Why Buy: A bottle of Biondi-Santi isn't just a wine; it's an event, a statement of transcendence, an exalted experience, a pinnacle expression of an entire culture. When the Italian football team claimed the European Championship in 2021, it toasted its victory with the estate’s 2013 Brunello di Montalcino. We just secured small allocations of two of the best from their portfolio, the 99-point Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016 (and bear in mind: there were no Riservas produced in 2017 and 2018) and the 96-point Brunello di Montalcino 2018. And we’re delighted to report that they are as extraordinary as we had hoped for, with all the freshness, balance, and soul-enriching depth that Biondi-Sandi has long delivered.

The Vintages: 2016 is widely regarded as an exceptional year for Brunello, with The Wine Advocate going so far as to declare it "one of the best in recent memory in Montalcino"; 2018 is said to be a throwback year, "the return of the cool, classic" profile, in the words of The Wine Independent, of some of the "long-lived vintages in the 1970s."

What They're Saying: In its 99-point review of the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, The Wine Advocate went into ecstatics, calling it "a mighty collector's bottle that will undoubtedly gain in complexity and depth with careful bottle age. The wine offers wild nuances of forest berry and tart cherry, and there are herbal side notes as well as floral tones of dried violet and lilac. The tannins are soft, powdery and feel like they melt away on the palate." Ageability was also on Jeb Dunnuck's mind with regard to the 96-point Brunello di Montalcino 2018, which is already drinking wonderfully, a big red that "lifts through the palate with fine tannins and a refreshing, mouthwatering finish. It has a great saline feel and is a savory and fresh wine. This is a Brunello I’d love to drink over the next 10 years for its accessibility and refined texture."

The Story: To understand the greatness of Biondi-Santi, you need only listen to Franco Biondi-Santi, whose grandfather, The New York Times once wrote, "virtually invented Brunello di Montalcino": “Nature is capable of creating great things; you just have to know how to wait.” There it all is: the recognition of the totality of terroir; the appreciation of the balance of nature, that everything happens in its own time; the understanding of the need for patience. Franco might no longer be with us, but many of the methods handed down to him by his grandfather are the same today as they were then. At the same time the 7th generation of Biondi-Santis not only honors but heeds these time-tested methods, it has turned, increasingly, to science to identify ways to protect its vines against excessive heat and maintain health over the years. That an icon refuses to rest on its vast reputation, but continues to look to get better, is not just telling; it's also thrilling. 

Our Tasting Notes: The Riserva is a knock-out, from its complex and intensely evocative aromatics to its long and savory finish. To call it opulent doesn't begin to do this wine justice. So rich is it, so enveloping, that it almost swaddles the palate. In the Brunello 2017, we appreciated an intriguing opposite: a wine of freshness and energy, with silky tannins and subtle tension. Excellent now, it will only get better and better as you (or if you) wait.

What to Pair Them With: The best way to appreciate the textures and nuances of the Riserva is without accompaniment; in the Brunello 2018, you'll find an ideal companion for an array of pastas (even those with seafood), light braises and stews, and Caprese salads. 

Fun Fact: Brunello has witnessed almost meteoric growth since the 1960s. At that time, there were just 11 producers of the grape in Montalcino. By the 2010s, that number had jumped to more than 200 producers.

Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so you can be confident that your wines will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Don't hesitate to secure yours today!



*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2024. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in LA, KS, MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Monday, April 22nd, 2024.