Home » Benvenuto Brunello Anteprima 2022: Tasting the future: Brunello 2018 & Riserva 2017, NYC, NY, USA

Benvenuto Brunello Anteprima 2022: Tasting the future: Brunello 2018 & Riserva 2017, NYC, NY, USA

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - 2018 and Riserva 2017 - Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta - photo by Luxury Experience
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On November 17, 2022, we attended the 31st Edition of Benvenuto Brunello, the Benvenuto Brunello Anteprima 2022: Tasting the future: Brunello 2018 and Riserva 2017. Held at The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City, the unveiling of these incredibly exquisite future wines also occurred simultaneously in London, Toronto, and Los Angeles, making it an international grand-scale event with 68 wineries presenting their wines. Saluti!

Benvenuto Brunello Anteprima 2022 celebrated tasting the future with the presentation and tasting of the 2023 release of the new vintages, Brunello 2018 and Riserva 2017 wines. Gathered at round tables with fellow oenophiles, winery representatives, and wine importers, the room was electric with anticipation of tasting the new releases.

After an informative introduction by Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine, we reviewed the wine list with wines from the 68 wineries and filled out our tasting cards noting our selections of 5 wines to be tasted at a time. Very elegant and sophisticated, white jacketed sommeliers from Il Gattopardo restaurant took our cards and came back to our table with the bottles we had selected for our first round of tasting.

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury Experience

With so many wonderful wines being offered, a total of 119 wines and a limit of a 3-hours tasting session, we decided to divide and conquer the wine list, by dividing the wine list in half, and then selecting at least 1 wine from each of the wineries, as some wineries presented 1-3 wines each. Even with dividing the wine list, it was an impressive number of wines to taste and experience. So how did we accomplish that? Alas, by the “4-S” method: Swirl, Sniff, Sip, and Spit, although some wines were just too delicious not to enjoy a few extra sips to fully appreciate its character and nuances.

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - selecting 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury ExperienceSelecting a flight of Brunello

Judging by the age of the vintages, one might think that a 2017 Riserva or a 2018 Brunello would be ready to drink now, however not always so. These wines will still benefit from a few more years of aging, which is why it is called a futures tasting, as one is tasting the possibilities of how the wine might evolve and develop more character over the years.

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - sampling 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury ExperienceReady to taste

The Four Types of Montalcino Wines

Important to note about Brunello di Montalcino wines, is that in 1967, The Consortium of the Brunello di Montalcino received its prestigious D.O.C. designation. Interesting to note is that only four wines have the right to be produced in Montalcino with the “Protected Designation of Origin” (DOCG and DOC); Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Moscadello Di Montalcino DOC, Rosso Di Montalcino DOC, and Sant’Antimo DOC.

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - selecting 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury Experience

To further distinguish the characteristics of each, for Brunello di Montalcino DOCG the grape variety is 100% Sangiovese, with a maximum yield of 8 tons of grapes per hectare, must spend a minimum of 2 years in oak casks, followed by 4 months in a bottle, must be bottled in the production area, have a minimum alcohol content of 12.5%, and are released January 1 of the 5th year following harvest.

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - sampling 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury ExperienceAnother great pour

Riserva requires 2 years of aging in oak cask followed by six months in a bottle and are released the 1st of January of the 6th year following the harvest. Brunello di Montalcino wines can only be sold in Bordeaux type bottles.

The Making of Great Wine – Always a Challenge

What makes the wine so different and special from year to year goes well beyond the terroir and the style of the vineyard that distinguishes the wines of Montalcino and gives them such diverse characteristics. The challenge begins with the Sangiovese grapes that do not thrive in Montalcino, they survive, which while eliciting less fruit, the flavor is more intense, and that coupled with the varying elevations of the Montalcino region influence the results.

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - selecting 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury ExperienceKeep it coming!

The climate is also an important part of understanding the possibilities for a particular vintage. Was it a rainy or a dry year? When did the rain or snow arrive? How long did it last? Was it a hot or a cold season, and at what stage of development did these factors occur? Each of these factors reflect heavily on how the results for the wine will be each year.

The Four Facings of Montalcino

Also, important to note about the Montalcino region, is that it has 4 distinct elevations with vastly different terroirs.

Montalcino - Brunello Anteprima 2022 - 2018 and Riserva 2017 - photo by Luxury Experience

The North has elevations from 300-400 meters, differentiated by cool nightly breezes, generally cooler temperatures, and later harvests. It is predominantly calcareous clay and limestone mixed with rock fragments, generally steep, and leveling out to the east.

Southern elevations range from 400-500 meters, has great diurnal shifts, galestro soils with clay, salt, and limestone, with some areas having more clay and calcareous.

Southeast elevations range from 200 – 450 meters, is closest to Mount Amiata (a lava dome) and is moderated by the Orcia River.

The Southwest has elevations that range from 100-350 meters, has a warmer and drier microclimate, more undulating hills and greater percentages of clay and silt. Due to the diverse microclimates and soils, each of the four facings produce slightly different flavor profiles for their wines.

“Star Vintages” – What the Stars Mean

2018 is considered a Four-Star Vintage; winter characterized by average rainfall and some snow, which made up for the considerable lack of water. Temperatures were above the seasonal average, which lasted until the end of February, when there was a sharp drop in temperatures with snowfall that affected the whole area, and minimum temperatures reaching almost -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit).

Brunello Anteprima 2022 - 2018 Poggio di Sotto - photo by Luxury ExperienceCHEERS!

April had sporadic rainfall and minimum temperatures around 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit). May had frequent and abundant rainfall accompanied by high temperatures that allowed optimal vegetative development, due to the significant humidity accumulated in the soil.

August had weak and intermittent rainfall in the first three weeks and average temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). The first week of September had rainy days with maximum temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius. Harvesting waited until mid-September to October to allow foe good ripeness.

2017 is considered a Four-Star Vintage; mild, rainy winter, warm, dry March which brought early flowering. A cold April brought some frost damage, followed by a drought from May through August. There were also extreme high temperatures in July and August which caused hydric stress. Cooling temperatures and mild rains in September provided relief. Warm and sunny weather extended the growing season through late October. Reduced quantities but good quality, notable aromatics and grippy tannins.

The Wineries for Benvenuto Brunello Anteprima 2022: Tasting the future – Brunello 2018 and Riserva 2017

Canalicchio di Sopra
Capanne Ricci Tenimenti Ricci
Casanova di Neri
Castiglion del Bosco
Cava D’Onice
La Togata
Le Gode
Maddalena Cordella
Madonna Nera
Martoccia di Brunelli
Patrizia Cencioni
Pian delle Querci
Pian delle Vigne
Poggio Antico
Poggio di Sotto
Poggio Lucina
San Polo
Tenuta Buon Tempo
Tenuta Corte Pavone – Loacker Wine Estates
Tenuta Poggio il Castellare
Tenuta San Giorgio
Tenute Silvio Nardi
Val di Suga
Villa Poggio Salvi

Let the Tasting Begin

The wines presented offered heady aromatics, lovely layers of flavors, yet with enough tannins on the palate to remind us of their “youth.” Wine, as in life, always benefits with a few years of “aging” to elicit perfection.


To learn more about Brunello Di Montalcino wines, please visit the Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino website: https://www.consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it/en/home/home

Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino

Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino
Via Boldrini n. 1053024 Montalcino (SI)
P.IVA 00696630524
Infoline: +39-057-784-8246
Fax: +39-057-784-9425
Email: info@consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it
Website: https://www.consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it/en/home/home
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brunellodimontalcino
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brunellodimontalcino/

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