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Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva is made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso.
A rare wine, renowned for its extraordinary ability to age, the Biondi-Santi Riserva is produced only in the best vintages. From 1888 until today, only 41 vintages have been released.
A majestic vintage where structure, elegance and freshness combine to form something special. 2015 was a hot and dry year with constant warm temperatures from May through August which permitted the production of perfectly ripe, concentrated grapes. At the beginning of September the “tramontana” a wind coming from the north, refreshed and restored the plants before the final phase of maturation, which was characterized by significant day-night temperature, typical of our high-altitude vineyards.
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a truly majestic wine. The bouquet is packed with intense fruity notes of black berries, pomegranate and plums, intertwined with scents of Mediterranean herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage, rising from a carpet of forest floor. On the palate, the wine seduces with exuberant charm and caressing sweetness. The youthful tannins reveal its immense structure and contribute to creating a distinctive sensation of freshness which leads us towards a long-lingering, savory finish.
The Biondi-Santi 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is initially a reticent wine and one that does not immediately subscribe to the overstated abundance and exuberance of the vintage. Give it time. I wrote this review after several tastings over several days so I could ensure a more accurate account of the wine's elegant reveal. Contemplative and exceedingly nuanced in personality, with wild berry, underbrush, ferrous earth and candied orange peel, this has everything to look forward to in terms of its future evolution in the bottle. It displays a pretty ruby color that borders on garnet and polished copper. A silky, mid-weight palate is accented by beautifully managed and silky tannins (this aspect of the mouthfeel is extraordinary), bright freshness and long-lasting fruit momentum. The alcohol is a bit more powerful in this release (at 14.5%), but the effect is supple and smooth nonetheless. I tasted bottle number 256. Tenuta Biondi Santi does not usually release bottle production numbers, but I can confirm that 2,000 bottles of the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva are earmarked for the United States market.
-Wine Advocate 98+ Points
It is a rare phenomenon that a wine can trace its origins to a single man. Brunello di Montalcino, however, owes its existence to Ferruccio Biondi-Santi and its fame to his family. Now on the seventh generation of winemakers, the Biondi-Santi family continues to produce wines renowned for their elegance and extraordinary longevity. Located in the heart of Montalcino, the Tenuta Greppo estate spreads over 25 hectares of vines on soils rich in heavy stones and marl – perfect for the cultivation of Sangiovese Grosso. Defenders of a rich enological heritage, the family continues to employ traditional vinicultural methods started well over a century ago to highlight the wine’s unique characteristics, or tipicita.
Franco expanded Il Greppo from 4 acres to 25, but continued to be a staunch believer in traditional viniculture. Today, Franco’s son, Jacopo, and his son, Tancredi, represent the sixth and seventh generations carrying on the family legacy.
Starting in the mid-1800s, Clemente Santi, a renowned writer and scientist, recognized the quality of the vineyards and viticulture at Il Greppo. Long before it became standard practice, Clemente chose to focus on red wines suitable for aging, creating racking and barrel-aging practices far more advanced than his peers’. Clemente’s innovative winemaking earned him considerable recognition, including an award for his “select red wine (Brunello) 1865” at the 1867 Universal Exposition in Paris.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Ferruccio Biondi continued to experiment in the vineyards. In fact, Ferruccio took such pride in the work his grandfather did, he united the two family names and became Ferruccio Biondi-Santi. Ferruccio worked diligently to combat the challenges posed by oidium and phylloxera. He used the work he had already begun on massal selection and identifying mother vines to his advantage, grafting only the best clones on American rootstock and replanting his vineyard with the offspring of the mother clones – propagating what would eventually become the Brunello Biondi-Santi, or BBS 11, clone. Ferruccio also made the bold decision to bottle a 100 percent Sangiovese wine, focusing, like Clemente did before him, on ageworthiness rather than quick profits. With this, the birth of modern-day Brunello di Montalcino began.
After Ferruccio’s death in 1917, his son Tancredi Biondi-Santi continued the line of succession and carried on the family tradition with meticulous care. He looked to the past to secure the future, laying away older vintages in the cellar. He even made the crucial call to secretly wall-up part of his cellar prior to World War II, concealing the oldest Riservas from the Front. In doing so, Biondi-Santi was eventually able to show the world how long-lived and complex Brunello could be. In 1966, Brunello di Montalcino became a DOC and the Italian government turned to Tancredi to assist in writing the regulations.
Tancredi brought the winery to new heights, but it was his son Franco who helped show the world what they could do. Franco traveled far and wide, promoting the wines and showing the power of the old Riservas. The reputation of the wines was only boosted in 1980 when Brunello di Montalcino became the first DOCG in Italy.
