Livio Sassetti Pertimali's 2019 Brunello is arguably the most significant release for us of all the 2019 Brunello campaign: we've worked directly with Sassetti for many years now and their perfumed, floral style of Brunello given by their high-altitude location is regularly a favourite in the team.

2019 is a vintage widely held by both producers and critics to be an outstanding — and even "easy" — one and largely with wines for the long term. Naturally, there are comparisons to the legendary 2016 already.

We expect to sell out of our allocation pretty quickly: the 2016 vintage was James Suckling's No.1 Italian wine for 2020 and No. 3 wine globally for the same year.

Notes on 2019 in Montalcino

  • 2019 Brunello is "definitely a vintage to buy", for James Suckling, and with very high quality from just about all producers.
  • Excellent vintage conditions means it's actually hard to find a sub-par wine  (Vinous).
  • Many wines show great ageing potential with comparisons to be made to the legendary 2016 (10–15 years as a general rule — Vinous) but some producers also made a more open, generous style reminiscent of the 2015.

"I’m happy to report that the current releases from Montalcino are an embarrassment of riches for collectors and fans of the appellation. […] this is a year where the entire region excelled, from southwest to east and northeast to west. Frankly stated, finding a 2019 that doesn’t show remarkable balance, vivid fruit and freshness is a difficult task. In my opinion, this is always a mark of a great year. The highs are exceptionally high, and the lows are few and far between. What’s more, this is a year where many lesser wines excelled, making picking out a 2019 Brunello a relatively easy affair. […] This is a vintage of radiance and appeal without any sensation of over-ripeness or lack of complexity. The wines are aromatically intense and full of dimension, with translucent color, fruit typicity and the ability to communicate a sense of place. They are structured and built for cellaring, often showing their best after being open for over two days in bottle. The terms classic, racy, cool-toned, crunchy and sleek litter my tasting notes, and while many 2019s display an inviting personality today, they are balanced for the cellar and sure to mature beautifully over the next ten to fifteen years, if not more. This is the vintage we’ve all been waiting for." — Vinous (2023)

"Vintages that come to mind when I taste the 2019s are 2004 and 1997 or 1998. The wines have the neoclassical character to them because of their agility and harmony. […] Regardless of the comparisons with other vintages, 2019 is definitely a vintage to buy." — James Suckling (2023)

"Expectations were very high as the vintage seems to have been one of those mighty ones with a hot summer with cool nights and a relatively good amount of rain which helped the geometrically designed vines on the hills surrounding Montalcino, to grow relatively stress free. A few people compared this vintage to the ‘classic’ 2016, which has been so far the best vintage of this century, but if some of the samples were very elegant with a firm structure and with a great ageing potential like ’16, quite a few samples seems closer to the hotter, more ready to drink and generous 2015 vintage." — Drinks Business (2023)

Optimism was already high when the 2019 Rossos came out and critic notes for the Brunellos show this was well justified: this has turned out to be an excellent vintage for Montalcino as a whole, with Eric Guido (Vinous) going so far as to write that "finding a 2019 that doesn’t show remarkable balance, vivid fruit and freshness is a difficult task."

Much of that is attributable to favourable vintage conditions: as Guido notes, there was no shortage of winemakers considering this an easy vintage as most plots simply did not give cause for concern with regard to fruit quality and ripeness — nor, notably, did growers worry about quantity. In general, harvest started around the third week of September and went into October, in line with what Guido refers to as "traditional averages": no excess, or lack, of heat and sunshine.

In terms of ageing potential, Eric Guido is optimistic for long-lived wines, suggesting 10–15 years as a general rule; Filippo Bartolotta (Drinks Business) takes a more nuanced view, notably hesitating to draw direct comparisons to the legendary 2016 vintage: whilst wines from some producers have that structure, others seem to have gone for the more accessible, generous style of the 2015.


Why we like it:

• Sassetti's 2019 Brunello is "impossible to ignore", for Eric Guido (Vinous).
• They will not release a 2017 Riserva: the 2019 is the highlight of the 2024 releases (with no complaints from us!).
• The legendary 2016 vintage was James Suckling's No.1 Italian wine for 2020 and No. 3 wine globally for the same year; the 2019 vintage in general has already drawn comparisons to the 2016.

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