Baricci Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Nello 2015
“The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Nello from Baricci boasts a strikingly intense display of pure Sangiovese fruit. It’s dusty in character, wafting up masses of crushed black cherry and strawberry, with sweet herbs, hints of spiced orange and sandalwood. It’s soft and feminine, while leaning on purity and a salty mineral lift, which creates a tactile feel toward the close. Raspberry, cranberry, savory spice and inner florals hold your attention firm, while youthful tannins slowly sink in, drying out the expression today, yet promising many good things to come. Wow! This only got better and better over the twenty-tour hours that I followed the wine. Drinking window: 2024-2034. 96 points
Federico and Francesco Buffi represent the third generation to tend to the Baricci vineyards on the Montosoli hill. They have a lot to be proud of with the release of their 2016 Brunello and 2015 Nello Riserva. Since the beginning, and I truly mean the beginning, Nello Baricci, a son of sharecroppers, spent a large portion of his life tending to the vineyards of other producers before being able to acquire his own. However, once he did, the location he chose paved the way for many of the greatest wines coming out of the region today. Baricci purchased what you might consider to be the tenderloin parcel of the highly-regarded Montosoli hill. Five hectares at an average elevation of 280 meters, which enjoy a south-to-southeastern exposure in poor stony soils. He went on to be the first producer to register his vineyard with the newly-formed Consorzio; and he then created a heritage of traditional winemaking, which guides his family to this very day. Nello Baricci passed away in 2017, yet his memory lives on in every bottle of Montosoli.
The Baricci wines scream Montalcino in every possible way. These pure yet complex expressions of Sangiovese fruit, which are deceiving in how inviting they can seem in their youth, can mature for decades. This is also one of the handful of producers who captured the magic of the 2015 vintage in their Riserva-level bottling. The Nello Riserva comes from a choice parcel within the family vineyard, or as Francesco Baricci puts it, “A cru within a cru”. This is a wine that was first created in 2010 to recognize their grandfather’s accomplishments, and it has since only been released in 2012 and now 2015. The Nello Riserva spends between 21-24 days macerating on the skins, versus the 15-18 days for the Brunello, and it then matures in five-hectoliter tonneaux for forty months. The production is quite small (between 1,800-2,000 bottles each vintage), yet this is a 2015 Riserva that’s worth seeking out. Also of note is that there will be a 2016 Nello Riserva; but it will be released in 2023, as the family feels that it will require more time in bottle to fully express itself.”
Eric Guido, Vinous (11/20)