taste a wine of this caliber and distinction. Aromas of dark fruit and savory spice find seamless integration. Background tones of balsam herb, cola and licorice add a superior level of complexity. In the mouth, the wine is polished, fine and silky. The mouthfeel is thinner compared to 2011 and 2010. Otherwise, this is a fabulously elegant Brunello. Monica Larner
The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is a beautifully round and opulent wine that bursts open with vitality and a rush of immediate fruit. It shows lasting intensity with dried cherry, plum, blackberry, spice, leather and tobacco. Generally speaking, the aromas are soft and enduring. This wine offers enormous pleasure upfront and can be consumed within the next ten years. The wine is less adapted for long aging given the approachable tannins and ripe fruit flavors. In its current form, it is a delicious Brunello. Monica Larner
The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino will blow you away. This is a delightful expression that boasts its extreme quality from the minute the wine is poured from the bottle. As you should expect, it just gets better and better with each additional minute in the glass. It opens to a vibrant dark ruby color and blackish-garnet hues. The bouquet is ever changing and shows a long succession of aromatic characteristics that rage from dark fruit, plum, spice, leather, licorice, red rose, balsam and grilled herb. It's textbook Brunello from a great vintage and this side of the appellation (on the northeastern side) performs fantastically in 2010. This beauty should hold fifteen years or more. Monica Larner
The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a standout expression with long and polished notes of dried fruit and tobacco presented in a smooth and seamless fashion. It shows good structure and balance but an even prettier nose with ethereal balsam herbs, tar, licorice and pressed violets that emerge as the wine evolves in the glass. The wine hints at a greater evolution to come. Drink: 2017-2022. Monica Larner
The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is fabulous. An exciting melange of dark cherries, plums, tobacco, licorice, mocha and herbs take shape in the glass. Powerful, rich and structured, the 2008 wraps around the palate with serious depth. The Canalicchio Brunellos often have an element of wildness to them, as does the 2008, but the wine also has a track record of aging very well. This is an intriguing Brunello, to say the least. The 2008 has more than enough depth to stand up to 36 months in cask. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. Canalicchio di Sopra is one of my favorite properties in Montalcino. The wines are consistently outstanding, have plenty of personality and also age beautifully. Antonio Galloni
Forest floor, dark-skinned berry, iris and new leather aromas lead the nose. The full-bodied juicy palate offers ripe wild cherry, star anise and a hint of pipe tobacco alongside taut, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2023–2030.KERIN O’KEEFE
Underbrush, tobacco, new leather and chopped herb aromas unfold in the glass. Full bodied and tightly wound, the palate delivers Marasca cherry, pomegranate, licorice and orange zest framed in taut fine-grained tannins. Give this several more years to come around then drink or hold for even more complexity. Drink from 2022 through 2032. KERIN O’KEEFE
Enticing scents of red berry, white pepper, chopped herb and purple flower take center stage on this vibrant red. The luminous palate doles out tart cherry, crushed raspberry and a hint of star anise while racy acidity and polished tannins provide support. Drink through 2017. KERIN O’KEEFE
Wild berry, dark spice and Mediterranean herb aromas lift out of the glass, accented by a whiff of new leather. The enveloping, full-bodied palate doles out fleshy black cherry, star anise, pipe tobacco and cinnamon notes, framed by chewy tannins. Drink 2020–2027. KERIN O’KEEFE
This warm Rosso starts with aromas of toast, woodland berries and cake spices. The juicy palate offers dense black cherry accented with notes of vanilla, mocha and clove alongside assertive tannins. Enjoy it soon. KERIN O’KEEFE
Wild berry, leafy underbrush, truffle, scorched earth and dark spice aromas unfold on this classic red. The full-bodied palate offers fleshy black cherry, clove, ground pepper and anise alongside firm, ripe tannins. Let the tannins unwind for a few more years then enjoy. KERIN O’KEEFE
This spicy rosso combines structure with sheer drinkability. It offers a beautiful bouquet of rose, violet and strawberry, while the palate reveals ripe black cherry, white pepper, tea and cinnamon flavors wrapped up in silky tannins. This is easily drinkable now, and best enjoyed young. KERIN O’KEEFE
Underbrush, truffle, pressed violet, tilled soil, eucalyptus and mature berry aromas unfold on this structured, elegant red. It is still young and primary, offering red cherry, black raspberry, menthol, licorice and dried herb alongside youthfully austere tannins that need to unwind. This will benefit from another decade of cellaring. KERIN O’KEEFE
Aromas of dark berry, mint, savory herb, blue flower and a balsamic note lead the nose. On the concentrated palate, notes of white pepper, cinnamon, clove, licorice and tobacco add depth to the black cherry core. Youthfully austere but fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity support the juicy flavors. Give this time to open and develop complexity. KERIN O’KEEFE
This wine is a bright, plump and succulent expression of Sangiovese Grosso, showing easy, crisp structure enhanced by bold aromas of plum, leather and spice. There's a silky, fine nature to the polished tannins.
