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9 ‘Perfect’ 100-Point Brunellos You Can Buy Right Now

Experience the greatness of the Italian reds from Montalcino.

Biondi Santi 2012 RiservaPhoto: Craig Drollet

In the rarified world of trusted wine critics, there’s a new expert in town—and she’s just given her first 100-point score to a … Brunello di Montalcino (Le Chiuse 2016, to be specific). Audrey Frick—an alum of Colorado’s beloved Frasca Food and Wine restaurant as well as its sister, Tavernetta, where she oversaw an all-Italian wine list—has joined Jeb Dunnuck (himself a veteran of Robert Parker Wine Advocate and a leading global wine critic) as a contributing editor at jebdunnuck.com. Her beat, as you might have guessed, is Italy

Brunello seems an apt launch, made as it is from Sangiovese, which Frick says “has the ability to mirror its sense of place with clarity and focus.” And the place in question is a pocket of Tuscany anchored by the impossibly picturesque hill town of Montalcino. It’s a region, according to Frick, “that has experienced measurable growth in a relatively short period of time,” and where “there is incredible diversity in terms of style and expression achieved at a remarkably high level.”

James Suckling, a longtime leading voice on Italian wines (and many others) at jamessuckling.com, explains the appeal—the exceptional quality—of that expression in recent vintages: “Brunello di Montalcino has experienced back-to-back great vintages with 2015 and 2016. The 2016s are structured and intense reds with very typical great Sangiovese character of vivacious acidity, firm and fine tannins and vivid fruit. By comparison, the 2015s are more generous and fruity with wonderful appeal for early drinking but will age extremely well.”

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9 ‘Perfect’ 100-Point Brunellos You Can Buy Right Now