Product information

Sassetti Livio Pertimali Brunello 2016

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Montalcino, Italy

$185

$178ea in any 3+
$171ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork
After devouring the 2018 Rosso and 2015 Brunello the descriptions of the 2016 are true to style and exceptional. They have me drooling!

Description

If checking in early, make sure to give the towering 2016 Brunello di Montalcino from Pertimali plenty of time to stretch its legs. It’s incredibly shy and backward upon first pulling the cork, coming to life nearly an hour later and never taking a step back from there on out. A beguiling display of spiced orange peels, sour cherry and mint pull you closer to the glass, where notes of cardamom, cinnamon, clove and sage reside. It’s dangerously soft and supple at first sip with fleshy red fruits and sweet spices blanketing the palate; yet beneath this soothing mix, a complex web of minerals and fine tannin slowly saturate. That said, there’s a lively bolt of acidity which maintains freshness in spite of the 2016’s heroic structure. Inner florals resonate along with a hint of white pepper, as it tapers off with classic austerity. This is a gorgeous vintage for Pertimali.

Eric Guido

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Check out all of the wines by Sassetti Livio Pertimali

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

I’ve had the pleasure of devouring the 2015 Brunello a number of times now. As it opens the flowers come, the dusty tannins layer in and harmonise, the core of red fruit shows itself and you see the depth and length that separate Brunello from Rosso. Licks of woody herbs and a little sappiness come through, while the acid offers freshness, helping with the line and length of now impeccable tannins. It still haas loads more to come here with more time in bottle. If you want to try it to get your eye in go nuts!

The Pertimali vineyards surround the winery in one single block, all located on the Montosoli hill in the northern part of Montalcino. For many years now, I’ve enjoyed the house’s old-school, pleasurably rustic style, combined with fleshy primary fruit and balanced structure to match. That said, the style wasn’t for everyone; yet there has been a noticeable uptick in purity over the past few years, all culminating with the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino – the best young wine I can remember ever tasting from this estate. Looking back to the prior vintage, the new releases also include the 2015 Riserva, made from a selection in the vineyards and then matured for forty-eight months in a combination of large Slavonian oak barrels and smaller casks. Even with all of the time that this wine spent in wood, its fruit is simply gorgeous, coming across as one of the most successful wines in its category. Lastly there is the introduction of their late release, cru Brunello from 2015, the Vigna del Mulino, sourced from a lower elevation site with unique soils rich in fossils and shells, many big enough that you can easily see them when walking through the rows. The 2015 makes for a good introduction to the wine, but I’m more excited to see what the 2016 might bring to the table.

Eric Guido, Vinous

About Pertimali

“This tiny estate, which has been making spectacular wines since 1982, makes some of the finest red wines in Tuscany. I am beginning to think that if I had only one Brunello di Montalcino to drink it would have to be Pertimali. Unfortunately, quantities are microscopic, making availability a major headache.”

Robert M Parker, April ‘96

Of course one always agrees with Parker when it suits, doesn’t one – even if these never were what you might call Parkerised wines. I have been as keen on Pertimali since my first experiences too. It was the very good ’94 (much better vintage there than most other places). The Pertimali style is probably not quite like anyone else’s.

These continue a tradition of really native Montalcino wines, quite nervy and essentially elegant wines with that distinct smoky, coffee-grounds, char and licorice Montosoli thing. The combination of the finesse and persistence of its northern Montalcino site, on the fabulous Montosoli slope, with an ability to get ripeness, results in a wine with both the gamey/leather/mushroom/tobacco persona and the black fruits, vegemite and graphite, tighter elements. Unlike maybe most Brunello, which can often perform quite quickly at table – well at least much faster than say Barolo! – these do need a bit more air. What you get are layers of the characters mentioned and in fascinating waves, persistent and re-appearing.

