Product information

Voliero Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Montalcino, Italy

$176

$169ea in any 3+
$162ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork
The sister to the Uccelliera brother, same winery, same maker, different fruit, and personality!

Description

Many who have tasted both the Uccelliera and Voliero Brunello over a number of years remark that they prefer the Uccelliera in the cooler years, and the Voliero in the bolder years. 2016 has somehow managed to make the choice a little harder.

Give this just a little time to acclimatise to the world outside the bottle and you’ll be great with welcoming arms. Voliero’s 2016 Brunello has wonderful shape, plush tannins with a cleansing dusty edge about them, harmony, and a level of sophistication that sees it playing nicely a little closer to Burgundian than the structured wines from Montalcino. Savoury and spiced over juice red fruits with a splash of blood orange, the acid keeps it fresh at just the right level. As it opens it relaxes, the edges fall away quickly and it looks incredibly comfortable in its own skin. A wonderful wine, and for mine punching well above it’s weight.

 

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Check out all of the wines by Voliero

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

About Voliero

The winery shared by Uccelliera and Voliero is located in Castelnuovo dell’ Abate, in the southeast section of Montalcino. Owner and winemaker Andrea Cortonesi has spent his life working in the vineyards and countryside of Montalcino. Today he makes use of three separate vineyards, all within the subregion of Castelnuovo dell’ Abate, but all differing in elevation, soil composition and aspect, to create his truly southern yet balanced Brunello: Uccelliera. On the other hand, the fruit for Voliero, which was once sourced from a rented parcel in the north, now hails from two separate yet both higher-elevation vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, as well as Sant’Angelo in Colle. Voliero is also refined in large oak casks for thirty months, versus the Uccelliera, which spends twenty-four months in a combination of French and Slavonian oak. I, for one, love tasting these two wines next to each other, vintage after vintage; and what I have always found most amusing is how they seem to be a mirror image of each other. To generalize, I often find Voliero to succeed most in warmer vintages, while Uccelliera loves the cooler and rainier years.

Eric Guido

The Uccelliera estate was at once part of neighboring Ciacci Piccolomini until 1986, when winemaker Andrea Cortonesi purchased it from his friends and former employers. After refining his trade as cellar master for Ciacci, Andrea ventured out on his own with the formation of Uccelliera. His first vintage was 1991 with the production of a mere 500 bottles!

The wines have quickly become cult favorites amongst the cognoscenti. Tucked away in the southeast corner of the appellation in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, the soil here is loose and stony which when coupled with a warm microclimate gives the wines of Uccelliera a rich and ripe expression, vintage after vintage. Andrea Cortonesi is tireless in his approach to winemaking, with all vineyard work done exclusively by hand. In addition to Brunello, the Rosso di Montalcino is a very limited production and features an unusually powerful nose and ripe, rich fruit. Rounding out the lineup is the tiny-production Super Tuscan, “Rapace”, which is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet and aged in barrique.

The first vintage of Uccelliera Brunello may have been 1991, but the roots of Andrea Cortonesi run much deeper into both time and terroir in Montalcino. His family, as long as can be remembered, were sharecropping farmers in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, the tiny hamlet surrounding the medieval abbey of Sant’Antimo in the southeastern part of the appellation. They worked the fields, vineyards, and olive groves long before the boom of Brunello was heard around the world.

Most of us know Montalcino now only as this lauded territory, the source of Italy’s most desired Sangiovese wines, and certainly its most expensive. So it’s extremely striking to think that in 1986 when Andrea Cortonesi purchased the Uccelliera farm, his family had only left sharecropping behind three years earlier. There were just 60 estates bottling Brunello in the mid-1980s—compared to over 200 today—and Andrea had worked at many of them.

“Observe, listen to, and accompany nature,” was Angelo Cotonesi’s advice for his son. But Andrea applied this motto to more than just agriculture. Giuseppe Bianchini, the caretaker and eventual owner of Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, saw talent in young Andrea and put him to work on his crew that helped to create many of the now-famous estates in Castelnuovo. In fact, Andrea remembers the first vineyard he planted on this team in 1978 for what would eventually become Poggio di Sotto, but there were many others.Andrea, always the farmer-philosopher, reminded me that normally each vigneron has one opportunity per year to do his best, but as a part of this group tending to many estates, he had the fortune of gaining decades-worth of experience in just a few years. And while Andrea got his start working the vineyards, soon his passion for the subject matter brought him into the cantina, where he learned his winemaking skills by collaborating with true giants of Sangiovese: Giulio Gambelli, Roberto Cipresso, Maurizio Castelli, Alberto Antonini, and Attilio Pagli, just to name a few. To this day he recalls with incredulity how Gambelli could taste a wine and instantly tell you what was normally revealed by a detailed chemical analysis from a laboratory!

And those estates Andrea helped to create? Beyond Poggio di Sotto, there’s La Torre, Poggio degli Ulivi, Mastrojanni, Tenuta di Sesta and Collosorbo, Sesta di Sopra, Podere Salicutti, and of course Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, where he was cellar master until 1990. Here, Andrea was on the team that made both the great 1988 and 1990 vintages which caught the attention of journalists and launched Ciacci onto the world stage.

Andrea’s own first vineyards took root in 1987, and by 1998 he was able to dedicated himself full time to Uccelliera. Word of this tiny estate with an outsized experience in Montalcino spread quickly, and the term cult-Brunello was applied almost immediately.

In the Vineyard

The vineyards cover a surface of around 6 hectares planted with selected clones and with a high density of vines.

The direction of the rows, the constant and attentive manual care of the vineyard to maintain a balanced growth and a regular thinning of the bunches contribute to the production of grapes that are perfectly ripe, healthy and fragrant all essential requirements for a balanced wine rich in structure, suitable for brief and long ageing.

In the Winery

AGEING

Maturation in Slavonian and French oak barrels for a minimum
of 24 months, in special vintages up to 36 months

AFFINAGE

Bottle ageing for a minimum of 6 months before released for sale.

Where in the World is Uccelliera?

Uccelliera is in southeast corner of the Montalcino in Castelnuovo dell’Abate.

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95 Points

The 2016 Brunello was aged for 30 months in Slavonian and French oak barrels. Perfumed and lifted with fresh raspberry fruit, roses, sweet herbs, and dusty earth, with a delicate concentration of color, the palate is medium-bodied, with refined tannin's and notes of fresh red cherry, orange zest, and clove. This is a beautifully elegant expression and lovely work by Andrea Cortonesi that I look forward to revisiting over the next 15 years.

Jeb Dunnuck

94 Points

The Voliero 2016 Brunello di Montalcino opens to rich, fruity fiber with aromas of dark fruit, blackberry preserves, red brick and scorched earth. This is a saturated and accessible expression from Montalcino to enjoy in the near or medium-term with a nice steak and grilled porcino mushrooms. The grapes are fermented in steel with indigenous yeasts and aged in Slavonian oak.

Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

92 Points

The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino takes a more poised, feminine and refined approach to the vintage. Sweet roses, wild strawberry, leather and peppery herbs create a remarkably pretty display. The textures here are velvety; yet energy remains high, casting polished red berry fruits over a core of zesty acids and spice, while fine tannins build toward the close. It’s long yet heroically structured, with inner florals slowly tapering off. The 2016 Voliero will require a good amount of time to come fully into focus.

Eric Guido

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Azienda Agricola Uccelliera, Podere Uccelliera, Montalcino, Province of Siena, Italy

Montalcino
Tuscany
Italy