This forward Brunello opens with a fruit and spice fragrance of ripe black berries, cinnamon and hot red pepper. The dense palate delivers fleshy black cherry, ripe black raspberry, black pepper and cake spices alongside dusty tannins.
—Kerin O'Keefe Wine Enthusiast Advanced Guide May 2014
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1999 93+ points
The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva shows a superior level of fruit integrity and bright intensity next to the base Brunello from the same vintage. This is a lovely, yet unabashedly masculine expression that puts its pretty tertiary (or aged) aromas on full display. There’s plenty of old leather and smoked bacon on the bouquet, but these elements are offset by a greater sense of fruit fullness in the mouth. The close is tight and compact and the wine improves with up to three hours of aeration before serving. Drink: 2014-2028
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997 94 points
Compared to the lackluster base Brunello for the same vintage, the 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva springs to life in spectacular style. This is a bold and brooding wine, but not over the top, with toasted oak, moist earth, leather, cola, licorice and anise seed all thrown in to the layered bouquet. Cherry liqueur and dried cranberry lingers in the back adding fruity tones and vigor. This is a generous and giving wine that should maintain this high level of performance for many more years. Give the wine up to four hours in the decanter. Drink: 2014-2030.
From the April 2014 issue of Wine & Spirits magazine:
Il Poggione 2008 Brunello di Montalcino 95 points
One of "the year's best Tuscan reds."
This is the kind of elegant, aristocratic sangiovese that originally earned Brunello its reputation – a wine layered with scents of fruit leather, bright spice and black, mineral-inflected tannins. It’s a wine of stature rather than weight, one capable of eliciting an emotional response while providing its share of sensual pleasure.
Herewith Elaine Brown's review of our 2008 Brunello di Montalcino:
The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino from Il Poggione opens with lifted, juicy red fruit aromatics and palate giving savory and smoke accents. With air it changes significantly over the course of several hours. I strongly recommend opening the wine at the start of the meal so you can taste it immediately and enjoy it as it evolves, rather than decanting it for later. With air, the red fruit character turns to, what my friend Meredith describes as, an almost-creamy fig soaked in espresso, originating however from the fruit itself rather than oak influence. The wine carries long juicy, and savory elements dancing on dark-earth mineral lines all the way through from open to the long finish. This wine offers nice structure, and that long stroking tannin so seductive in Sangiovese.
Here's what Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, wine writers for the Annapolis Capital Gazette, had to say about Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino and Mazzoni Piemonte Barbera earlier this month:
Il Poggione Rosso de Montalcino 2011. Not everyone can afford to drink Brunello di Montalcino every day, so the rosso de montalcino is a great fall back. This little brother of Brunello, made with the same sangiovese grape, has fresh, wild berry notes and is meant for early consumption. The grapes come from younger vines and therefore the wines don't have the complexity found in Brunellos sourced from older vines. The wine is aged in oak for a year to tame the tannins.
This top producer has been owned by the Franceschi family since 1890 and is best known for its basic Brunello and its Vigna Paganelli riserva, made only in exceptional vintages. Located in Montalcino’s hilly southwest subzone, Il Poggione’s vineyards benefit from the area’s cooler temperatures, which help create concentrated, ageworthy reds. The portfolio also includes a stellar Rosso di Montalcino and a Super-Tuscan blend.
“During the grape harvest of 2013,” writes Cathy Huyghe in an article published last week by Forbes magazine, “I was visiting Tenuta Il Poggione in Montalcino, home to some of Italy’s most expensive wines. As I walked the vineyards with winemaker Fabrizio Bindocci, harvesters all around us carved gorgeous, lush, fully ripe bunches of Sangiovese grapes from the vines.”
"And then they dropped them on the ground, like throwing out the trash. And Bindocci didn’t even mind. In Montalcino, it’s perfectly normal to discard an alarming percentage of your total production, a practice called 'dropping fruit' that slices il Poggione’s yield by up to 50%. In fact, it’s expected, even though those grapes would otherwise be crushed and matured into top-quality Brunello, which fetches about $75 per bottle. I asked Bindocci to walk me through the math of Brunello di Montalcino’s business model."