International critical acclaim made 2018 a year to remember for Italian wine, and Brunello was no exception, with two labels in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 (Canalicchio di Sopra’s Brunello di Montalcino 2013 and Caparzo’s Brunello di Montalcino 2013), one in the Wine Enthusiast 100 (Brunello di Montalcino 2013 from Castelgiocondo), and no less than 11 in internationally acclaimed wine critic James Suckling’s Top Italian Wines rankings.
At the pinnacle of quality with regard to wine regions, Montalcino comes immediately after Bordeaux, at least from looking at the wines tasted in 2018 and awarded Wine Enthusiast’s top score of 100/100. According to the magazine edited and published by Adam Strum (and whose Italian editor is Kerin O’Keefe), of the 15 wine “gems” (out of the over 24,000 wines tasted during last year), the only three Italians come from Montalcino. 100/100 points were awarded to Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012, Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d’Oro, to Conti Costanti’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012, and to Le Chiuse’s Brunello di Montalcino 2013. This trio also takes the first three places in Kerin O’Keefe’s Top 10 Italian Red Wines, immediately followed by more Brunello, with Altesino’s Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 2013 and Le Potazzine’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011 both receiving 99 points.