Opening aromas recall underbrush, red berry, white mushroom, truffle and thyme with a whiff of leather. The palate offers restrained wild cherry accented with white pepper, mint and sage alongside tightly knit tannins. While the tannins need to unwind, this wine isn't made for long-term cellaring. Drink 2015–2019. KERIN O’KEEFE
Coffee, leather, licorice and plum cake flavors are deeply concentrated on this rich, opulent wine. There's fruit here too, in the form of cherry liqueur and blackberry pie. This is a robust and generous wine that will appeal to those who appreciate a darker side of Brunello.
You could easily pair this food-friendly Rosso di Montalcino with roasted chicken with rosemary potatoes and garlic. The nose here is bright and penetrating with earthy notes, mineral tones and loads of bright berry fruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and there's a touch of cherry sweetness as well.
This riserva Brunello delivers a dark and masculine approach with brawny aromas of cured meat, spice, black fruit and prune. Both the density and persistency are impressive and the wine ends with inky concentration and finely textured tannins.
Here is a generous, modern and bold expression of Sangiovese Grosso whose soft layers of chocolate and dark cherry fruit help soften the natural acidity and structure of the 2006 vintage. A polished mineral note adds attractive definition on the finish. Tight and very firm; age this wine 10–20 years.
This is a nicely balanced wine with bright cherry and berry flavors that are offset by sweet spice, almond and toasted oak. The wood elements already show integration and will continue to diminish with time. Give this wine five or so more years of cellar aging.
This is a very pleasurable, smooth and rich Riserva that lavishes layers of chocolate fudge, vanilla bean and bright cherry. Overall, it shows good intensity and smooth consistency.
Here's a tight and compact expression from Montalcino with bright tones of cherry wood, wild berries and violets that are delivered in steady aromatic pulses. The finish is not too long or persistent, but the flavors are fresh and very tasty while they last.
Here's another superstar Brunello Riserva from the excellent 2004 vintage. The aromas are rich and penetrating and recall cherry liqueur, cola, mesquite, cedar, wet earth and pressed violets. The wine's texture is streamlined and compact with polished tannins.
Here's a Brunello with thick concentration and broad aromas of mesquite smoke, black cherry and Indian spice. Despite that bold bouquet the wine is actually tight and compact in the mouth, where it performs with easy elegance thanks to its bright acidity and lively wild berry flavors.
Tasted blind. Very heavy bottle! Lustrous deep ruby with orange rim. Sweet, brooding nose. Fragrant and elegant on the palate with plenty of polished tannins. Very fruit dominated on the finish, for the moment. Huge potential.
Very heavy bottle! Dark, mature-looking ruby. Very slow to emerge from the glass and same reluctance on the palate. Key word is sweet concentration. A little leathery.
Concentrated deep ruby with narrow orange rim. Fruit marked by nutty oak but with real depth and lots of concentration.
Bright red. Ripe red fruits and strong mintiness. Pretty warm and round. Concentrated and still with sinewy tannins. Very dry - dried fruit - finish. Just a bit awkward.
Concentrated maturing ruby with bricky rim. Amazingly fine, perfumed sweet nose with notes of tea leaves and pure cherry. Wonderful precision of fruit on the palate and richly tannic. The Barolo amongst the Brunello? No signs of age yet! Wonderful depth on the finish.
Mid-to-dark mature-looking ruby with bright, brickstone rim. Sweet undergrowth, multi-layered dried fruit with some cherry creeping up. Hint of herb liqueur. Supple, full bodied and still a little closed. Sweetly aromatic on a tannic finish. Very slow to open up, and still could do with more time in the bottle. Lots of powdery tannins for the moment but with wonderful fine tangy acidity on the finish.
Mid-deep ruby. Concentrated cherry with a whiff of fruit cake. Elegant palate with a medium weight to it and succulent. Generous aromatic finish and beautifully built, firm tannins. Walter Speller
Mid ruby with bright orange tinges. Fine oatmeal and cherry nose. Powerful, fruit-driven palate that is fantastically balanced. Very intense right now but possesses lots of depth and energy and beautifully polished tannins. Drink 2020-2034 Walter Speller