Located just two miles from the town of Montalcino, Il Greppo sits on a 47-hectare parcel of land. The oldest vines on the property are over 80 years old, dating back to 1930. In 1988, Franco Biondi-Santi started an enormous undertaking in the vineyard, eventually increasing plantings from 4 to 25 hectares. He planted the vines on steep terraces, using the natural contour of the hills to create an amphitheater, setting Il Greppo’s cellar at center stage. The soils, rich in a stony marl known locally as galestro, are ideal for the cultivation of Sangiovese Grosso. Dry, warmer weather typically leads to a September harvest. Noted diurnal shifts ensure the characteristic aromas and acid levels that lead to the expressive, long-aging Brunellos typical of the estate.
Thanks to the meticulous cultivation and clonal selection of the different generations, the Brunello Biondi-Santi, or BBS11, became an officially recognized and registered clone – the first to be named after a single producer.
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
The Biondi-Santi flagship wine, the Brunello di Montalcino embodies the spirit of Tenuta Greppo and the signature style of our winemakers, forged over 150 years of history with its balanced combination of fresh elegance, depth and aristocratic personality.
The Biondi-Santi 2015 Brunello di Montalcino exudes dark, velvety fruit and concentration while maintaining the signature elegance, suppleness and lithe personalty that distinguishes the iconic Il Greppo estate. I found this new release to be quite distinctive and exquisitely beautiful, setting it apart from many of the past vintages we are most familiar with. This 2015 edition is dark, exuberant and bold, but precise, focused and sharp as well. It will live for years in your cellar, but tasted now in its infancy, the wine shows blackberry, dried cherry, plum and dark cassis. Those dark fruit tones segue to a rich presentation of tar, spice, earth, tobacco and sweet balsam herb. The bouquet offers seamless and smooth transitions. This warm and sunny growing season favored richness and phenolic weight. Wines from Biondi-Santi are made for the long haul, and the fresh acidity that characterizes this estate is the principle reason why. However, I'd argue that this wine from 2015 will evolve over the years not only thanks to the freshness but more so thanks to the important structure of this solid and profound wine.
-Wine Advocate 97+ Points
The 2015 Brunello is highly complex, with pine resin, clove, blood orange, and rose-hip. It offers a grounding richness and warmth from the vintage while maintaining transparency and lift. Structured and with a long finish, this bottle showed no sign of demise over several days. Cellar 1-5 years and enjoy over the next 20 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum is made from 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot.
The dark and intense fruit aromas jump out of the glass with ripe plums, blackberries on the vine, and tones of sweet mint. The mouthfeel is full, balanced by gentle acids and rich tannins. Flavors are reminiscent of dark chocolate covered cherries and spicy black pepper. The long finish shows cigar box and cedar spice. A vintage that will age well into the next decade.
It would be impossible to exaggerate the grandeur and majesty of the overachieving 2015 Arcanum. The blend is 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. This full-bodied wine is mostly defined by its texture that is exceedingly rich and smooth with significant infusions of blackberry, plum, spice, tobacco and cured leather. The wine achieves beautiful balance, yet it remains intense and powerful all the while.
-Wine Advocate 97 Points
Capanna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015
BLEND: 100% Sangiovese carefully selected in the oldest vineyards and only of the best harvests.
Alcoholic fermentation with maceration of the skins (30-35 days) at a controlled temperature and spontaneous malolactic fermentation, both in truncated cone-shaped Slavonian oak vats.
In Slavonian oak casks of 10 to 25 hl for over 40 months; followed by ageing in bottles for at least 15 months.
Colour: deep ruby red, strong, lively.
Bouquet: very intense and complex, fruity and spicy, with red fruit, jam and liquorice shades; great prospects of future development.
Taste: great structure in the acid-tannin components, well supported by the soft ones; extremely persistent.
Food pairings: roast red meats, game and very aged cheeses.
Exotic aromas of crushed cherries and berries with flowers, bark and some black mushrooms. It’s full-bodied and very deep with wonderful length and power. A very typical and well structured, top 2015. One of the best ever from here. Drink after 2025.
-James Suckling 97 Points
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is forward, with heady aromatics of tar, licorice, and sweet tobacco as well as underlying blackberry fruit and dried flowers. Ripe with a Mediterranean feel, the palate is generous and fruit-forward with black cherry, tea leaf, and dark-mineral earth. The tannin's are muscular and ripe, though the wine is balanced in its powerful yet traditional structure. This is an exceptional wine that will be wonderful to watch in its evolution. Cellar and drink 2026-2042.
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Intense ruby red with brilliant burgundy reflects in color. Reminiscent of wild black fruits, vanilla and spices on the nose and dry, warm, slightly austere but velvety in the palate.
This wine comes from the oldest vineyard of Collemattoni: Fontelontano. Less than half hectare. It's one of the few Single Vineyard Brunello di Montalcino riserva.
Coming from a parcel with 15-18 year old vines planted in sandy clay and marl soils.
Harvest is 100% destemmed with a soft pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature of 28-30°C, pumping over for the first week of maceration following by skin-contact maceration for 20-25 days with rack and return technique (delestage).
Malolactic fermentation completed. The delestage and the pumping over are then spaced out along the process.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.
"Dried berry and cherry with flower and walnut undertones. Some stones and dry earth. Full-bodied with a chewy, intense palate, showing wonderful structure and depth. A serious 2015 Brunello. Drink after 2023."
