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Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona, an impressive new Brunello producer for us here at Latimer

 

Two colleagues were lucky enough to visit Tuscany last week on a professional note in search of some high-quality Tuscan wines to add to our portfolio.

 

Thoughts of our Buying Director James following the trip:

 

“I will admit that Sangiovese can sometimes leave me cold, a lot is produced in an international style that lacks nuance – one dimensional flavours vanilla, compote etc. However the best need to be taken seriously as wines full of excitement and terroir specificity.

The below estate (Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona) was a standout tasting for the complexity and elegance, wines I will buy myself and would recommend to any buyer of fine wine - given the scores from critics it appears it is not just me that thinks so.

The single vineyard ‘Pianrosso’ Brunello was delicious and high quality, full of cherry, wild strawberry ripe fruit flavours, salinity on the finish and very elegant. Whereas the Riserva a step above in quality was full of layered complexity and depth for longer term storing. I likened it in my notes to tasting Grand-Puy-Lacoste VS Pichon Comtesse, both excellent but one with a touch more class!

 

A note on vintages, the 15 was more expressive and open now whereas the 16 slightly more structured and for longer term aging.”

They tasted some excellent wines not yet exported, as well as some names you may have heard of before. More to follow on the former hopefully once we have secured allocations…

 

However, we wanted to share one producer straight away,

 

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona

 

  • 2015 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’ - £370/6 IB
  • 2016 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’ - £380/6 IB
  • 2015 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’ Riserva Santa Caterina D’Oro - £570/6 IB
  • 2016 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’ Riserva Santa Caterina D’Oro - £570/6 IB

The Ciacci offering is led by three different Brunello di Montalcino’s from the Castelnuovo dell’Abate sub-region. Below is some information on the two we are able to offer today. The Pianrosso single vineyard cuvée is sourced from a 12 hectare (29-acre) vineyard of the same name (meaning ‘red field’ on account of the iron rich soils). Fermented in stainless steel and glass-lined concrete vats, it is aged for 36 months in large Slavonian oak casks. The Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro Riserva comes from vines in the same vineyard, but spends longer in oak and bottle before release, only produced in remarkable vintages.

 

Quantities are small so please let us know if you have interest asap.Contact your account manager or wine@latimervintners.com if you would be interested in ordering a case. 

 

We will ship the wines next month for December onward delivery.

 

2015 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona

£370 per case (6) IB (£76.68 / btl inc. Vat)

18 cases (6x75cl)

The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone or chalk. This adds a greater sense of focus and delineation that not only characterizes the bouquet but also applies to the way the wine hits the palate in a fuller and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello). Instead, this single-vineyard Brunello shows an upright and direct approach with soft salinity on the close followed by forest fruit, spice and medicinal herb. The mouthfeel makes a big impact thanks to its streamlined and polished texture. Drink 2021-2040. 96/100 Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, Jan 2020

Intense aromas of berry, iris, underbrush, botanical herb and camphor shape the enticing nose. Firmly structured, the taut, full-bodied palate offers juicy black cherry, raspberry, licorice and tobacco set against tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2025–2035. 98/100 Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast

Lots of ripe and rich fruit with a decadent undertone of meat and spice that turns to pure fruit and licorice. Medium to full body, refined tannins and a fresh and bright finish. All about harmony. Better after 2021.” 100/100 James Suckling

There’s a cooling, minty freshness to the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Pianrosso that keeps you coming back to the glass for more. With time, it gains in richness, adding notes of plum sauce, clove and sage. It’s pleasantly ripe in nature and silky-smooth in feel, as a wave of elegant black fruits tinged with balsam herbs washes across the palate with ease, leaving salty minerals and a coating of fine tannin in its wake. This tapers off structured yet fresh, leaving a staining of primary concentration and just enough residual acidity to keep the mouth watering for more. There’s no harm in checking in on the 2015 Riserva today, but a few years of cellaring should help to even out some of its rougher contours and reveal a dark, elegant beauty of a wine. I’m very happy to be upgrading this score from my previous tasting. Drink 2024-2032. 94/100 Eric Guido, vinous.com, Dec 2021

2016 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pianrosso’, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona

£380 per case (6) IB (£78.68/ btl inc. Vat)

6 cases (6x75cl)

The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is a single-vineyard expression that draws its fruit from an 11.7-hectare parcel with moderately thick galestro soils with ancient marine material. This special site, awash under the brilliant light of a big, open sky, does indeed deliver a more pronounced mineral signature, with wild berry, rose and rosemary essence. This is a beautiful wine, taut and silky, with elegant tannins that will endure ambitious bottle aging. Drink 2024-2048. 98/100 Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, Nov 2020

Aromas of red berry, camphor and tobacco meld with rose in this fragrant, full-bodied red. The smooth palate is concentrated yet elegant, featuring raspberry jam, cherry marinated in spirits, licorice and coffee bean alongside a backbone of firm, velvety tannins. Drink 2023–2031. 98/100 Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast

