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Terre Nere Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016  - First Bottle


94 Vinous -
Wildly fresh but also dark and earthy, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva wafts up with a seductive mix of balsam herbs, tobacco and savory spice that gives way to black raspberries and smoke. This is cool-toned and polished in feel, without a hard edge in sight, as velvety textures flesh out across the palate along with ripe red and hints of blue fruit. The elegant balance acheived here is something to behold, as the 2016 riserva tapers off persistent and lightly structured, leaving hints of licorice and hard red candies to linger on and on. Only a short stay in the cellar will be required to enjoy this lovely Brunello to the fullest.
94 James Suckling -
Beautiful aromas of crushed berries, cherries and flowers with some bark and forest-floor undertones. Dried mushroom, too. Medium to full body with dusty tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A little tight at the end, suggesting it needs two to three years to open.

Technical Details

  • BlendSangiovese
  • CountryItaly
  • RegionTuscany
  • AppellationMontalcino
  • Alcohol14.5%

Terre Nere Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016

Sangiovese Blends  |  Italy
VN94, JS94

42% off retail!

2016 Brunello Riserva! 94 of the best Italian vintages in a century...and did we mention OVER 40% OFF? We’re a bit surprised to have some of this available, to be honest. The Vallone family, some of our very favorite Tuscan peeps, continue to impress, and this Brunello Riserva is truly one of the finest in their history.

The Vallone family moved to Montalcino in the 1990s when Pasquale, a former bank manager, caught the wine bug and fell head over heels in love with a spectacular estate just 10 kilometers south of Montalcino. In the hamlet of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, on the slopes below the historic hilltop Castelo di Velona, the Vallone family’s Terre Nere estate stretches over 15 ha (37 acres) at an elevation of 280 meters. The vineyards are set among the sloping hillsides, growing on a unique and mineral-rich dark galestro soil – infused here with the volcanic remnants of the extinct Amiata volcano. This soil is what grants the winery its name.

Their first vintage of Brunello di Montalcino was in 2002, and they’ve quickly risen the ranks to become a top producer in Tuscany (go ahead and google their scores for yourself!) We’ve been direct importing them for years, but in the amazing 2016 vintage, more than ever before, we feel so fortunate to have access to these remarkable wines! This 2016 Riserva is 100% sangiovese and made from a selection of the best plots (each plot is vinified separately) throughout their five distinct parcels on the estate. (They have a sixth, planted to 1 hectare of cabernet sauvignon). The wine ages for 36 months in 30 and 50 hl Slovenian oak barrels, before bottling, and here yielding a tiny 250 cases of this special reserve wine.

The wine showcases the pedigree, richness, and power of the heralded 2016 vintage supremely well – with aromas of Chinese five spice, dried and fresh cherries, balsam, and roasted lavender and thyme. The mouthfeel is luxuriously svelte and mineral-driven, with volcanic notes accompanying more brilliant red berry and cherry tones, with black pepper, pomegranate tea, blood orange, and savory, meaty iron ore. The extended oak aging provides ample structure and an intensity of length that assures this wine will continue to be a stalwart example of one of Brunello’s best vintages ever – even two-plus decades from now. But we’ll not blame you for checking in early on this beauty either, nor will you be disappointed – it is harmoniously balanced, exceptionally concentrated, and fully worthy of drinking now with a quick decant and a vigorous swirl in your glass. We got all that they would sell us, but man, we sure wish we had more! Don’t get caught in that trap and make sure you grab a won’t regret it!

About the Producer

Pasquale Vallone has continued to increase the knowledge his father had given him about agriculture at the family farmhouse while also embarking on a career in banking. And thanks to a branch transfer, at the beginning of the 90s, he came into contact with the economic and social life of Montalcino for five years. He created strong bonds of friendship that he still continues to cultivate today, even from a distance. In 1996 during a day of hunting, one of his winemaker friends showed him some land for sale south-east of Montalcino, 15 ha of uncultivated land and woods a real opportunity that Pasquale did not miss. In 1997 the whole family, Pasquale, his wife Piera and Francesca and Federico, the children, planted the first cuttings, an excellent pastime for the weekends. The hectares of vines become 10 in a short time, Pasquale soon spent his whole vacation in this pristine corner of Montalcino. Pasquale found in his brother Gaetano a great help and an excellent cellarman, producing the first Brunello di Montalcino Terre Nere in 2002.