In the Vineyard

Livio Sassetti, part-time poet and an original founder of the Brunello Consorzio (1967) consolidated his father’s keen eye for the best vineyard land to bring their holdings of the great slope of Montosoli up to 16 ha, 12 of it able to produce Brunello di Montacino. The presence of another ‘Div 1’ producer Altesino and the consistent high results by others, like Canalicchio di Sopra and the wonderful cru La Casa of Carpazo tend to confirm the status of this treasured 75 ha patch, just north east of Montalcino. As ever, the wise old heads realised that the best wine comes from the best vineyards. This mostly south-facing slope is composed of marl and siliceous limestone soils, great for acidity, austerity, deep roots and excellent drainage. Altitude is from 350 up to 400 meters, and the whole terroir, soils and location offer notably lower temperatures than even a little further south (within the Montalcino zone). Vineyard practises are generally biodynamic – as they have been for decades now.

In the Winery

Current custodian Lorenzo Sassetti keeps the winemaking simple and consistent and essentially the same for both wines – a gentle press, with must and skins together in the ferment for 12-15 days at 28˚C. Yeasts are indigenous. Rosso does its time in tank then bottle, generally without any oak and Brunello has 36 months in 30hl Slavonian wood and 6 more months in bottle. So they’re not really ‘Parker’ wines at all, but pure expressions of the Brunello of Montalcino.

The 2016 Brunello Vintage

From Vinous ‘2016 Brunello di Montalcino: Radiance Personified’

Let’s consider how long we’ve all been looking forward to Montalcino’s next great vintage. I’m thinking back to the release of the 2010s, walking the aisles of Benvenuto Brunello and tasting from table to table. Aromatically, the wines made your eyes roll back in your head, followed by an assault on the palate of intense and complex primary fruit, which was quickly clenched and held firm by aggressive tannins. When the reviews finally hit, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. Suddenly, every retailer in the country was pumping out email after email to feed the unquenchable thirst that consumers had for Montalcino’s next great vintage. 

However, after the dust settled, and 2011 arrived, people seemed to be satisfied. The 2011s were ripe and juicy, and consumers were happy to allow them to fill restaurant wine lists instead of their cellars. Next was 2012, just as warm as 2011, yet prettier and more balanced; but it still didn’t move the needle. Two thousand thirteen had some potential and quickened our pulses for a time, yet it wasn’t the next 2010. At this point, we all started to feel the hunger – when would Montalcino have its next great vintage? However, it was just around this time that the 2016 Rosso di Montalcinos began to arrive, giving us a peek into what producers were calling a perfect vintage. The wines were dark and effusive in how they excited the senses, full of energy yet also dense in their fruit profiles, and with structure that was unexpected from the Rosso category. Suddenly, there came a glimmer of hope; and since that time, we have all been waiting for 2016 Brunello di Montalcino.

But now the big question is: Do the 2016s live up to our expectations? Oh, yes; they certainly do.

Eric Guido

Where in the World are Pertimali?

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100 Points

Blackberries, black walnuts and black cherries, as well as loads of chewy tannins. Some smoked wood, wood tannins and even black truffles. It’s full-bodied and powerful with loads going on. It just keeps growing on the palate. So much wet earth and black olive at the finish with porcini mushrooms, too. Needs time to soften. Crazy finish. Try after 2025.

James Suckling

97 Points

If checking in early, make sure to give the towering 2016 Brunello di Montalcino from Pertimali plenty of time to stretch its legs. It’s incredibly shy and backward upon first pulling the cork, coming to life nearly an hour later and never taking a step back from there on out. A beguiling display of spiced orange peels, sour cherry and mint pull you closer to the glass, where notes of cardamom, cinnamon, clove and sage reside. It’s dangerously soft and supple at first sip with fleshy red fruits and sweet spices blanketing the palate; yet beneath this soothing mix, a complex web of minerals and fine tannin slowly saturate. That said, there’s a lively bolt of acidity which maintains freshness in spite of the 2016’s heroic structure. Inner florals resonate along with a hint of white pepper, as it tapers off with classic austerity. This is a gorgeous vintage for Pertimali.

Eric Guido, Vinous

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Azienda Agricola Sassetti Livio Pertimali, Strada Consorziale dei Canali, Montalcino, Province of Siena, Italy

Montalcino
Tuscany
Italy