Decanter 95 / JD 95 / WS 95 / WA 94 / VM 94 / JS 93 pts
D: The 2016 vintage was marked by significant day and nighttime temperature differences. Gianlorenzo Neri says this was particularly pronounced in Montalcino’s northeast, where the vineyards for the estate’s ‘white label’ are found. With beautiful focus off the bat, this grabs your attention immediately. Black raspberry and wild cherry give way to liquorice, wet stones and smoke. The fruit is velvety, but quickly hemmed in by powdery, grippy tannins which retreat a bit on the finish, likes waves, leaving rose and violets in their wake. Vibrant and racy
JD: The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino has compelling aromatics of cherry liqueur, sweet licorice, cedar, and forested earth. The palate is crystalline and full-bodied, with red plum skin and warming spice. There is a lot to love here, as this wine casts a large net for its versatility. Enjoy some now and lay some down, this is a great value.
WS: Shows fine depth, with cherry, black currant and wild herb flavors, accented by iron, earth, leather and tobacco notes. Muscular, despite a slim frame, with a long, savory aftertaste.
WA: The Casanova di Neri 2016 Brunello di Montalcino (or the so-called “white label” Brunello) takes a minute or two to open, and like all these new releases from the Neri family, you’re best off opening your bottle five hours before serving them. This classic expression displays raspberry, tar, hazelnut, dried fig, asphalt and some crushed chalk. The wine is streamlined and compact in terms of mouthfeel, giving us an accessible Brunello from a benchmark Montalcino estate.
VM: Casanova di Neri’s 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a wine of pleasurable contrasts but also massive structure. Ripe dark fruits and autumnal spices offset savory herbs and hints of animal musk. It enters the mouth silky, cooling and lifted, with a noticeable inner sweetness to its polished cherry/berry flavors, but it then sways more toward inner earth, minerals and grippy tannins. The 2016 urges you to take another sip, as there’s so much upfront appeal; yet each time you do, it reminds you once again that it’s a painfully young Brunello in need of cellaring. That said, the potential here is incredibly high.
JS: Tile and balsamic aromas with red plums and cherries. Full-bodied with a pretty center palate and ripe, rich fruit. It’s a little timid now, but shows violets, bark and black cherries at the finish.