Lots going on here with black plums, ripe cherries, cedar, smoke and cocoa on the nose. Ash, chocolate, crushed walnuts and some praline. Mushrooms. This has firm, ripe tannins and a full body. Flavorful and juicy finish. Very structured. Drink after 2025. 98/100 James Suckling

Dark, rich and deeply alluring, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso boasts a display of ripe black fruits encased in an air of crushed stone, sage and exotic spice. While velvety and almost creamy in texture, it finds harmony through juicy acids and a mix of ripe black cherry and plums. Hints of licorice and baker’s chocolate balance the Pianrosso’s salty minerality and fine-grained tannins through the long and dramatic finale. There’s beautiful symmetry here for a wine with such power. Place this in the cellar for ten years or more; but don’t make the mistake of not checking in from time to time, because I expect the 2016 to enjoy a long and open drinking window. Drink 2024-2034. 94/100 Eric Guido, vinous.com, Nov 2020

 

2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso Riserva Santa Caterina D’Oro,

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 

£570 per case (6) IB (£116.68/bottle inc. Vat)

12 cases (6x75cl)

The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is a fine and delicate wine that cleverly delivers the intensity of the vintage but without the heaviness or the ripeness. This wine holds back, just enough, to affirm its poised balance in terms of fruit richness, texture and tannic structure. It shows symmetry throughout. Dark cherry fruit, cassis, plum, lavender and campfire ash set the tone. The mouthfeel is thickly woven and generous, more so than the more linear and focused 2016 Brunello Pianrosso (that I preferred by a tiny margin). This special Riserva represents a 11,000-bottle production. Drink 2024-2045. 97/100 Monica Larner Wine Advocate, Nov 2020

Fragrant, full bodied and refined, this opens with aromas of new leather vanilla, baked plum and camphor. The palate shows an enviable combination of structure, finesse and length, doling out raspberry jam, ripe black cherry, vanilla and licorice enveloped in firm, refined tannins. 97/100 Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast

“The opulence of fruit and complexity of earth, meat, mushroom and cedar is breathtaking. It’s full-bodied, deep and powerful with so much intensity and depth. Chewy and layered, it goes on for minutes. Give it even more time. Try after 2023.”  100/100 James Suckling

The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is nuanced with dark florals, hints of black cherry, mint leaf and smoky minerals. With time, more baritone notes of tobacco come forward. It’s velvety in the mouth, showing ripe red and black fruits, licorice and sweet herbal tones. Fine tannins settle in through the finale; yet they don’t get in the way, as this tapers off to hints of dark chocolate and savory spice. Drink 2022-2028.92/100 Eric Guido, vinous.com, Nov 2020

 

2016 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso Riserva Santa Caterina Oro,

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 

£570 per case (6) IB (£116.68/bottle inc. Vat)

34 cases (6x75cl)

The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is gorgeous, full stop. It shows an incredible level of Sangiovese purity and sharpness, and you taste the grape as if you were eating berries straight out of the vineyard. On top of that healthy and bright primary material, the wine layers on elegant aromas of spice, ferrous earth, balsam herb and red rose potpourri. The aromas meet with seamless integration and segue to ongoing depth and complexity offered to the palate. This Riserva is rather delicate in terms of mouthfeel; however, it is powerful and long, with high alcohol, polished tannins and a silky texture. A hint of sweet cherry mixed with menthol freshness pulls it together at the end. Drink 2024-2050 97+ /100 Monica Larner Wine Advocate, Feb 2022

Underbrush, scorched earth, camphor and pipe tobacco aromas shape the nose. Full-bodied and densely concentrated, the firm, muscular palate features dried cherry, licorice and marinated prune framed in tightly woven, close-grained tannins. You'll also notice the warmth of alcohol on the close. Drink 2026–2031. 95/100 Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast

Glorious aromas of flowers, nutmeg, dark berries, earth and black cherries follow through to a full body with ultra-fine tannins that are long and extremely polished. They go on for minutes. Reserved and shy still, due to its excellence. Give this four or five years to come around. Try after 2024. 99/100 James Suckling

Dark yet wonderfully perfumed, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro blossoms in the glass to present a bouquet of dried strawberries and roses complemented by hints of blood orange and clove. It shows the power and grace of a well-muscled dancer as a dense wave of ripe red and black fruits rushes across the palate, lifted by bright acidity, while leaving a mix of saline-minerals and grippy tannins toward the close. Though structured for the long haul, the 2016 maintains unexpected vibrancy, finishing with hints of plum and almond. This is simply stunning. Drink 2024-2032. 94/100 Eric Guido, vinous.com, Dec 2021

(We also have a small number of Magnums and Double Magnums available on request)