- James Suckling (December 2020), 96 pts
Poggio San Polo Podernovi Brunello di Montalcino is made from Sangiovese.
Intense ruby red in color with garnet hues, clear and glossy. The bouquet exhibits typical aromas of violets and small red berries. Subtle nuances of forest undergrowth, aromatic wood, a touch of vanilla and jammy mixed fruit then give way to subtle hints of coffee. This Brunello is intense, persistent, broad and heady. Full-bodied and warm on the palate, with a densely-woven texture and robust body, it has a persistent finish with well-rounded tannins. The particular features of the terroir at San Polo produce a Brunello with a capacity for lengthy aging, while patient cellaring enhances the wine during ageing in the bottle.
Lovely purity of fruit with ultra fine tannins and depth, finesse and complexity. Black cherries, cedar and some flowers. It’s full-bodied with very fine tannins that drive the finish. Give it a year or two to open more, but already so enticing. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 96 Points
The San Polo 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (with 8,000 bottles produced) is a textured wine with hearty fruit and touches of smoked meat and spice. At its core, the wine offers dark fruit, blackberry and ripe plum. The rich fruitiness of the wine cedes to campfire ash, mahogany and furniture wax. These results are sultry and even a bit flashy, with distant background tones of teriyaki and plum sauce. The wine is fermented in cylindrical oak fermenters and aged in oak for three years. We'll see this bottle hitting the market sometime after February 2021.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
Busi Chianti Rufina Riserva is made from 100% Sangiovese
Vineyards: Travignoli, a name which literally means “Tra Vignoli” (between the vineyards) is located in the middle of Frescobaldi’s Nipozzano vineyard in the heart of the Rufina zone. There is documented evidence that wine was first produced there in the 5th C BC by the Etruscans who called it “Nectar of the Gods”. The Church acquired the land and constructed the cellars in 1100.
Count Busi and his family acquired the estate in the 1800’s. Overall, 91
hectares belong to the estate. The 60 hectares of vineyards are excellently
position on the slopes with a southerly exposure at an elevation between 270 to 370 meters. Clay, marl and calcareous soil with a large percentage of rocks and stones for good drainage. Vines are an average of 10–25 years old.
Harvest: October– by hand.
Yield per hectare: 40 Quintals per hectare
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperatures for 7 to 8 days with an additional 7 to 8 days on the skins. The wine is then racked and goes through malolactic. It is then racked again and stays another 3 months in stainless steel.
Aging: 25 to 30 hectoliter barrels of Slavonian oak for 18 months and 3 months in Allier barriques. There is a period of refinement of 4 to 5 months in the bottle.
Alcohol: 13% by vol.
Color: Ruby red with garnet reflections.
Bouquet: Intense, ethereal bouquet with hints of leather, tar and ripe cherry fruit.
Taste: The flavor is full of mature fruit with nuances of leather and liquorice. The taste is complex and round and rich with character. The finish is persistent and satisfying.
Foods: Grilled, braised or roasted meats, dishes flavored with mushrooms, or rosemary. Excellent with polenta dishes.
Total Production: 3,300 cases
Enologist: Mauro Orsoni
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana is 100% Syrah.
Black raspberry aromas, licorice, sizzled bacon and smoke. Elegant and pure with depth and well-integrated tannins.
Jana is the name of Johann and Emmanuelle's daughter.
Manual harvest, selection of the grapes from the "Chaillot" parcel, full clusters, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (new old barrels) The average age of the vines is 11 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha
There are two special cuvées from this estate. Looking first at the 2018 Cornas Cuvée Jana, it tastes like the essence of Cornas with its meaty, bloody aromas and flavors of scorched earth, ground pepper, rare steak, iron, cedar, and dark, almost blue fruits. Tight, tannic, and concentrated on the palate, this full-bodied effort packs incredible intensity and power yet stays lively, elegant, and weightless. It's a brilliant, brilliant Cornas, yet certainly not for those seeking instant gratification. It actually reminds me slightly of the incredibly age-worthy wines from Domaine Clape, and I suspect it will have a similar evolution. Hide bottles for 7-8 years and enjoy over the following two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 99 pts
Vina Mein O Pequeno Blanco is made from Treixadura, Godello, Albariño and Torrontes.
Grapes are coming from 12 small plots across just 40 acres of land with varying slopes and aspects that allow the grapes to benefit from different sun exposures and that thrive in the ´´Sábrego´´ soil: unique to this region and comprised of decomposed granite, sand and clay.
An aromatic, vibrant and intense white with a pleasant finish. Precise and careful viticulture and a unique blend of native varieties, Treixadura, Godello, Albariño and Torrontés, express the diversity and richness of Ribeiro – one of the most prolific winemaking regions in Spain since the 11th century.
"Peach, sliced apple, lemon pith and white pepper on the nose. It’s medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Juicy and fruity. Drink now."
- James Suckling (October 2021), 90 pts